Call for application open – Apply for Atelier Gwanjiu until 12 January 2015!

efa logo smallAtelier for Young Festival Managers in Gwangju

31 August – 6 September 2015:

Call for Application

Are you part of the next generation of artistic festival directors? Do you want to broaden your programming skills and be inspired by experienced leaders in the field? Do you want to join a new network of future festival leaders worldwide?

The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), is delighted to announce that the Atelier for Young Festival Managers will take place for the second time in Asia from 31 August to 6 September 2015 in Gwangju, South Korea. The Atelier Gwangju will coincide with the inauguration of the Asian Culture Complex (ACC), in close collaboration with the Chonnam National University and the ACC's Asian Arts Theatre. Ten renowned festival directors will guide 45 participants from the region and from all over the world through the 7-day training programme in this special context of a very ambitious and momentous art project in Korea.

"It is our pleasure to host global festivities, which will be filled with diverse experiences and creative visions of young festival managers coming from all around the world. The Atelier Gwangju 2015 will be all the more meaningful because it will be held in conjunction with the opening festival of the Asian Culture Complex. We would like to invite all young festival managers to take part in this great occasion to meet future leaders of arts and culture and to get inspired in the city of light, Gwangju."

Kang-Lae Lee, Dean Graduate School of Culture - Chonnam National University

"We are delighted to host the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in partnership with Chonnam National University. Our grand opening festival will provide an arena where different perspectives and visions can freely collide and mingle. As one of Asia's most ambitious cultural initiatives, our festival will be a timely opportunity for future generations of festival managers to question and explore the most pertinent discourses of Asia today. "

Seonghee Kim, Artistic Director Asian Culture Complex - Asian Arts Theatre

Share your experiences on the essence of art festivals

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers is an intense 7-day training programme addressed at emerging artistic festival directors or those who aspire to get involved in programming or in related departments within a festival. It is about sharing experiences and passing on knowledge to the next generation of festival makers; knowledge about programming a festival focusing on the very essence of art festivals – the arts and the artist. The Atelier is guided by the motto "The true role of a festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects," quote from Bernard Faivre d'Arcier, President of the Lyon Biennial, former Director of the Avignon Festival and Atelier mentor.

Explore festival issues in various formats

At least 45 young festival managers from all over the world will be selected to participate in the Atelier. Around 10 distinguished festival directors, will each attend for minimum three full days and work together with participants throughout the 7 days. In lectures, one-on-one talks, group discussions as well as intense workshops on case studies, issues such as artistic vision, public responsibility, creation and coproduction, internationalisation, networking, renewal and sustainability will be explored. Presenters of past Ateliers were amongst others Robyn Archer (Artistic Director The Light in Winter Melbourne, Deputy Chair Australia Council for the Arts, Strategic Advisor Gold Coast Arts and Culture Queensland – Australia), Hugo De Greef (General Coordinator of the Atelier, former EFA Secretary General, General Manager Bruges European Capital of Culture 2002, Founder and former Director Kaaitheater), Nele Hertling (Vice President of the Academy of Arts Berlin, Member Strategy Group "A Soul for Europe", Germany), Joseph V. Melillo (Artistic Director Brooklyn Academy of Music New York, US), Michal Merczyński (General Director Malta Festival Poznań, Poland), Sir Jonathan Mills (Festival Director and Chief Executive Edinburgh International Festival, UK). Have a look at the list of presenters of the previous Ateliers.

Join a unique new network

The Atelier counts today 264 alumni from 60 countries coming from 7 Ateliers for Young Festival Managers since 2006 in Goerlitz (Germany), Varna (Bulgaria), Singapore, Izmir (Turkey), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Edinburgh (UK) and Poznan (Poland). Participants of the Gwangju edition will become part of this unique global network of young festival makers which will grow further after the upcoming Beirut 2015 Atelier in Lebanon from 21-27 March 2015.

How to apply

The application form must be submitted by 12 January 2015. All information on the Atelier, selection criteria, application procedure and application form can be found on the Atelier website.

Get to know Gwangju, Chonnam National University, Asian Culture Complex and Asian Arts Theatre

Gwangju Metropolitan City is one of the six largest cities in Korea, with a population of 1.4 million. Gwangju is rich in culture and art, as shown by its cultural initiatives such as Hub City of Asian Culture project and Gwangju Biennale which make the city one of the most vibrant and colourful places in the country.

Chonnam National University (CNU), located in Gwangju Metropolitan City, is one of the most prestigious national universities in Korea. CNU has been playing a pivotal role in strengthening justice and human rights in Korean history, since its establishment in 1952. Consisting of 59 academic departments in 19 colleges and 11 graduate programs, CNU maintains international ties with 300 universities in 42 countries. The Graduate School of Culture (GSC), which was opened in March 2006, is Korea's first and only graduate school specializing in culture. GSC currently provides three master's programs including "Culture and Arts Planning," "Culture Management and Tourism" and "Media Art and Technology". Having been selected for the Korean government's Brain Korea 21 plus project (2013-2020), GSC pursues its vision of a "world-class graduate school specializing in education and research in the field of cultural convergence and training creative and glocal culture professionals."

Asian Culture Complex, a government-funded establishment housed in the heart of Gwangju, is doubtless the most ambitious and momentous art project in Korean history in terms of budget, artistic vision and spatial scale. Based in this newly constructed complex, Asian Arts Theatre questions, supports, and creates contemporary performing arts in Asia. The theatre will produce, co-produce, invite and promote art works from Asia as well as the rest of the world. It aspires to become a hub for the production, presentation, discussion and international distribution of the most cutting-edge works in the context of the international performing arts scene. In September 2015, the theatre opens with a three week opening festival which will present almost 30 commissioned, co-produced and invited works, with main emphasis on Asian artists.

Find out more

· Upcoming Ateliers: BEIRUT 2015; GWANGJU 2015

· Previous Ateliers: POZNAN 2014; EDINBURGH 2014; LJUBLJANA 2012; IZMIR 2011; SINGAPORE 2011; VARNA 2009; GOERLITZ 2006

Follow us online

· Atelier on facebook

· EFA on twitter


In case of questions please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +32 2 644 48 00.

Best regards,

Kathrin Deventer, Secretary General EFA

Inge Ceustermans, Project Manager Atelier for Young Festival Managers


European Festivals Association (EFA)

Kleine Gentstraat 46

9051 Gent - Belgium

T: +32 9 241 8080

F: +32 9 241 8089

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The Festival Academy

Sainctelettesquare 17

1000 Brussels - Belgium

T: +32 2 644 48 00

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EFA receives support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. EFA thanks the Flemish Community and the City of Ghent for their support.

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