Sharing, exchanging and constructing know-how on arts festival management

"The Festival Academy offers a platform to meet and make connections with a diversity of creative minds creating a growing young community of festival makers worldwide. The training programmes provide a space and time to think collectively and to reflect on the role of festivals in a society in transition and the ways how to deal with this.” Inge Ceustermans, Managing Director The Festival Academy

The Festival Academy at a glance

Features in a nutshell

  • The Festival Academy offers life-long learning opportunities in festival management to emerging directors and passionate festival makers of all artistic disciplines, with a focus on the artistic role of festivals.
  • All training programmes start from the conviction that festivals are platforms with a major significance for the arts, the artist and their place in society. The circumstances in which a festival takes place are key to all discussions.
  • All training formats create opportunities by connecting local and international professionals, foster the development of new and long-term collaborations, and encourage an exchange of know-how.
  • All programmes are designed in close exchange with the local partner, thanks to which participants get to know the local cultural sector, the visibility of the city increases and local artists are supported.

Facts and figures

  • 21 Ateliers for Young Festival Managers since 2006 in Africa, Asia, Europe, MENA region and North America.
  • 1 Atelier for Solidarity, online (2020) 
  • 4 topic-based Online Ateliers (2020)
  • 1 Tailor Made Atelier for Greek Festival Managers ELEUSIS, Greece (2021) 
  • 1 Atelier for Young Festival & Cultural Managers, Shanghai, China (2017)
  • 11 Festival Readings since 2013 in Sibiu, Romania (2013, 2014, 2015); Yerevan, Armenia (2015); Bari, Italy (2017), Mechelen, Belgium (2018), Sochi, Russia (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) and Eleusis, Greece (2019)
  • 4 editions of the Festival Production Management Training with Modules in Antwerp, Belgium (Module I in 2016,  2017, 2018 and 2019) and Module III taking place in Istanbul, Turkey (2016) and Santarcangelo, Italy (2018)
  • 2 editions of Digital (R)Evolution: A Communication & New Technology Training in Antwerp, Belgium and Online (2020 and 2021)
  • A growing network of 838 Alumni from 96 countries and all continents
  • 308 renowned festival makers, artists, thought leaders and experts from all over the world attended as a mentor, speakers and guests.
  • Distinguished international festivals and institutions hosted training programmes including, amongst others, Edinburgh International Festival, Asia-Europe Foundation, Ljubljana Festival, Beiteddine Art Festival, Sibiu Performing Arts Market, Asia Culture Center, Malta Festival Poznan, deSingel International Art Campus, Festival TransAmériques, Budafabriek Kortrijk.
  • Numerous sponsors and partners including: 

The Festival Academy's main funding partners: the European Commission, Open Society Foundations and Drosos Foundation;

The  Festival Academy's partners supporting participants: Arab Fund for Arts and Culture,  Arts Council South Korea,  International Cities of Refuge Network,  The Performing Arts Social Fund Flemish Community, 2023 ELEVSIS.

The project partners including Festivals worldwide international festivals as Edinburgh International Festival, Asia-Europe Foundation, Ljubljana Festival, Beiteddine Art Festival and the  British Council, Doen Foundation, Flemish Community. The full list of project partners can be found here.

  • Numerous local artists and cultural venues have benefited.
  • 3 inspiring publications: 2 editions of the “Cahier de l’Atelier” (2008 and 2016) and “Inside/Insight Festivals” (2012), including texts by renowned festival directors on what’s at stake in the festival field, have been distributed worldwide.