In Retrospect

A group of 45 participants from all over the world was invited to take part in this intense course from 14 to 21 May 2011 in Singapore. The Atelier is especially designed for those who are working or have ambitions to become involved in programming or in programming related departments within a festival.

Nikki Cassidy, Participant from UK

"A significant value of the Atelier for me personally has been the chance to meet people who live and breathe artistic Festivals, from all over the world. I have enjoyed having my stereotypical assumptions of the world (seen through a prism of western media information) broken down, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to begin developing a greater understanding of other people, continents, cultures and viewpoints."

Warm welcome to Singapore

On Saturday, 14 May 2011, in Singapore, the opening ceremony of the third edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers took place. Held for the first time in Asia, the Atelier is jointly organised by the European Festivals Association (EFA), LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore, and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).

The first Atelier in Asia was officially opened by Mr Lee Suan Hiang, Executive Director of the Arts and Culture Development Office, Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts, in front of participants to the Atelier as well as numerous students of LASALLE. His introductory speech, as well as the ones by Kathrin Deventer, Secretary General of EFA, Alastair Pearce, President of LASALLE College of the Arts, Katelijn Verstraete, Assistant Director, Cultural Exchange Department ASEF, have paved the way for an exciting and inspiring week of work and exchanges between the 35 participants, coming from 20 countries, and the 12 renowned Atelier mentors and festival leaders.

High-level festival managers from across the globe

Leading and experienced festival operators, professionals and artists give lectures, lead workshops and take part in round tables and debates – all of them spending some days with the participants of the Atelier for face-to-face contacts and discussions.

  • Ching Lee Goh (Executive and Artistic Director CultureLink Singapore, Former Director Singapore Arts Festival - Singapore)
  • Grace Lang (Programme Director Hong Kong Festival Society - China)
  • Hugo De Greef (former EFA Secretary General (2004-2008), Director European Capital of Culture Bruges 2002, Co-Founder Kaaitheater, Brussels - Belgium)
  • Nele Hertling (Member of the Strategy Group “A Soul for Europe”, former Director Hebbel-Theatre, Berlin, General Manager European Capital of Culture Berlin 1988 - Germany)
  • Rose Fenton (International Arts Producer and Advisor, London- UK)
  • Bernard Faivre d’Arcier (President Biennale de la Danse de Lyon, former Director of the Festival d’Avignon - France)
  • Carla Van Zon (Artistic Director Auckland Arts Festival, former Director Creative New Zealand - New Zealand)
  • Seok Kyu Choi (Creative Producer of AsiaNow Productions, Jongno-gu - South Korea)
  • Norman Armour (Executive Director of the PuSH International Performing Arts Festival, Vancouver - Canada)
  • Robyn Archer (Creative Director The Centenary of Canberra (2013), Artistic Director of The Light in Winter - Australia)
  • Wai-Lap Kwong (Programme Director Guangdong Modern Dance Festival - China)

Intense 7-day programme

The programme of the Atelier Singapore aimed to foster cultural exchanges, and support participants in developing their personal projects through lectures, debates, small topic-based working groups, practical activities and case studies. Exchanges with artists and leading cultural institutions from the region were an excellent opportunity to link insights gained in the working sessions with the concrete environment.

Check out the full 7-day programme.


The motto borrowed from Bernard Faivre d’Arcier “The true role of a festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects” is the theme of the Atelier. Particular emphasis is placed on the artistic aspects of festival management, including artistic vision, political and social responsibility, internationalisation, networking, renewal and sustainability.

Michał Merzcyński - Participant of the Atelier

"The unchanging factor of a festival is that it changes all the time – and it has to! It is important to think again the idea of the festival, to feel the pulse of the arts, the pulse of society and to be open to change."

More insights


Atelier Singapore 2011 online: