The participants represented a broad diversity of cultural and professional backgrounds – from students in arts management, to young managers working for large established organisations, to emerging curators running their own innovative international festivals. They all shared the desire to implement excellent artistic festivals.
The Training: gathering an enormous variety of creative minds
Festival managers coming from all over the world who are interested in different aspects of festival management were selected. The Training up-skilled and informed them about the state of play of the world today and offered a time out to reflect critically on the role of festivals in today’s world, infused by people of different backgrounds and perspectives who can challenge and provoke our thinking or the way we do things.
We are delighted to announce that this Online Training was followed by 42 participants from 35 countries and 5 continents. Please find the participants list here.
You can check their biographies below.
Ali Rabah is a business administration student who has 5 years' experience in youth and social work and non-formal learning. His journey in this field started in Austria where he developed voluntary work for 1 year in a youth club. Back to Palestine, he started developing skills in this field through national and international training courses, until he could focus his career on LARP (Live Action Role Playing). Now with 4 years' experience in his organisation and LARP, Ali finds that this tool can be used in so many diverse methods to perform non-formal learning.
Born in Armenia, Ani Hovsepyan has been involved in the festival management for already 10 years. At present she holds the position of Administrative Assistant and Project Manager at the "Yerevan Perspectives" International Music Festival and is a PhD researcher at Brusov State University. Her educational background was reinforced by PhD research project at the City College, the University of Sheffield International Faculty for the period of two years.
Ani holds BA and MA degrees in Languages and Intercultural Communication. She participated in a number of mobility projects, trainings, seminars and conferences in various higher educational institutions, non-governmental organizations throughout Europe. With advanced academic and professional background, she has a great experience in managing different projects, educational programs, as well as national and international projects. From 2017 she has been delivering course “Career Management” for the BA 2nd year students and “Managerial Competences” for the MA students at the Brusov State University, Chair on Education Management and Planning.
Blythe Stuart Linger
Blythe Stuart Linger is a well-known Arts administrator and practitioner in South Africa, with the certificate in supervisory management and extensive experience and background in business and sales. Blythe specialises in; Budgeting, Contracts, Logistics, Planning, Management of teams and creative solutions in the arts. He is currently the Founder and owner of BSL Management (PTY) LTD. and managing director of Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa, where he expresses his passion for the youth and explores the power of theatre in our communities. He finds himself most appreciative to have been able to work with world-renowned theatre practitioners such as; Basil Appollis, Mike van Graan, Lebogang Mashile, Koleka Putuma and many more.
Brandon Farnsworth, born in 1991, works as an independent music curator, and as a research associate at the Zurich University of the Arts, where he also studied classical music performance and transdisciplinary studies. His is pursuing his doctoral degree in historical musicology at the University of Music Carl Maria von Weber Dresden, and is an affiliated researcher with the joint Epistemologies of Aesthetic Practice doctoral program at the Collegium Helveticum.
Production designer, stage designer and production manager, Carine Tredgold is a Bachelor in Architecture from the University of Cape Town. She is the production manager for HIFA (Harare International Festival of Arts) since 2000 and technical advisor/stage management training responsible for Sauti za Busara, Zanzibar since 2015. She is also the production designer for feature films, short film projects and documentaries since 1987.
Camila Provoste Cid
Camila Provoste Cid is a Producer and Cultural Manager. Master candidate in Cultural Management from the University of Chile and a bachelor's degree in Drama from the University of Chile. Currently is the Production Manager of Festival de Artes Cielos del Infinito, Producer of the theater company Geografía Teatral and Director Assistance of Festival Internacional de Teatro del Bobío. Camila has worked as a Producer in the field of different - national and international - productions. Her interest focuses on the development of local, decentralizing, and democratizing cultural policies, particularly in Patagonia, Chile.
Clio Flego is an artistic programmer and cultural manager. She received a graduate degree in Visual and Performing Arts at IUAV University in Venice and she is a former Media Arts Cultures scholar. Her expertise is sound art, experimental music and expanded cinema. Clio has cooperated as a creative and critical thinker with Universities and cultural institutions all around the world, collaborating in many international festivals and events based across Europe. She plays as DJ Wasabii.
With nearly a decade of experience under his belt, Edward Boafo Owusu is, today, a valuable asset to Ghana’s media, marketing, arts and culture space. Driven by a strong passion to help build the country’s entertainment and creative arts industry through policy and political advocacy, Owusu is constantly actively involved in formulating strategies and curating iconic products in various capacities within the landscape. In 2019, he worked with Music in Africa Foundation as Project Coordinator for ACCES, an international conference for music industry professionals. Other projects he has worked on include Afro Nation Ghana and the Mask4All Campaign, an initiative that provided over ten thousand free nose masks to the vulnerable in society.
Owusu is currently co-owner and general manager for 3 Media Networks, the media and entertainment company behind 3 Music (media content production & distribution), Music Awards, 3Music Women’s Honors and 3 Music Fanfest. Before joining 3 Media Networks, Owusu spent about five years working in radio and tv, advertising, marketing and events. He also worked as a management and brand consultant for renowned Ghanaian creatives including Obrafour, Rex Omar, Camidoh and still engages in independent consultancy. As a political and policy advocate, Edward believes that arts and culture can only thrive with the active involvement of the state through relevant policies and the needed funding.
George Mario Attard
georgemario produces works between the realms of fine art, music and graphic design. He studied these subjects with various artists active on the islands of Malta, both as an apprentice and in local institutions as part of formal education programs. This led to further education in the United Kingdom where he was awarded with a Master of Arts Distinction from the University for the Creative Arts. In recent years self-initiated projects were exhibited outside conventional institutions, creating a series of installations and happenings in selected spaces. The work often generates dialogue and interaction within the community. At times the community is central to the work itself. The current focus of the work is to discuss how art can be actively engaged with the subject being explored. A wide repertoire of work was exhibited and performed in various spaces; physical and virtual. He participated in numerous collective exhibitions locally and abroad. Through the years independent research has been more integral in the creative process of the work. Currently he is continuing with his research at the Mediterranean Institute at the University of Malta specialising in Ethnography and Ethnomusicology studies.
Jaemin, Shin is the festival director and the head of the festival team at Pohang Cultural Foundation. Moreover, he was a former producer of Jeong-Dong theater (Gyoengju) and an educator of Art-Center GS Caltex YEULMARU in Yeosu. Currently, he is producing as the festival director of Pohang International Fire&Light Festival and Homi-Got New-Year Festival, also managing a Pohang Steel Arts Festival since 2017. He received a B.A. degree in the department of Theatre and Performing Arts, Handong University. Furthermore, he recently produced a play Pyro-Theatre <Last Dragon's Ascending to Heaven> in 2019 and a non-verbal performance <Basilla> in 2015-2016.
John Namai is a professional storyteller, trainer, facilitator and festival organizer in the East Africa region with a love for traveling and sharing stories. He has toured in many international storytelling festivals, including in Sweden, Denmark, Romania, India, South Africa, Ethiopia and Somalia. Namai participated in the 20th KANOON international Storytelling festival in Tehran and achieved the third rank in the storytelling festival competition in 2018. He is a founding member of Zamaleo Acts, an organization dedicated to the promotion of the creative arts in Nairobi.
Juul Huitema (25) graduated from the masterprogram Arts, Policy and Cultural Entrepreneurship at the University of Groningen in june 2019. Since then, she has been working as a freelance (creative) producer and business director in the field of performing arts and arts festivals. She is currently working for International Filmfestival Assen, Theatrecompany Tussenland and Electronic Music Society. She is mainly active in the northern area of the Netherlands.
Lorena Martinez Mier
Lorena Martínez Mier is an arts manager and producer. Since 2005, she has been working in performing arts projects. She is specialized in Arts & Disability and Festivals. She is currently working at British Council México as Arts Programme Manager.
For the last 10 years, Lovorka Sršen has been a part of the Croatian festival community in various roles for festivals of various formats and industries. She worked at international film festivals such as Animafest Zagreb and ZagrebDox, and most notably at Motovun Film Festival. During 8 festival seasons at MFF she went from assisting to managing the Hospitality office, then to Executive production and leading festival protocol (2013-2018). She was the Project manager and Executive producer for 3 years at Design District Zagreb festival (2017-2019), an interdisciplinary open-air festival dedicated to art and creative industries. Her experience in music festivals started with managing the festival office and PR at Zagreb International Chamber Music Festival (ZagrebKOM), then expanded through work at an events&rental company that partook in production of festivals such as Špancirfest, through tehcnical production and stage/backstage/hospitality management.
She currently works at Croatian Composers' Society as the Executive producer at Jazz.hr project and international festival, and Producer at the international contemporary music festival Music Biennale Zagreb.
Louise Demelas is a French cultural manager and translator/interpreter. She studied English, German and Slovak languages, linguistics and translation at the University Paris 7 and at the Institute for oriental languages (INALCO) in Paris. She graduated in cultural management at the Academy of Music Franz Liszt Weimar, Germany. She has worked on a variety of artistic projects, from artist residency programs in Slovakia and the Netherlands to a year-long assistance to the audience development department of HELLERAU (European Centre for the Arts Dresden, Germany) and a trinational theatre project in Ukraine, France and Germany. Since May 2020, she is working as a freelance consultant for the Dutch international development organisation Hivos, where she is coordinating a Community Resilience Fund created in response to the outbreak of Covid-19, as well as assisting the development of African Crossroads, a pan-African network of thinkers and doers, among which artists and art collectives.
Magdalena Żelasko is cinema enthusiast, film festival organiser (LET'S CEE Film Festival), film distributor (CEE FILMS), EU expert (EU Youth Cinema) and film curator. Originally from Cracow/Poland, has been living in Vienna for about 25 years now. The certified marketing and advertising expert with a diploma from the Business School in Cracow studied Slavic studies, journalism and communication sciences at the University of Vienna, which she soon after rounded up with a Ph.D. in 2005. She has worked as a manager for several international companies and as a well-published journalist for various Austrian and Polish media. The university lecturer with focus on culture and communication, documentary photographer and charity activist for human rights and integration projects is also organiser and participant in panel discussions and events across these areas.
Matjamela Motloung has 20 years of exceptional aptitude in various spheres of theatre in both social development and commercial work. He is a theatre director, producer and trainer who was discovered through the Market Theatre Standard Bank Arts Administration program in 1998. And he advanced to different roles at the Market Theatre for 13 years, culminating in him being the head of Market Theatre Laboratory from 2008 – 2011. Over the last 10 years Matjamela has worked across his country with different institutions and organisations including recently as the Resident Director for Development for the Playhouse Theatre Company. He is also the founder and director of Ruban Noir Pty Ltd.
Mélisende Navarre helps productions from performimg arts Swiss companies and cultural projects come to life. After having worked as a French litterature teacher in Buenos Aires, she worked at the Resource and Development Department (digital department) of the Swiss Radio and Television (RTS). Since 2012 she works as education officer at Théâtre du Crochetan-Monthey in the Valais (CH) where she develops projects to make the arts more accessible to all, sharing and questioning them. She is also a part time consultant in the field of cultural engagement. Since 2019, she is artistic director at Assocation JR and she is in charge of the “Atelier theatre”.
Milica Popovic has a degree from Specialist's studies Field Of Study Maritime Management from University of Montenegro as well as a degree as a Bachelor of Information Technology Field Of Study Information Technology from University Mediterranean.
Employed in the Cultural center since 2016, she has worked as a program and festival organiser and manager and now as an agency and marketing consultant. She has been participating in numerous projects and training courses. At the moment she is also taking part in developing a strategy for the development of a cultural program for young people, as well as a local action plan for improving the quality of life of LGBT people in the municipality of Kotor.
Moein Mohebalian is a theater lecturer, researcher and playwright, with a Master of Theater Acting from the Art University of Tehran.
Mohamed Wahdan is a cultural production, artistic programming, and outreach consultant with 9 years of diverse experiences with several cultural outlets including the Abu Dhabi Festival, Dubai Design Week, Art Jameel, The Nile Project, and the New York Arab Art & Education Initiative.
Petra Terzi is a Greek filmmaker, producer and the creative director at the distribution platform Inspire-TV.com. She is a founding member at Cultural Company CINEART which organizes cultural international events in Greece and Cyprus since 2001. She is the director of the Cyprus International Film Festival focused on first shown filmmakers since 2006 and the Bridges International Film Festival in Greece focused on world cinema since 2008. Petra is a member of Greek Directors Guild, Cyprus Directors Guild and NYWIFT (Women in Film and Television in New York).
Sharmila Elias is a Senior Project Manager at Lake of Stars Africa (the award winning Lake of Stars Malawi Arts Festival, since 2004). South African – Malawian, with a tourism, business leadership and logistics professional background. Using her corporate skills to develop the arts, culture and tourism industry, currently in events planning, covering most aspects of the festival requirements at Lake of Stars, as the Senior Project Manager and Tourism Expert. Elias is also a writer, poet and stage actress. She writes her own work. Her work advocates for women’s rights, the youth, and against gender-based violence, child marriages and other pressing issues.
Susan Togra Díaz is an International Relations Specialist at Universidad de las Artes, Ecuador. Susan holds a master degree in Arts Management from Sibelius Academy - University of the Arts, Helsinki - Finland. Her bachelor studies are in Economics and Music. Susan has worked for Alliance Francaise in Guayaquil - Ecuador, the European Association of Conservatoires in Brussels - Belgium, and collaborated within international festivals and meetings from Belgium, Finland and Ecuador.
Susanna Basso is the Co-founder & Art Director of the Climate Crisis Creative Hub, a platform for climate action which hosts the Climate Crisis Film Festival every November. She has a background in event cinema, with a degree in Film Studies and a specialisation in festival curation, and work experience in film festivals and premières since 2011. In the past 4 years, Basso has been developing a focus on branding and creative management, as she saw a chance to contribute my skills as a designer and web developer to improve the visual communication and digitalisation of the organisations I worked for. After working as the Creative Manager for a fast-growing London social enterprise, she set up ALAK Design, where she works as Designer & Brand Consultant for a variety of international businesses. She has been involved in the Climate Crisis Film Festival since early 2019 and oversee all their branding, marketing and curatorial efforts.
Tamara Nassar has six years of experience in administrative work and is currently a program coordinator in Sareyyet (First Ramallah Group) which is an esteemed community organisation in Palestine. She has a BA from Egypt in hotel management and holds a degree in office management and event management. From a young age, Nassar enjoyed volunteering in performing arts, theater and music festivals held in her hometown and within her work she has become a festival assistant in the Ramallah Contemporary Dance Festival that is annually held by Sareyyet.
Victoria Kostova's experience with project and cultural management in her home country Bulgaria is built in through the NGO sector with working for festivals devoted to independent theater and contemporary dance like One Dance Week and CapitalLiterature. She has worked on different positions from logistics to production and is currently interested in management as a part of her new endeavour for Panic Button Theatre - a socially engaged interdisciplinary organization. Another big part of her practice is the management of projects for alternative educational facilities.
Youssef Soubai is a production manager in ATHENS SPACE Tinghir and manager in cultural affairs and preserving cultural diversity service in the regional council in Errachidia. He is preparing PHD dissertation on heritage management and preserving cultural diversity in the south of Morocco at Fez University. He received a grant from The Arab Council for the Social Sciences, Lebanon to conduct a research paper about cultural justice and was selected to participate in cultural policy and UNESCO 2005 Convention workshop initiated by Almawred Althaqafy in Tunisia and another grant by AFAC to participate in the Atelier for Young Festival Managers Düsseldorf/ Theater der Welt 2021. He also participated in several MOOCs and workshops and conferences in managing the arts, cultural investment, strategic planning on arts, creative industries in digital era, arts marketing, living human treasures, cultural diplomacy in countries like Morocco, Sultanate Oman, Egypt and Tunisia.
Zane Estere Gruntmane
For almost a decade Zane Estere Gruntmane (32) has been working with cross-sectoral project management for various cultural events in Latvia and internationally. She has a strong commitment to create, present and experience contemporary art. Her's curiosity and reliability in the field have been leading Zane to work with wide spectrum art forms and creative projects holistically, contributing in a creative way in all stages of the process. Furthermore, Zane's passion relies on innovative approaches of collaboration and partnership building at the international level, practices in creation and sustainability, audience development and community engagement. An artistic platform "Pigeon-bridge" (www.pigeonbridge.com) is one of the most relevant projects in which she combined production, curatorial and artistic interests. Since 2019 Zane Estere has found hers Home in Portugal and continues the professional development as a creative knowledge producer while building bridges of international partnerships and networking for the Aveiro 2027 (www.aveiro2027.pt) - the city's candidacy towards the nomination of the European Capital of Culture in 2027. Since 2018 she is a member of the Advisory Committee of IETM (www.ietm.org)