Mentors and Speakers
During their participation, they not only acted as lecturers but also as true mentors as they engaged in in-depth discussions with the participants. They were present for multiple days, some for the whole period of the training. They allowed participants an honest and open insight into their careers, including both success stories and failures.
The mentors and speakers present during Online Training #3 were:
- Mike Van Graan - Playwright, project manager at Sustaining Theatre and Dance (STAND) Festival - South Africa
- Brett Pyper - Associate Professor and Head of the Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, former CEO of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (Absa KKNK) – South Africa
- Robyn Archer - Singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate for the arts, former Artistic Director of the Adelaide and Melbourne International Arts Festivals - Australia
- Ahmed El Attar - Theater director, playwright, cultural manager, founder and general manager of Orient Productions, founder and artistic director of The Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF), Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Ministry of Culture - Egypt
- Dena Davida - Contemporary dance curator, performer, educator, writer and researcher, co-founder of the Festival international de nouvelle danse and the Tangente dance performance space, co-creator and managing editor of Turba: The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation - Canada
- Gabi Gonçalves - Creator and coordinator of Corpo Rastreado, Risco Festival and FarOFFA - Brazil
- Gunjan Arya - CEO Only Much Louder, NH7 Weekender Festival - India
Guy Weizman - Artistic Director and choreographer at Noord Nederlands Toneel, Club Guy & Roni and NITE - Israel/Netherlands
- John Ashford - Director of Aerowaves, former director of The Place Theatre and the ICA Theatre, founding theatre editor of Time Out magazine - United Kingdom
- Marsha Reid - Executive director at Kindred Arts. curator and public programs director at Monumental Tour - United States of America
- Pedro de Freitas - Director at Périplo, creator of FarOFFA - Brazil
- Roselle Pineda - Curator, dramaturge, educator, scholar, community worker, artist-activist, founder and artistic director of Aurora Artist Residency Program and Space (AARPS) and Performance Curators Initiatives (PCI) - Philippines
Working Group leaders:
- Lily Hughes - Programme Manager for the Edinburgh International Culture Summit - United Kingdom
- Mauricio Lomelin – Former producer at the Lincoln Centre New York, associate producer at Por Piedad Teatro - United States of America/Mexico
- Tom Creed - Theatre and opera director, festival director and independent producer - Ireland
- Jurriaan Cooiman - Founder and Director of CULTURESCAPES - Switzerland
- Vallejo Gantner - Artistic executive director of the Onassis Foundation USA, chair at Hoovie - United States of America
Mike van Graan
Playwright, project manager at Sustaining Theatre and Dance (STAND) Festival - South Africa
Mike van Graan, founder of the African Cultural Policy Network, has served in leadership positions in a variety of anti-apartheid cultural organizations such as the Congress of South African Writers and the National Arts Coalition of South Africa. He is also an award-winning playwright, who has written thirty plays to this date. He was appointed as Artscape’s Associate Playwright from 2011-2014 and is considered one of South Africa’s leading contemporary playwrights.
He is the 2018 recipient of the Sweden-based Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture Award in recognition of his contribution to the fight against apartheid, to building a post-apartheid society and to the interface of peace and culture both in South Africa and across the African continent.
You can read his full bio here.
Associate Professor and Head of the Wits School of Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, former CEO of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (Absa KKNK) – South Africa
Brett Pyper is Associate Professor and Head of School at University of the Witwatersrand School of the Arts, a cultural practitioner, arts administrator, festival director, music researcher and academic. He began his career as an arts administrator and facilitator of developmental music projects during the transition from apartheid before taking up a Fulbright scholarship to study in the US, where he was based for six years (1998 – 2004). He holds Master’s degrees from Emory University (in Public Culture) and New York University (in Ethnomusicology and Popular Music Studies), and is currently writing a doctoral dissertation on contemporary jazz culture in South Africa.
Between 2005 and 2007, he headed the Division of Heritage Studies and Cultural Management in the University of the Witwatersrand School of Arts in Johannesburg, incorporating the Centre for Cultural Policy and Management. In August 2007, he was appointed CEO of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (Absa KKNK), which takes place annually at Easter time in the town of Oudtshoorn in the rural Western Cape and is currently expanding its organisational mandate as the non-profit company Kuns Onbeperk (Arts Unlimited). He held this post till the end of September, 2013.
Brett was founding Chair of the South African Society for Research in Music, which was formed out of the merger of the former Southern African Musicological Society and the Ethnomusicology Symposium associated with the International Library of African Music. He also serves on the steering committee of the Arterial Network, South Africa.
Singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate for the arts, former artistic director of the Adelaide and Melbourne International Arts Festivals - Australia
Robyn Archer AO FAHA is a singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate for the arts. She currently tours highly acclaimed recitals of French, German and American song, and is preparing two new programs for 2021. During COVID-19 she has recorded online performances for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, written for the Australian Book Review and Griffith Review and is preparing an arts and cultural strategy for a new capital city precinct. Winner of the Helpmann Award for Best Cabaret Performer 2013, and named Cabaret Icon at the 2016 Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Robyn is recognised internationally for her expertise in the repertoire of the Weimar Republic (20s and 30s Germany), and for many other stage successes as well as her eleven albums, most notably Robyn Archer Sings Brecht (recorded at Abbey Road with The London Sinfonietta). Her back catalogue will be released digitally at the end of 2020.
She is equally known worldwide for her wider contributions to the arts. She was formerly Artistic Director of the Adelaide and Melbourne International Arts Festivals, creator of Ten Days on the Island for Tasmania, and The Light in Winter for Melbourne, and creative director of The Centenary of Canberra 2013. Former Deputy Chair of The Australia Council, Robyn was cultural advisor to arts and culture on the Gold Coast for three years and recently chaired the Board of HOTA: Home of the Arts for a further two years. She also chaired the inaugural Master of Fine Arts in Cultural Leadership at NIDA.
You can find out more about Robyn here.
Ahmed El Attar
Theater director, playwright, cultural manager, founder and general manager of Orient Productions, founder and artistic director of The Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF), Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Ministry of Culture - Egypt
Ahmed El Attar is an Egyptian independent theater director, playwright, and cultural manager. He is the founder and general manager of Orient Productions, a leading Cairo-based private production company that offers various services and hosts a number of diverse projects in the fields of entertainment, arts and culture.
El Attar is also the founder and artistic director of The Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF): Egypt’s largest international contemporary arts festival, Studio Emad Eddin (SEE) Foundation, a unique project that provides training and rehearsal spaces for independent performing artists in Egypt, Maktabi: Cairo’s only creative office spaces dedicated to the creative sector, DX-Media: a digital platform producing compelling, relevant and contemporary cultural digital content that lasts beyond the fleeting trends in today’s digital media environments and the Temple Independent Theater Company.
His theatre work has been performed in the most prestigious theaters and festivals in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Sweden, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia, Scotland the UAE and the United States of America. His 2007 play, F**K Darwin or How I Have Learned to Love Socialism, received the Best Actor Award at the 22nd edition of the Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre.
In January 2010, El Attar received the prize for Best Theatre Text from the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development for his play Life Is Beautiful or Waiting for My Uncle from America. In November 2013, he received the Pioneers of Egypt award from Synergos Foundation in the United States.
His latest productions include The Last Supper - which he wrote and directed - dealing with the apathy of the Egyptian bourgeoisie and was performed in 2015 as part of the official selection of the sixty-ninth edition of Avignon Festival and at the forty-fourth edition of the Festival d’Automne in Paris. It has been touring the world ever since. Before the Revolution 2017, is a show aimed at bringing to the spectator the oppressive atmosphere prior to the Egyptian revolution of 2011. This 45-minute performance mixing between stage, writing, and musical rhythm was performed several times in Egypt and Europe and is currently still touring internationally.
El Attar is currently touring internationally with his latest theatre play entitled Mama which was premiered at the 72nd edition of Festival D’Avignon in July 2018. This performance is concerned with both the role and the impact of ‘the mother’ and women in general, especially in light of Egypt’s traditional family structures and its patriarchal society.
In 2018 Attar was presented the title of a “Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters” by the French Ministry of Culture for his significant contributions to theater.
Contemporary dance curator, performer, educator, writer and researcher, co-founder of the Festival international de nouvelle danse and the Tangente dance performance space, co-creator and managing editor of Turba: The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation - Canada
Dena Davida has been a contemporary dance curator, performer, educator, writer and researcher for 45 years. She has lived in Montréal since 1977, where she co-founded the Festival international de nouvelle danse and the Tangente dance performance space (1980-1929). She taught dance practice and theory in the Dance Department at the Université du Québec à Montréal (1979-2010) where she completed a doctoral dissertation with an ethnographic study of meaning in a contemporary dance event (2006).
Her writing on dance and culture and live arts curation has been widely published in magazines, journals, and books. She co-edited the anthologies Fields in Motion: Ethnography in the worlds of dance (2012), and Curating Live Arts: Critical perspectives, essay and conversation in theory and practice (2018). Her current project: co-creator and managing editor of Turba: The Journal for Global Practices in Live Arts Curation.
Creator and coordinator of Corpo Rastreado, Risco Festival and FarOFFA - Brazil
Gabi Gonçalves is the creator and coordinator of Corpo Rastreado, which for 15 years has been dedicated exclusively to the production of the performing arts and its possible developments. With approximately 58 artists / groups, Corpo Rastreado is also responsible for the idealization and creation of RISCO FESTIVAL and FAROFFA.
CEO Only Much Louder, NH7 Weekender Festival - India
Gunjan Arya is the CEO of OML Entertainment, a new media and entertainment company that partners with creators to build content, IPs & live experiences that play in culture, and help artists, brands and platforms build equity. With its roots in creator management and artist representation, OML's operations today includes an award-winning content studio that packages and produces shows for OTT platforms, live events production and a global brand solutions business.
Gunjan has been working in the fields of marketing and design since the age of 16 and started her own brand consulting company ‘Design of Information’ in 2009, which won several coveted awards globally. Gunjan, who has been part of OML since 2015, was instrumental in building OML's global creator network over the last three years that now operates across 20+ countries and 400+ content creators. She has also been a key member of the live events team – from the design of the very first BACARDÍ NH7 Weekender festival to today leading the business vertical hands-on that runs over 300+ shows every year.
Gunjan is an alumnus of the Schools of Communications and Visual Arts at Emerson College in Boston, with further education from Harvard Business School, and her time off-line is best spent cooking with her husband or at the barré.
Artistic Director and
choreographer at Noord Nederlands Toneel, Club Guy & Roni and
NITE - Israel/Netherlands
Guy Weizman has been the artistic director of the Noord Nederlands Toneel since 2017 and still leads the international dance company Club Guy & Roni from Theater de Machinefabriek in addition to the Noord Nederlands Toneel. De Twaalf Gezworenen was Guy Weizman's stage directorial debut at the Noord Nederlands Toneel. His debut performance as artistic director of the Noord Nederlands Toneel, Carrousel, was nominated for the Mime Prize and for the performance Salam he received the 2018 Director Prize from the Nederlands Toneeljury.
Brave New World 2.0 premiered in March 2019, Guy Weizman's third stage production, in which he collaborates with actors from Noord Nederlands Toneel, dancers from Club Guy & Roni, and musicians from Asko | Schönberg and Slagwerk Den Haag.
Guy Weizman started his career as a dancer in the Bat-Sheva Ensemble in Tel Aviv. After that, he danced with various companies in Berlin, Barcelona and Galili Dance in Groningen. In 2002 he founded the international dance company Club Guy & Roni in Groningen together with Roni Haver (Jerusalem, 1972). Club Guy & Roni has made a name for itself in recent years with performances such as Alpha Boys (nominated for the Zwaan 2011), L'Histoire du Soldat (winner of the Golden Mask Award in Russia in 2013), Midnight Rising (winner of Zwaan's most impressive dance production 2013) and Naked Lunch (winner Swan 2014 for dancer Igor Podsiadly).
Director of Aerowaves, former director of The Place Theatre and the ICA Theatre, founding theatre editor of Time Out magazine - United Kingdom
John Ashford is Director of Aerowaves, the European network for new dance discovery he founded in 1996. Since then it has grown from an informal gathering of professional friends from 12 countries to an expert network of 46 Partners representing dance artists across Europe. During the last decade it has attracted yearly funding from the European Union, initially as a network at €70,000 rising to the current grant as a Platform at €500,000. Its activities include the festival Spring Forward, the dissemination of the works presented there throughout its network, and the development of young dance writers at Springback Academy and its associated Springback Magazine.
John Ashford CBE was previously Director of The Place Theatre and the ICA Theatre in London, and founding Theatre Editor of Time Out magazine.
Executive director at Kindred Arts. curator and public programs director at Monumental Tour - United States of America
Marsha Reid is an interdisciplinary arts presenter/producer, cultural organizer, and arts activist based in Harlem, New York. Her nonprofit work and collaborative projects address Cultural Equity, public space, community and communitas.
Currently curating public programs for Monumental, a public art exhibit, traveling across the United States, empowering social change through the arts.
Previous curatorial and production credits include: Artistic Planning for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, programming and presenting Large-scale performance marathons, innovative dance, theater, music, and inter-media performances. Black Girls Rock (Awards & Tour); Heineken Red Star Soul Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors; Midsummer Night Swing; NYC Parks Summer on The Hudson; TEDxMet; Jazz & Colors NYC.
Pedro de Freitas
Director at Périplo, creator of FarOFFA - Brazil
Pedro de Freitas is director of Périplo, a performing arts management company focused in international exchanges and touring. Since 2009 worked with artists from all continents always with the purpose of creating a connection between Brazilian and international artists. In order to create new possibilities to keep working with arts and develop paths for the mobility of Brazilian performing arts, created in 2020 the FarOFFA exhibition in partnership with Corpo Rastreado.
Curator, dramaturge, educator, scholar, community worker, artist-activist, founder and artistic director of Aurora Artist Residency Program and Space (AARPS) and Performance Curators Initiatives (PCI) - Philippines
Roselle Pineda is a curator, dramaturge, educator, scholar, community worker, and artist-activist. She teaches at the University of the Philippines and is the founder and artistic director of the community-based art organisation -- Aurora Artist Residency Program and Space (AARPS) -- and the network of performance curators -- Performance Curators Initiatives (PCI).
Her most recent works include the festival curatorship of the yearly Adow ne Domaget (Dumagat Day) festival in Dingalan, Aurora since 2018 up to the present, and the curatorial and archival project DOCULEKTIV in collaboration with the AARPS Collective.
She is currently taking her Ph.D. in Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia with a study focusing on festival curation in indigenous communities in the Philippines.
Programme Manager for the Edinburgh International Culture Summit - United Kingdom
Lily Hughes is a freelance cultural strategist, programmer and producer with a focus on festivals and international relations. She has held positions with the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, Georgetown University’s Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and the British Film Institute. Her career is focused on the intersection of arts and culture with civic life and the positive role artists can play in societies across the globe. Her background is in film festivals and she has worked at London Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Africa in Motion and Double Exposure Film Festival. She is an active member of the Festival Academy’s alumni community.
Former producer at the Lincoln Centre New York - United States of America/Mexico
A native of Guadalajara, Mexico, Mauricio Lomelin began his professional career in Mexico City in the field of marketing, focusing on event production. He went on to pursue an MFA in Theater Producing from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where he produced several plays with the school’s professional arm, the CalArts Center for New Performance.
Mauricio served as Producer of Contemporary Programming for Lincoln Center in New York City for over ten years, where he presented works by U.S.-based and international artists, as part of two main festivals: the Mostly Mozart Festival and the White Light Festival.
Currently, he serves as Associate Producer for the New York City operations of the Mexican theater company Por Piedad Teatro, which has presented off-Broadway productions of the plays Working on a Special Day (based on Ettore Scola’s film of the same name) and The Duchamp Syndrome. Mauricio is a grant recipient from the National Endowment for the Arts in Mexico.
Theatre and opera director, festival director and independent producer - Ireland
Tom Creed is a theatre and opera director, festival director and independent producer based in Dublin. His productions have been seen all over Ireland and at prestigious theatres, opera houses and festivals on three continents. He has previously been Festival Director of Cork Midsummer Festival and Theatre and Dance Curator of Kilkenny Arts Festival.
He is a member of the steering committee of Ireland's National Campaign for the Arts and the board of GAZE Film Festival and Theatre Forum (Ireland). He has participated as a speaker and moderator in three editions of Festival Readings for the Festival Academy and was on the inaugural EFFE jury in 2015.
Founder and Director of CULTURESCAPES - Switzerland
Jurriaan Cooiman, born in Netherlands, has a MA cultural Management from the University of Basel. He lives and works in Switzerland and is the Founder/Director of CULTURESCAPES since 2003. CULTURESCAPES is a multi-disciplinary Festival and a Biennale since 2015 with focus on countries, cities or regions (2003 Georgia, 2004, Ukraine, 2005 Armenia, 2006 Estonia, 2007 Romania, 2008 Turkey, 2009 Aserbaidschan, 2010 China, 2011 Israel, 2012 Moscow, 2013 Balkan, 2014 Tokio, 2015 Island, 2017 Greece, 2019 Poland). For the future, CULTURESCAPES plans to be in: 2021 Amazonas, 2023 Sahara, 2025 Himalaya, 2027 Oceans. CULTURESCAPES is a Member of EFA since 2007.
Artistic executive director of the Onassis Foundation USA, chair at Hoovie - United States of America
Since 2019, Vallejo Gantner is the Artistic Executive Director of the Onassis Foundation USA, an innovative programming foundation based in Athens with satellites in New York and Los Angeles. He was the Artistic Director of Performance Space 122 (now Performance Space New York) from 2005-2017 and a consulting curator for BAM and Theater de Welt. For 20 years, working across live performance in all disciplines, cinema, design and hospitality Gantner has sought innovative artists, work, and ideas building new experience and forms of communication for audiences.
He is the chair of Hoovie - a new model of film distribution developing innovative ways that enable independent film screenings in private spaces, and MAKRS, a company supporting creative urban ecosystems of artists, artisans and ideas people. A board member of Myer Family Investments, and Jianguo, both diversified investment companies based in Melbourne, he is currently engaged in driving these toward a new strategy of sustainable investment. He also serves on the boards of In Between Time (Bristol), the Chocolate Factory (NYC) and various philanthropic institutions in Australia.