Testimonies - ATELIER VALLETTA 2019

23 March 19

The 15th edition of the Festival Academy’s Atelier for Young Festival Managers took place from 23 - 29 March 2019 in Valletta, Malta, organised in partnership with Festivals Malta. 32 selected applicants attended the 7-day training programme during which they have discussed various aspects of festival management with renowned festival managers from pioneering festivals and outstanding art centres and institutes from all over the world.

Evegnia Kavvadia, Eleusis ECoC 2021, Greece

"One of the treasures of the 16nth Atelier in Malta was the opportunity to share questions and thoughts with our "distant relatives", people from the Arab region, Africa, people from continents that aren't that far! 

Culture was the context within which we were able to talk about our cultures, but never taken for granted. The Atelier offered the opportunity to deconstruct the usual dipoles of West and East, and tackle topics such as artistic excellence and mass audiences, culture and economy and reset new standars towards new shapes of creativity, fresh approaches to our work and to our worlds. 

Malta, one of the most historical crossroads of the Mediterranean was the perfect setting of that unique experience!"

Angele Galea, Artistic Consultant, Malta

"The Atelier provided us an environment to meet and discuss issues we as festival management go through. Relevant and important concerns were examined meticulously and everyone was willing to share their experiences. With each exercise and presentation we could all feel enriched by the process. It was a great opportunity for networking and such fun. Thank you."

Grayson Wambach, Creator and Producer, USA

Grayson was a participant in the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Valletta, Malta 2019 and in January 2020 he took part, as a mentor, in the pilot edition of Digital (R)Evolution: A Communication & New Technologies Training (Antwerp, BE). 

Referring to the Atelier Malta, he says 'I built relationships from that experience that have allowed me the opportunity to collaborate with Malta’s Science in the City Festival, the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit, and Baybeats Music Festival in Singapore.'

Matteo Pennazzi, Festival Manager, Lugo Music Festival, Italy

“Be ready for what you would never expect. Be ready to enjoy each minute, each talk, each break, each meal because that’s going to be so surprisingly interesting.”

Luiz Corradazzi, Founder Pangea Cultura, Brazil

“It is a privilege and an opportunity to, more than getting to know other people, getting to know your own experiences, in more depth. It is really a luxury to be away from home for a few days in a different context and having reality shocks every day. I think the festival atelier is an opportunity to get to know yourself better and think everything through in a very safe environment.”

Robyn Archer, Artistic Director The Light in Winter Festival, Australia

“My experience of the atelier has been fantastic. I consider an enormous privilege to be invited into this authentic vulnerable space. I enjoyed it very much because so much of festival directors is being the front, the face, the confidence, the outspoken and we need a place in which we can be vulnerable. I think that for a mentor, it is exactly the same as it is for a participant.”

Shahidul Alam, Chobi Mela International Photography Festival, Bangladesh

“Each festival is different, each situation is different, and we have so much to learn from one another. A safe place where you can open yourself up to your insecurities in some cases and talk about your dreams and ambitions, it is not so common. And to have such a diverse group of people and such a fine group of mentors is quite rare.” 

Lily Hughes, Edinburgh International Culture Summit, UK

“So far, the experience of being at the atelier has been really intense and just an incredible moment of learning and sharing. I think of reflection and growth and just being able to be with these people, learn about their challenges, think through those challenges with them. It’s nice to know that there is a collective global concern and that we can all come together.”

Hitomi Matsumoto, P3 art and environment, Japan

'The 7-day program was so substantial. There were presentations of festivals by all participants, discussions on various topics to be considered in carrying out festivals, presentations by working groups, and cultural visits to several spots in Malta. What was impressive for me was that there was rarely one-way lecture format, and most of the time was spent on discussions and communications between the participants.'

You can read more about her experience at the Atelier here.