Act for Global Change | Partner Kick-off Meeting 13 – 14 November 2019 in the framework of the Atelier NEXT

Act for Global Change | Partner Kick-off Meeting 13 – 14 November 2019 in the framework of the Atelier NEXT

ACT, a project supported by Creative Europe under the cooperation projects 2019.

The project entitled ‘Act for Global Change: A Global Conversation from the Arts to the World’ (ACT), supported by Creative Europe under the cooperation projects 2019, had its kick-off meeting during the framework of the Atelier NEXT (2019) of The Festival Academy.

The ACT Partners Kick-off Meeting happened on 13-14 November 2019 and was a crucial moment for all involved partners in the project to meet each other in person for the first time and discuss details about the upcoming workflow, planning and implementation of the cooperation project and how all parties would collaborate and proceed for the next 2 years. Therefore, during the meeting’s program, the first steps into implementing ACT and its ambitious goal to build bridges between different fields of actions, being the artistic, social, political, and business world were taken.

To this, it aims in a first phase to enable and facilitate a global inclusive conversation and critical reflection between festival managers from different art disciplines, origins, generations and social backgrounds on the role that arts, culture and more particularly festivals, can play in a fast changing world. 

The strategy towards reaching positive change consists of a series of new training modules, digital toolkits and a fund system for refugees. In a world increasingly polarized by inequality and lack of intercultural dialogue, ACT contributes towards more cultural diplomacy and informed, skilled leaders and activists with global perspectives, acting in solidarity to effect change on the local, regional, national, and international level.

Thanks to the kick-off program, all partners also had the first-hand experience of what an Atelier and the work of The Festival Academy are about. During the kick-off, partners were given the possibility to meet an international group of young and expert festival managers coming from all over the world while connecting with main stakeholders in the project. This first meeting also created links between the different Ateliers and training programmes that were a part of ACT as each programme built and continued on the previous ones. Partners were able to observe how the programme runs to be able to prepare the activities in the best possible way taking place at their organisation to fulfill the mission and vision of the cooperation project.

Day 1 - Official Keynote Panel: Festival and art-making in our contemporary world

ACT Partners Kick-off Meeting Program

- 12 November evening: informal dinner between TFA and Festival NEXT partners    

- 13 November 6-7 pm: Meeting NEXT Festival and all the partners - Getting a sense of where we are and an introduction to a unique festival model

- 13 November 7-8.30 pm: Opening Ceremony

  • Welcome by representatives of the region
  • Welcome by the International Arts Festival NEXT  
  • Welcome and introduction of the Atelier/ The Festival Academy by Inge Ceustermans, General Director The Festival Academy (an initiative of the European Festivals Association)
  • Keynote Panel: Festival and art-making in our contemporary world facilitated by Mike Van Graan, followed by three speakers each speaking to the theme from different contexts:
  • Airan Berg, Artistic Director and Theatre Maker - Festival der Regionen in Upper Austria
  • Andrea Caruso Saturnino, Director Cena Aberta, Sao Paulo - Brazil
  • Danny Yung, Experimental art pioneer, influential artist, Founding member and Co-Artistic Director Zuni Icosahedron - Hong Kong

- 13-19 November 2019: observation of Atelier by all the ACT partners

Partners and other experts at the kick-off meeting:

- Benoit Geers (International Arts Festival NEXT)

- Thomas Engel and Malin Nagel (German Centre of the International Theatre Institute)

- Karin Hanson (ICORN)

- Filia Milidaki (Eleusis 2021 European Capital of Culture)

- Inge Ceustermans, Laure Verbruggen (The Festival Academy)

- Mike van Graan (Facilitator of The Festival Academy)

- Airan Berg (Festival der Regionen) 

- Andrea Caruso Saturnino (Cena Aberta)

- Danny Yung (Zuni Icosahedron)

The ACT partners kick-off program, therefore, contributed towards a more global and inclusive conversation and provided space for critical reflection between all the partners about the role of arts, culture and more particularly festivals, in a contemporary context. 

The Festival Academy partnership with deSingel International Arts Campus, Eleusis 2021 European Capital of Culture, the German Centre of the International Theatre Institute (ITI), the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) and the International Arts Festival NEXT with support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Associated project partners are the Bayimba Foundation Uganda, Edinburgh International Culture Summit UK, Fundacion Teatro a Mil Chile, Holland Festival The Netherlands. 

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