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The Presenters of the Atelier IZMIR 2011: Rose Fenton

Rose Fenton, an independent Arts Producer and Advisor, is one of the most adventurous and influential producers of international contemporary theatre in Europe. She joined the team of presenters of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Varna (2009), Singapore (2011) and now, for the third time, in Izmir. She also contributed to EFA BOOKS 3 – “Cahier de l’Atelier. Arts festivals for the sake of art?”, a reference book about arts festivals, in which renowned festival directors evoke their experiences and the challenge of creating arts festivals that enrich artistic expression. "If I have to list the necessary ingredients for festival managers, I would say: the personal passion, the walking in other worlds, the development of communities of support (partners, artists…), the building of a set of values and make sure that you are really driven by these values - at LIFT our set of values was trust, generosity, hospitality and respect - and a permanent learning and creating behavior,” stated Rose in the Atelier VARNA 2009. In an interview to be published in the next EFABOOKS, Rose added another ingredient necessary to festival managers: “Humility: be open to seeing and to listening to what is already there at a local level. Really look out carefully the ground you are on, because there might already be quite a lot there. As would John Fox say “Keep your eye on the wake of your boat.”.” Between 1980 and 2005 Rose was cofounder and codirector of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT, a biennial summer festival producing, presenting and commissioning artists from around the world; exploring the international within London; forging connections between artists and Londoners across the city; and between London and the world). In the 90’s LIFT also pioneered a number of groundbreaking, long-term learning programmes involving artists, young people, educationalists and individuals from the business, public and voluntary sectors. Since 2005 Rose has continued to work with artists and arts organizations internationally, developing and facilitating projects across Europe and the Middle East, including FIT - Festivals in Transition - an initiative by eight Festivals to develop the role of international theatre festivals within the cultural landscape of an evolving Europe, and London World Stages, a consortium of London venues collaborating to create a series of international co-productions for a festival in 2012. Rose’s current arts advisory work includes working with Lublin in Poland developing their bid to become European Capital of Culture 2016. Rose is on the Advisory Board and develops projects with Tipping Point, an organisation that brings together scientists and artists internationally in responding to the challenges of climate change. She is a Mentor for the Clore Leadership Programme and sits on the Board of a number of arts organizations including Dance Umbrella and Aerowaves, and is the Chair of Without Walls. Her book co-written with Lucy Neal, The Turning World: Stories from the London International Festival of Theatre, was published in 2005 by the Gulbenkian Foundation. Rose has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from De Montfort University and an Honorary Fellowship from Dartington College of Arts. In 2005 she received an OBE for Services to Drama. The European Festivals Association is proud to have eight renowned festival managers from all over the world on board for IZMIR 2011. Under the coordination of Hugo De Greef (Belgium) they will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier. In the run-up of the Atelier we have already presented you Robyn Archer (Australia) and Hugo De Greef (Belgium), Rose Fenton (United Kingdom) and will tell you more about: Ching-Lee Goh (Singapore), Nele Hertling (Germany), Michal Merzcyński (Poland), Jonathan Mills (United Kingdom), and Fruzsina Szép (Hungary). Keep an eye! More info on the Atelier IZMIR 2011 at: http://efa-aef.eu/en/activities/atelier/izmir/