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Robyn Archer at Atelier IZMIR 2011: “Let’s make sure we serve artists, in their own right”

During the Opening Ceremony of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers IZMIR 2011 on 24 October 2011, Robyn Archer, Creative Director of The Centenary of Canberra (2013) and Artistic Director of The Light in Winter, Melbourne (Australia), delivered once again an inspiring speech. Exploring the duality of festivals, she set the spirit for a week full of exchanges on the future of festivals. Robyn Archer 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. In her keynote speech she investigated: should festivals serve the audiences or the artists? She clearly stated her firm belief that if a festival serves artists, it serves audiences at the same time. “Let’s hope that history doesn’t make fools of us – that we are not seen as the century that advocated the utilitarian use of art and artists, or art for the sake of swelling audience numbers, economic development, tourist statistics and bragging rights, to the detriment of conditions for those whose real value is contingent on a space for thought, sometimes isolation and experiment. Let’s make sure we serve artists, in their own right. If we serve them to ensure continuing practice of creativity at the edge, then we serve not only audiences but we serve community, society and the world at large.” Read the full speech here.