Atelier for Young Festival and Cultural Managers in Shanghai - China

A new and unique platform of international cultural exchange

In the framework of The China-EU High Level People to People Dialogue between the People’s Republic of China and the European Commission, The Festival Academy (an initiative of the European Festivals Association) launched a new programme, the ‘Atelier for Young Festival and Cultural Managers’ in China with the aim to deepen Asia-Europe relations through international cultural exchange. This programme was set up and developed by The Festival Academy and the Center for China Shanghai International Arts Festival and took place from 17 - 23 October 2017 in Shanghai, China.

For 2017, this programme was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China and by the European Commission through the newly set up Cultural Diplomacy Platform.

The Atelier for Young Festival and Cultural Managers is a 7-day training programme addressing early career artistic directors or those who have the ambition to get involved into programming festivals or cultural venues. 44 participants were selected for the Atelier during which they discussed various aspects of festival and cultural management with eleven experts from pioneering festivals and outstanding art centres and institutes from all over the world. 

Photo credit to Olivier Truyman

High-level festival managers from across the globe

Under the coordination of Hugo De Greef, leading and experienced festival operators, professionals and artists from all over the world, guided the participants through the seven days. Mentors and presenters, pioneering festival managers, gave lectures, lead workshops and took part in round tables and debates – all of them have spent several days with the participants allowing face-to-face contacts and discussions.

The following festival directors participated in the Atelier Shanghai 2017:

  • Robyn Archer, Artistic Director of The Light in Winter Melbourne, Australia
  • Mark Ball, Associate Artistic Director of Manchester International Festival – MIF - UK
  • Hugo De Greef, General Coordinator of The Festival Academy, former EFA Secretary General
  • Bernard Faivre D’Arcier, President Lyon Biennial, Former longstanding Director Avignon Festival,
  • Nele Hertling, Member  Strategy Group “A Soul for Europe”, Former Vice-President  of the Academy of  Arts Berlin, Former Director Hebbel-Theater Berlin, Germany
  • Ophelia Huang, Shanghai International Dance Centre
  • Hongming Lin, Professor and Dean of Art Management Department, Shanghai Conservatory of Music,
  • Jinghui Meng, Founder and Artistic Director of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival, China
  • Gebing Tian, Director Paper Tiger Theater Studio, China
  • Catherine J. Wang, President of the Center for China Shanghai International Arts Festival, former Director of the Forum Affairs Department of the Shanghai World Expo
  • Rongjun (Nick) YU, Vice President of SMG Shanghai Performing Arts Group, Director of Shanghai International Comedy Festival

Find out more about the presenters here.

Mentors during a working session

Intense 7-day programme

The programme of the Atelier Shanghai aimed to foster cultural exchanges, and support participants in developing their personal projects through lectures, debates, small topic-based working groups, practical activities and case studies. Exchanges with artists and leading cultural institutions from the region were an excellent opportunity to link insights gained in the working sessions with the concrete environment.

Check out the full 7-day programme.

Working session

More insights

Follow the Atelier Shanghai 2017 online: on the The Festival Academy website or Facebook.

Inge Ceustermans during her opening speech