The programme is addressed at emerging festival managers or those who have ambitions to get involved in programming in festivals. Participants broaden their programming skills, widen their horizons, and develop new project ideas under the professional guidance of renowned festival managers from all over the world who share their rich experience and guide participants throughout the 7 days. The Atelier focuses on the very essence of festival management – the arts, the artist and the audience.

What to expect from the Atelier?

34 participants will attend the Atelier in Valletta. The programme is focusing on the topics and issues raised by the participants which will be further developed and elaborated during the Atelier. These topics will be examined in panel discussions guided by renowned festival leaders from across the globe, but also in small working groups, thematic lunches, cross-discipline round tables and plenary sessions. Participants will be able to share and exchange their experiences and reflect on their topics. Mentors will share their rich experience and answer participants’ questions along the way. There is also space for more informal one-to-one talks during meals and cultural visits. The sharing of experiences on an equal footing and networking are key to the Atelier. 

You can access the full programme here.

“I have learnt the importance of dreaming, doing and creating with or without resources in an equitable way that not only transforms people but also space and other sectors.” Marisa Benson, Alumna Atelier Johannesburg 2018

Variety of issues and diverse session formats

The Atelier creates opportunities for festival managers to reflect on the true mission of festivals and on their role in a globalised, fast and result-oriented world, and to network with their colleagues world-wide. For the next generation of festival managers it represents an outstanding occasion to imagine innovative, pioneering, and creative projects and festival formulae.

Themes discussed include:

  • The artistic aspects of festival management, including artistic vision, political and social responsibility in relation to the cultural and artistic significance of a festival in its community or region, as well as internationalisation, inclusiveness, renewal and sustainability.
  • Instruments such as communication, production or financing as far as they are relevant for the implementation of the artistic programme.
  • Festivals as agents of change
  • Audience development
  • Curating and programming
  • Global exchange and international collaboration


  • is the role of internationalisation in a festival’s work?
  • is the importance of venues and what is their impact on the programme and the audience?
  • is the role of festivals in creating global citizenship, intercultural dialogue, participation and access to culture?
  • are new models of collaboration in a globalising world?
  • is the role of festivals as platforms for creation and innovation?
  • is the importance of festivals for artists? How can festivals serve art?
  • are the risks of programming and how can we manage them?
  • types of people contribute to the artistic process?


  • can we articulate, develop and realise an artistic programme?
  • important is the contact with artists? To what extent do the selected artists have an impact on the identity of the festival?
  • can large scale festivals continue to make sharp artistic choices, even for big audiences?
  • can we set up and handle partnerships with artists, cultural organisations and institutes?
  • can we ensure artistic autonomy in altered situations and under pressure?
  • can we recognise and contribute to the development of successful projects and talents?
  • far can we say that festivals are instruments of change, allowing artists and audiences alike to open up new perspectives and contributing to fostering democracy?