Innovative and creative festival projects to foster access to culture in 2010

05.02.10
The 2009 European Year of Creativity and Innovation put emphasis on the importance to foster creative and innovative talents in our societies. Culture has proved to be an important factor in this scenario.
Innovative and creative festival projects to foster access to culture in 2010

Throughout 2009, under the umbrella of the EFA FestLab for Creativity and Innovation, festivals raised awareness of the important role artistic creativity plays in today’s complex, rapidly changing world.

Following these activities, in 2010, the European Festivals Association (EFA) will continue its efforts in strengthening and promoting festivals as platforms for creative encounters and societal participation.

In the framework of the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion – under the motto ‘Open the Door, Open Minds, Build Societies’ – festivals are invited to send in their projects that increase ‘access’ to creation, education, and participation! Keep an eye on the FestFlash! EFA is looking forward to festivals’ continued engagement for a cultural Europe in 2010!

FestFlash Flashback
FestLab for Creativity and Innovation – a successful initiative to be continued

Renowned festival directors from Europe and beyond have been involved in the FestLab initiative of the European Festivals Association throughout 2009. Festivals from all over Europe and beyond received the FestLabPass, incorporated its objectives in their programming and proved to be perfect vehicles to foster creativity and innovation.

The FestLab initiative is to be continued in 2010: festivals are invited to sign up and submit their innovative projects!

David Dittrich: “The FestLab is an excellent opportunity to establish cooperation and co-productions”

David Dittrich, Director Contentus Moraviae Festival: “Interesting and creative programmes constitute an opportunity for young talents to raise awareness of themselves in the offer of already established artists. The FestLab for Creativity and Innovation is an excellent idea of how to inspire the members of the European Festivals Association and festivals in general to achieve new views of the dramaturgy and to re-ask the question as to what the audience wants and how far they can go in wooing the audiences, i.e. so that we can put together attractive programmes of high artistic quality. If such a programme is able to be created, it is necessary to develop it and to find opportunities to use it in a number of other places; it is therefore an excellent opportunity to establish cooperation and co-productions.”

Ruta Pruseviciene: “It is crucial to be active in the European culture arena”

Ruta Pruseviciene, Executive Director Vilnius Festival: “The Vilnius Festival is honoured that it was able to host the second awarding ceremony of the FestLabPass. It is very important to our Festival to give impulses to the FestLab for Creativity and Innovation. It is crucial for us to be present and active in the European culture arena. The FestLab not only makes the voice and mission of festivals heard all over Europe. It practically stimulates collaboration and co-production among festivals from EFA membership and beyond. With our creative approaches, the inclusion of unusual venues, the work with young artists etc. we succeed in reaching new audiences and thus raise awareness.“

Per Boye Hansen: “To move on we have to take chances. When we do, we challenge ourselves, our artists and our audiences.”
Which are the key criterion for success? Per Boye Hansen, Director Bergen International Festival, argues: “The first thing that struck me was that the answer is related to risk-taking. When the risk is greatest the reward is greatest too. To move on we have to take chances. When we do, we challenge ourselves, our artists and our audiences. Doing something new – initiating and carrying through a project in an area never attempted before – is risk-taking. Going for new talent is risk-taking. Challenging our habits, changing track, taking a different viewpoint – these are all ways of taking risks. It is courageous because we do not know what we will discover, and that can be very unsettling. Risk requires courage, because we have no idea what is going to happen. I feel most successful in my role as festival director when I know that I have taken a risk and it has paid off. I like resistance. It is only through resistance that something new can emerge.”

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