News & events > Asia-Europe festival exchanges in Shanghai
08 Nov 2010

Asia-Europe festival exchanges in Shanghai


[caption id="attachment_6794" align="alignright" width="300" caption="signature commitment"][/caption]

On 27 and 28 September 2010 in Shanghai, the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) together with the European Festivals Association (EFA),  the Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals (AAPAF),  and the China Shanghai International Arts Festival (CSIAF), signed a commitment to stimulate cultural exchange between Asia and Europe.

The first AAPAF-EFA meeting on 27 September and the Shanghai International Arts Festival’s conference 2010 on 28 September brought together almost 100 festivals, festival representatives, public authorities, media representatives and artists to discuss the future challenges of international collaboration in particular between Asia and Europe. The signing of the commitment was part of the EFA flagship project ”Open The Door” ( and follows the motto “Festivals: Open Doors. Open Minds. Build Societies!”

Dominique Girard, Executive Director of ASEF, underlined that governments worldwide are increasingly acknowledging the important role of arts and culture for the quality of life of citizens. ASEF considers the first AAPAF-EFA meeting as a valuable outcome of cultural networks linking different partners from Asia and Europe.

[caption id="attachment_6795" align="alignright" width="300" caption="First EFA-AAPAF joint meeting"][/caption]

Both Darko Brlek, EFA President, and Shenglai Chen, President of the China Shanghai International Arts Festival and AAPAF Chair, call for the support of more mobility of artists and cultural operators, training for young festival managers, cooperative meetings, a coordinated, joint communication strategy with the contribution of the online platform, and the development of an independent cultural sector as key elements in this exchange.

EFA President Darko Brlek stressed: “I truly hope that we are able to launch discussions here in Shanghai that eventually lead to the establishment of artistic collaboration projects between Asian and European festivals. Collaboration at a long-term is important!” One of the next opportunities to cooperate is the Atelier for Young Festival Managers that – for the first time in 2011 – takes place in Singapore. More information will be available soon.

Related links and documents:

“Open The Door” commitment Shanghai
Conference Reader including background info AAPAF-EFA Meeting, speeches, participants list and contacts of Asian and European festivals