18 Apr 2013
E-Publication | Serving Artists Serves the Public: Programming Arts Festivals in Asia and Europe
Why arts festivals? What is the stake of festival managers in the festivals they programme? These are some of the questions at the heart of the new e-publication being launched today by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the European Festivals Association (EFA) and the LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.
While Serving Artists Serves the Public: Programming Arts Festivals in Asia and Europe undoubtedly offers tools and techniques for emerging festival managers, it also uncompromisingly roots the conversation in the larger questions of the purpose and meaning of festivals. This raison d’etre question evokes thought provoking answers from the publication’s 15 contributors in 13 chapters.
The multi-faceted Australian artist, Robyn ARCHER argues passionately for creating “expanded awareness” among audiences, both historical and geographical, so that they may develop “tolerance for new and different perspectives.” “..You do not serve your audiences well,” she forcefully reminds us, “if you only please them.” Theatre director and Advisor to the Minister of Culture for the Flemish Community, Hugo DE GREEF concurs. Quoting Bernard FAIVRE D'ARCIER, the former director of the Festival d’Avignon, he reminds us that “the real role of a festival is to help artists to dare.”
The many challenges in relevantly and innovatively programming arts festivals are explored through case studies from China, India, the Netherlands, Singapore and Thailand, among others. Debates surrounding the importance of global and local contexts of festivals are thoroughly investigated, as are the variety of answers to the question: which public do we serve?
The roles and needs of festival managers working in today’s competitive and often cash-strapped environment are also discussed at length. Networks – formal and informal – are acknowledged as valuable resources for festival managers, as are developing personal qualities such as resilience.
With its wealth of information, the publication could definitely serve as a useful handbook for festival managers. What makes it even more engaging is that the contributors have deliberately structured their articles to provoke self-reflection. Questions abound across the 100-odd pages of the book. The answers lie in the reader.
Serving Artists Serves the Public: Programming Arts Festivals in Asia and Europe is being launched at EFA’s General Assembly and Conference on 18 April 2013 in Granada, Spain. It can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Serving Artists Serves the Public is a follow-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers held in May 2011 in Singapore. This EFA programme took place for the first time in Asia with the support of ASEF. It was organised in partnership with the Association of Asian Performing Arts Festivals (AAPAF), at the initiative of CultureLink Singapore and its Director, GOH Ching-Lee and hosted at the LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore.
Download Serving Artists Serves the Public (PDF 3.3Mb)
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