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Deadline | 29.05.2009

The European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) is pleased to announce the pilot of a festival that will present the most exciting and creative NEU artistic talent NOW emerging across Europe in the frame of the NEU/NOW Festival. The first edition of the NEU/NOW Festival will be made possible by Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009.

Online application opens 15 April

Deadline for applications: 29 May

What is the NEU/NOW Festival?

The NEU/NOW Festival will provide an innovative platform for talented graduating artists - emerging from Higher Arts Education Institutions and Universities across Europe - to present themselves to wider European audiences within a professional context. The Festival will feature the most excellent and/or innovative artistic talent now entering the professional arts arena in Europe and will be a showcase of young creative European talent.

The NEU/NOW Festival is:

  • an online event and also a live festival that promotes artistic excellence through cutting edge presentations and activities in a wide range of art disciplines;
  • an opportunity for selected young artists to show their work, meet each other and create new international partnerships;
  • a place where audiences, producers and curators can see the most excellent artists and innovative projects emerging from the art schools and universities across Europe;
  • a forum where emerging artists, producers, curators, cultural operators and policy makers can discuss future developments for the arts and share views on the cultural role of higher arts education institutions;
  • a means of presenting an emerging generation of professional artists, drawn from across Europe, to the attention of a wide European audience.

A selection of the artists from the virtual Festival will be invited each year to present their work to the public in one of the European Capitals of Culture in the NEU/NOW Live Festival. The first edition of NEU/NOW Live will take place in Vilnius, European Capital of Culture 2009. This annual event will stimulate the creation of a dynamic European network of emerging artists.

Who are the Partners in the NEW/NOW Live Festival?

The lead organisation co-ordinating the Festival is the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA), founded in 1990, which represents an independent network of 350 European Higher Arts Education Institutions and Universities, covering all arts disciplines.

The NEU/NOW Live Festival 2009 is presented by ELIA and Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009.

Partners in the event include the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre and Vilnius Academy of Arts.

Where will the NEU/NOW Festival take place?

The NEU/NOW Live Festival will be hosted by the vibrant city of Vilnius, which is the European Capital of Culture 2009, with a programme of nearly 100 projects, 90 per cent of which are premieres in Lithuania and 80 per cent are run in co-operation with artists from round the globe. With more than 700 events Vilnius - European Capital of Culture opens the gate to the country which celebrates its name millennium.

CULTURE live is the title as well as the ambition of Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009 involving professional artists as well as ordinary residents and visitors as active creators. The Culture Live programme was inspired by the ideas of the Fluxus (Lat. flow) vanguard art movement. It declares art as permanent change and stream which involves each and all.

Who should participate?

The NEU/NOW Festival is open to graduating arts students and recent graduates (within one year of graduation) of higher arts institutions and universities who are ELIA members. Students (as individuals or groups) will be nominated within one of the following five discipline categories.

  • Design
  • Film
  • Music
  • Theatre and Dance
  • Visual Arts

Nominations can only come through institutions that are ELIA members and they may only nominate their own students or their own recent graduates. Member institutions may nominate up to 2 student/graduate entries in each of the five discipline categories listed above. Lithuanian institutions, as representatives of the host country for 2009, can nominate up to 5 entries in each discipline category.

How to apply to be part of the NEU/NOW Festival?

Member institutions will be able to make on-line nominations through the ELIA website and upload entries to a dedicated NEU/NOW website. The website will provide further details regarding the application process - including an indicative range of the sites, galleries and performance spaces available for NEU/NOW Live in Vilnius.

The online database where ELIA member schools will be able to upload nominations will go online in April.

How will entries be selected?

A judging panel of experts, in each of the five arts disciplines, has been gathered from across Europe. Each judging panel will engage in an online selection procedure of the nominated works. Nominations must be submitted by the institution and accompanied by a short project description and a statement (of up to 250 words) as to why each project was chosen for entry to the Festival.

Each of the judging panels will select work on the basis of the following criteria:

Work that:

  • engages with, and makes a bold contribution to, leading edge practice in the international field of the discipline;
  • demonstrates clear potential as work that is likely to achieve a good professional standard of presentation;
  • is likely to stimulate the interest of promoters, curators, festival organizers and/or producers working in the professional field of the discipline;
  • is suitable for presentation to, and is likely to stimulate the interest of, an international audience;
  • together with the other work selected within the discipline, contributes to the presentation of a diverse range within the category.

In making their selections, each judging panel will be mindful of the need to ensure that the overall profile of work selected should be broadly representative of the diversity of entries and that the final selection should offer as wide as possible a representation of European regions.

Each of the judging panels will make an initial online selection of a maximum of 30 projects in their own discipline category. This process will result in the selection of up to 150 projects in total across all the discipline categories. These projects will be presented online for a period of three months in the NEU/NOW Festival. After this period, this collection of works will continue to be available in an online archive.

Selecting work for NEU/NOW Live

Each judging panel will select a maximum of 6 projects per discipline category (including 1 project selected from member institutions in the host country), from the (up to) 30 projects they previously selected for exhibition in the Virtual Festival. This final selection process will result in up to 30 selected projects which will be presented in the NEU/NOW Live Festival in Vilnius between the 19th and the 22nd November 2009 as part of the Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009 celebrations.

Will there be financial support for those works selected for the Live Festival?

Each of the works selected for presentation in the Vilnius Live programme of the NEU/NOW Festival will be awarded a grant of up to a maximum of 5.000 € by ELIA towards the costs associated with presenting the work in Vilnius. The nominating institution will need to agree to meet any additional costs associated with specific works.

ELIA is committed to equal opportunity for all and welcomes submissions from all applicants, irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, physical handicaps, ethnicity, religion and social, cultural, and geographic backgrounds.

The European League of Institutes of the Arts - ELIA is the primary independent membership organisation of major arts education institutions and universities representing all subject disciplines and has a membership of more than 350 arts institutions in 47 countries. Through its membership network ELIA promotes dialogue, mobility, research, sharing of best practice and activities between artists, teachers, administrators and leaders, altogether representing more than 250,000 art students.

The festival is financed by Vilnius - European Capital of Culture 2009, the European Commission and ELIA.