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An Academy for Young Artists and Curators


The ITI Academy debates the future of internationality and diversity in the performing arts.


Malin Nagel



The ITI Academy is an exchange and qualification programme for young cultural and theatre professionals consisting of various formats, aiming to form a lively platform for encounter and discourse, bringing together different artistic, cultural-political and activist positions. The focus is on the future of internationality, transnationality and diversity in the performing arts.

Which issues do inter- and transnationally active cultural workers currently need to focus on? How can global cooperation and collaborations be structured fairly? How can theatre productions and festivals be conceived and implemented sustainably and in solidarity during and after the Corona pandemic? The complexity and rapidity of economic transformation and social challenges changes all of us on this planet. As a seismograph and vivid laboratory, the performing arts can play their part in creating visions and utopian perspectives for a future worth living in planetarian commons together. Burning issues of sustainability, climate change, decolonisation, equality, and the influence of new technologies can no longer be disregarded when putting on a festival or transnational collaboration.

As part of the new training and mentoring programme for the next generation, the German Centre of the International Theatre Institute is addressing these questions with the ITI Academy. The ITI Academy offers 20 young people, who cross borders with their thinking and acting, push through walls and thereby shape and form spaces (a festival, a production, a program, a network, etc.), a fellowship that supports and encourages them in their ambitions. Over a period of one year, this group receives exclusive access to trainings and workshops, and the participants will also be individually advised and mentored by experienced curators, theater-makers and cultural professionals in the implementation of their projects and according to their needs. The ITI Academy’s highlight is the Academy Week, which accompanies the festival Theater der Welt every three years in a different city.

The starting point was the Atelier Düsseldorf in June 2021 as part of Theater der Welt and in cooperation with The Festival Academy of the European Festival Association. The recordings of the livestreams, including the panel discussion with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Shahidul Alam, and Emily Johnson on "The role of the arts and festivals in today's society and the imaginative power of storytelling", can be viewed here.

On December 3rd and 4th, 2021, the Kick Off weekend of the ITI Academy took place in a digital form. Transnational and globally active artists, scholars, and experts from culture and politics analysed and discussed the future of international festivals and transnational collaborations. The aim was to also generate new ideas and impulses for future ITI Academy events. The programme as well as further information can be found here.