Teen curators start working on festival programs

At the beginning of 2022, the New Theater Institute of Latvia with Rosendal Teater in Norway, launched a new curator training project “The Shake Down” with the aim of giving adolescents their own platform for organizing the city’s cultural life according to their own rules. 10 young curators from Latvia and Norway – Ikars, Estere, Samuels, Alberts, Karu, Annie, Margit, Nicholas, Hedda and Zahida – will curate programs for two large-scale international performing arts festivals – a three-day program “The Shake Down” at the Homo Novus 2022 festival in September in Riga and Rosendal SHAKEDOWN in April 2023 in Trondheim.

“Currently, we are discussing about the format of the festival. Surprisingly, our thoughts and ideas largely coincide – the theme of the festival will be dedicated to the changes associated with growing up. Aging in reverse could be the most accurate description of the Shake Down program, ” say the young curators who intend to include works by both internationally renowned and local performing artists that can reach an audience of different generations.

From June you can follow young curators from The Shake Down on the-shake-down.com website, as well as on social media channels, where they will introduce themselves, the program planning process and the artists of the upcoming festival.

The selection of the team of curators took place in several rounds in January. “I have always liked to take responsibility, organize, try to create something new from available resources. This program seems like a great opportunity to expand the boundaries of your mind, ” says Samuels Ozoliņš, one of the curators of the festival program, about the motivation to participate in the project. The young curators come from diverse backgrounds and each stands out with their abilities in both visual and performing arts – several Latvian teens are members of the theater studio “Stairs”, have participated in the performances of the Homo Novus festival, while Norwegians include a representative of the local youth party and young people from under-represented communities.

Six experienced international festival creators have been working with young people in weekly online sessions since February – Bek Berger, artistic director of NTIL, Alexander Roberts, artistic director of the Rosendal Teater, Sodja Zupanc-Lotker, PhD and lecturer at DAMU, Marta Keil, performing arts curator, dramaturge and researcher, Asgerdur Gunnarsdottir, curating producer and dramaturg at DansiT, and festival “Homo Novus” producer Santa Remere. In March, the young curators met for the first time in person at the residence in Trondheim, and in June the young people will spend a week in Cēsis with their mentors.

“The Shake Down” (Nr. EEZ/2021/1/15) benefits from a 212 190 € grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. The aim of the project is to promote the involvement of young people in solving issues of public importance and participation in the cultural life of the city. Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. For more information, please visit eeagrants.org