CULTURE AS A TOOL: Italian Festivals call for innovation with regard to live entertainment

La Cultura come strumento (Culture as a tool) is the title of the initiative of the Italian Festivals that calls for innovation with regard to live entertainment. It was launched with a letter to the Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Dario Franceschini.

Over 50 festivals have joined, proposing “that the current budgetary resources foreseen by the State, Regions and Local Authorities be allocated and paid in advance as soon as possible and that maximum flexibility be allowed when redesigning our activities until we exceed the current evaluation parameters.” 


Dear Dario Franceschini

Minister for Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism


And for the attention of Mr. Salvatore Nastasi

Secretary General of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MIBACT)


Mr. Onofrio Cutaia

General Director of performances MIBACT


Rome, March 26, 2020




La Cultura come strumento/ Culture as a tool 

Italian Festivals call for innovation with regard to live entertainment 


Dear Minister,

while we wait to know the implementing decrees of the “Cura Italia” Decree and since our business is in urgent need to receive concrete certainties in terms of Ministry’s support, we allow ourselves to ask you to discuss the management of “ordinary” loans regarding 2020.

The main nature that the various forms of festivals have in common is the fact that they are the birthplace of experimentation, cradles, disseminators, enhancers of those actions that in the coming years will fill the theaters of big cities, transform things, change artistic practices, and become contemporaneity.

For years we have guaranteed the innovation of the theater system and the performing arts and its relations with the international scene. Our system innovation actions in terms of contents, formulas, formats, support for creation, support for young companies, development of independent creativity and new ways of communicating is under the eyes of anyone who knows this field.

If there is one thing that festivals and artistic groups know is that as always – but now more than ever- the future we have tomorrow, won’t be the same future we had yesterday (Chuck Palahniuk).

Over time, they acknowledged that these qualities were ours, and for this reason  it will also be the task of festivals and artists to reinvent the meaning of acting as a community when we get out of this emergency. Furthermore, we will do this for a longer period, since it will not be possible to go back immediately to doing the usual activities that we used to do before and that have always been a reason for everyone to stand next to each other.

Festivals can therefore be an opportunity to use art and culture as tools to create new sharing practices, which could be useful for protecting live shows in the difficult moments to come.

Due to the exceptional gravity of the current crisis, the real difficulty in predicting when we will overcome it and in order to avoid the possible collapse of organizations, guaranteeing the possibility of exercising a necessary function towards audiences, artists, communities and tourism policies in different areas, we ask for the festivals to have the opportunity to revise their calendars of activities and their planning without being subject to the quantitative and temporal constraints established by Ministry parameters.

We need great flexibility. 

We need to be able to extend, modify, and expand our plans, in order  to respect the commitments that we had already made with Italian artists and companies, while still guaranteeing their cachets and helping to prevent the entire system from collapsing. 

An emergency situation requires a greater planning ability. Festivals are an innovation tool. They are never limited to just 10, 20 or 30 days of entertainment: their activities last all year long. They accompany the creative process of the artists in every single step: starting from an idea until it becomes and performance. Furthermore, they create new skills and needs in today’s and tomorrow’s spectators, and precisely because of their flexible and polymorphic nature, they can help the whole system to reinvent itself and rebuild the relationship of trust with the public. 

But in order to do this, festivals need certainty. At a time when they are stuck trying to understand how and when they will be able to develop their projects, they must know that they can revise their future without being forced to relate to the artistic projects presented before this systemic crisis.

Therefore, we propose that the current budgetary resources foreseen by the State, Regions and Local Authorities be allocated and paid in advance as soon as possible and that maximum flexibility be allowed when redesigning our activities until we exceed the current evaluation parameters.”

It is an action that would allow festivals (not only those that benefit from ministry funding, but also others, that further enrich our cultural landscape) to intelligently cope with the crisis that we are all experiencing and that would allow us to immediately begin to reschedule our activities, to start thinking right now about the future.


Festival Round-table


Ammutinamenti – Ravenna

Asti Teatro – Asti

Attraversamenti Multipli – Rome

Autunno Danza – Cagliari

Castel dei Mondi – Andria

Città delle Cento Scale – Potenza

ConFormazioni – Palermo

Contemporanea Festival – Prato

Cortoindanza / Logos – Cagliari

Cross Festival – Verbania

Danae Festival – Milan

Danza Urbana – Bologna

Da vicino nessuno è normale – Milan

Dominio Pubblico – Rome

Drodesera / Centrale Fies – Dro (TN)

Estate Teatrale Veronese (Verona Summer Theatre) – Verona

Fabbrica Europa – Florence

Festival 10 Nodi – Cagliari

Festival 20_30 – Bologna

Festival delle Colline Torinesi (Turin Hills Festival) – Turin

Festival Estivo del Litorale – Muggia (TS)

Find Danza – Cagliari

Fuori Programma Festival – Rome

Gender Bender – Bologna

Il Giardino delle Esperidi – Campsirago (LC)

Inequilibrio – Rosignano Marittimo (LI)

Inteatro Festival – Polverigi (AN)

Intercity Festival – Sesto Fiorentino (FI)

Interplay Festival – Turin

Ipercorpo – Forlì

I teatri della Cupa – Campi Salentina (LE)

Kilowatt Festival – Sansepolcro (AR)

L’ultima luna d’estate – Lecco

Mercurio Festival – Palermo

Milanoltre – Milan

Milano Musica

Mirabilia – Cuneo

Natura Dèi Teatri – Parma

Operaestate Festival Veneto – Bassano del Grappa (VI)

Orestiadi – Gibellina (TP)

Oriente Occidente – Rovereto (TN)

Orizzonti Verticali – San Gimignano (SI)

Pergine Festival – Pergine Valsugana (TN)

Primavera dei Teatri – Castrovillari (CS)

Quartieri dell’Arte – Viterbo

Radicondoli Festival – Radicondoli (SI)

Santarcangelo Festival – Santarcangelo di Romagna (RN)

Short Theatre – Rome

Teatri di Vetro – Rome

TenDance – Latina

Terreni Creativi – Albenga (SV)

Terreni Fertili – Gualtieri (RE)

Testimonianze ricerca azioni – Genoa

Tramedautore – Milan

Trasparenze – Modena

Wonderland Festival – Brescia