EJN Staff Exchange Programme

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Previous Participant: Maria Lubczyńska

From: Jazztopad Festival / National Forum of Music (Poland)
To: Ljubljana Jazz Festival / cankarjev dom (Slovenia)
15 - 24 June 2019

In June 2019 I was hosted by Cenkarjev dom during striking 60th (!) edition of Jazz Festival Ljubljana, thanks to EJN and Bogdan Benigar.   

I had already known that Cenkarjev dom, the biggest cultural centre in Ljubljana, works on a very similar basis to NFM, so I was very keen on getting to know its structure, people and activities.    

Bogdan Benigar (the festival director) and Đana Karavdić (the coordinator of Jazz Fest Sarajevo, also coming to Ljubljana for staff exchange programme) had introduced me to my responsibilities prior to my arrival. My tasks were to prepare and deliver badges and welcome kits for artists and festival guests, distribute promo materials, as well as, support the transfer logistics, mainly supervised by Đana Karavdić.    

In the early days of my stay, I met Edin Zubčević (the co-director of this year’s edition), Darinka Hvalec (the head of promotion projects - jazz and music of the world), and all the public relations department staff. Although the beginning of a festival tends to be a very hectic period, I managed to talk to the staff a bit, get to know the main activities in Cenkarjev dom and observe the team’s methods of action.    

Despite the fact that we may have different ways of doing things, what was encouraging was the fact that we all face similar challenges, such as building stronger relationships with a potential audience, obtaining subsidies and creating opportunities for local musicians.   

The staff exchange programme is a great chance to see a festival organization from a different perspective. For me, it was also a wonderful opportunity to meet many professionals, journalists and festival partners, including associates, who I had worked with in past years, but never met in person.

I would undoubtedly and strongly recommend participating in the programme to all EJN members, as it is a one of a lifetime experience that stays in your memory.