From 14-18 September 2016 the arts festival NEU NOW will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Organisers ELIA have hired Novel Creative Consultancy to support the project team with a range of strategic services and with nurturing an ecosystem that, at the end of the line, should culminate in the most successful edition of the 5-day event to date.
With over 300 members in 47 countries, the European League of Institutes of the Arts (ELIA) is the continent’s largest body for higher arts students. The institution represents some 300,000 students from all art disciplines, spanning music, dance, photography, video, moving art, film, typography and sound.
In a bid to stimulate innovation and creativity among (upcoming) artists, ELIA launched the ‘NEU NOW’ initiative*, a five-day festival that seeks to showcase the main trends in the industry and to provide leading talent in the field with a platform from which to accelerate their careers. The event presents the works of recently graduated artists across a range of themes, including mythology, language, space, economy, food and drink, and sexuality. Another key objective of NEU NOW is to set the stage for professional development and career opportunity. Artists are offered a development programme (seminars, workshops, coaching sessions), and by bringing them together with entrepreneurs, as well as representatives from governments and corporates, the organisers aim to generate business opportunities.
Building on the success of the 2015 edition, ELIA has decided to organise a NEU NOW successor, to be hosted in Amsterdam’s ‘de Westergasfabriek’, stating that this year’s festival will be bolder and larger than ever. The organisation has opened the floor for artist nominations (as individuals or groups) across five categories, with calls for entries currently in the process of being finalised by partner networks AEC, CILECT and Cumulus**.
As part of its roll-out strategy, ELIA has brought in the expertise of Novel Creative Consultancy, a consulting firm that supports clients with developing and realising concepts, as well as building communities and mobilising stakeholders. ELIA has asked the Amsterdam-based creative consultancy to provide strategic support, with a new friends circle and programme partnerships earmarked as the key deliverables. Novel will in addition support ELIA with its targeting and the expansion of its body of partners from academic institutions to entrepreneurs and corporates willing to venture into the European creative industry – a market estimated by Strategy& to be worth almost €200 billion.
“We chose for Novel because of the firm’s strong strategic vision, combined with their large network within the Dutch cultural world and creative industry,” comments Carla Delfos, director of ELIA, an organisation that, like Novel, is located in the heart of the Dutch capital. Chris Julien, partner at Novel, says his firm is “delighted” with the project, adding that the firm’s values closely aligns with NEU NOW’s mission to connect talent from the creative industry with the business world. Previous engagements the consultancy has worked on in the field include a cultural connector for Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam and concept and campaign of a new festival for Dutch National Opera, two of the most renowned cultural institutes in The Netherlands.
Looking ahead, Julien says the project provides Novel with a stepping-stone towards its international ambitions. “Projects are receiving an increasingly pan-European orientation. Our work for ELIA is another example of that, and going forward we anticipate further demand on the back of internationalization strategies.”
* Prior to 2015, the festival rotated across major cities, including Vilnius, Tallinn, Nantes, Porto, Amsterdam and Glasgow. Last year the concept was sharpened and rebranded as NEW NOW, with Amsterdam being selected as its permanent location.
** The five categories are Design/Architecture, Film/Animation, Music/Sound, Theatre/Dance and Visual Art. AEC stands for Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen, CILECT stands for The International Association of Film and Television Schools while the International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media is abbreviated as Cumulus.