Be SpectACTive! - International conference on active spectatorship 21-22 July

  • Tuesday, 21 July, 2015 to Wednesday, 22 July, 2015
  • Sansepolcro, Italy
  • events

Be SpectACTive!, a project supported by Creative Europe, is holding the first international conference on active spectatorship. The event will be a unique opportunity to meet performers, practitioners and cultural organisations and to discuss the ways in which a more participatory approach from the public may enrich performing arts programming all over Europe.

Where and when?

The conference will be held in Sansepolcro (Arezzo) in the beautiful landscape of Tuscany, Italy, on the 21-22 July 2015. The conference will also be livestreamed via Periscope on the Be SpectACTive! Twitter account.


21 July

17:00-19:00 Introduction to the meeting

Official speeches:

  • Hon. Silvia Costa – President Culture and Education Commission European Parliament
  • Monica Urian – European Commission, Creative Europe Programme
  • MIBACT (Italian Ministry of Culture)
  • Regione Toscan
  • Daniela Frullani – Mayor of Sansepolcro
  • Patrizia Coletta – Director of Fondazione Toscana Spettacolo
  • Luca Ricci (Kilowatt Festival) & Giuliana Ciancio (cultural project manager) – Creators and curators of Be SpectACTive!

22 July

Morning: Theoretical conference

  • 10:00 – 11:30 Introduction: Jean-Luis Fabiani (University of Budapest)
    "Sociological aspects about interaction of the audience with the artistic creations"
  • 11:45-12:00 Emmanuel Negrier (Université de Montpellier I)
    "Public and democracy, a socio-political approach"
  • 12:00-12:15 Lluis Bonet (Universitat de Barcelona)
    "The economical aspect of public participation"
  • 12:15-12:30 Alessandro Bollo (Fondazione Fitzcarraldo)
    "The organisational and institutional implications of public participation for cultural institutions"
  • 12:30-13:00 General discussion

Afternoon: Practical Round Table

  • 14:30-15:30 About co-creation:
    Francesco Ciavaglioli (visual artist) with Saverio Verini (visual art curator)
    A practical experiment of “community art”
  • 15:30-17:00 About co-programming:
    Damian Cruden (director York Theatre Royal) – The Takeover Festival, in York
    Dominio Pubblico/Under 25 (Roma), Artificio (Como), Le città visibili (Rimini), La Casa dello Spettatore (Roma), Jobel Teatro (Rieti) – Five Italian experiences about co-programming with the audience
  • 17:15-17:45 Questions and general discussion
  • 17:45-18:00 Final speech: Anna Bandettini (La Repubblica)

The speakers will use English and/or Italian, with simultaneous audio translation in both languages


The Greek philosopher Aristippus of Cyrene used to say that an active spectator also becomes a better citizen: Be SpectACTive! reflects this idea, aiming to bolster a sense of European citizenship and participation across the continent. The conference will be the opportunity to discover the potential of co-creation and co-programming between artists and the public. It will also be the occasion to discuss about the results of the first months of activities by Be SpectACTive!: the methodology applied by researchers and performers will be disseminated and new organisations, wishing to improve their strategies of active spectatorship, will have the opportunity to take part in the discussion. 

The project

Be SpectACTive! is a European project based on audience development, which encourages intercultural dialogue through practices exchange amongst professionals, artists and audiences all across Europe. Its members are: Municipality of Sansepolcro and CapoTrave/Kilowatt (Italy), Bakelit Multi Arts Center (Hungary), B51 Cultural Society (Slovenia), Domino (Croatia), LIFT (UK), Radu Stanca National Theatre (Romania), Tanec Praha (Czech Republic), York Theatre Royal (UK). Research aspects are followed by: Fitzcarraldo Foundation (Italy), University of Barcelona (Spain), University of Montpellier (France). Be SpectACTive! aims to build an international, production-oriented and sustainable network involving the most innovative European organisations working on active spectatorship. Be SpectACTive! is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of European Union.