FIET, the Theatre Festival for Children and Young Adults of the Balearic Islands, reaches in 2022 its twentieth edition, a real milestone! FIET is a celebration of culture which transforms the town of Vilafranca de Bonany, in Mallorca (Spain), in a window to theatre for children and young adults, created both in the Balearic Islands and overseas.
How do we make this happen? For four days in October, specifically in its third week, Vilafranca becomes the European focal point for children and family theatre; the whole town is powered by theatre, the companies share time (and home!) with voluntary families who host them, there are all kinds of activities both for general audience and for professionals... performing arts become the thread that pulls together Vilafranca's life for a long weekend.
But who is behind this festival? Sa Xerxa, a non-profit association also created twenty years ago and which is the driving force behind FIET and a string of projects for children and young adults all around the Balearic Islands: the Millor! Festival in Cala Millor (Mallorca), the Barruguet Festival in Santa Eulària des Riu (Ibiza), the Festival of shows for children in Formentera, the Children's Theatre Festival in Maó and the Street Arts Festival in Cala Rajada (Mallorca).
Sa Xerxa strives to achieve two fundamental goals: on the one hand, promoting that quality shows can be seen in every town in the Balearic Islands and, on the other hand, firmly contributing to strengthening the cultural industry in our community.
Now that we are celebrating our 20th anniversary, we find ourselves in a delicate financial situation which threatens the continuation of both FIET and Sa Xerxa's global project. That's why we would like to ask you to help us make our festival's twentieth edition come true and that we can keep carrying out our project of turning culture into one of the driving forces in our region.
From the get-go, the members of the association set our main goal: being the network (Sa Xerxa) for theatre for children and young audiences. And throughout these years we have enjoyed a beautiful journey, during which we have filled our nets with experiences, joy and acquaintances that have inspired and helped grow both FIET and Sa Xerxa's global programme.
If we look back, we see all that we've accomplished and we are eager to fight in order to run away from the financial instability which has plagued us for years. FIET is a benchmark for performing arts for children and young adults both in Spain and in Europe, at the forefront of offering quality shows for the youngest. Around this little big festival we have built a network of initiatives and projects which intend to bring theatre closer to towns all over the Balearic Islands:
- the festivals: Millor! (Cala Millor), Barruguet (Santa Eulària des Riu), the Festival of Children's Shows in Formentera, the Festival for Children's Theatre in Maó and the Street Arts Festival in Cala Rajada
- TAP - Teatre als Pobles (theatre in towns), programming shows for children in different towns all over the Balearic Islands
- Cultura contra la LGTBI-fòbia (Culture against LGTBI-phobia), programming shows and workshops on sexual diversity for high school students
- Guillem d’Efak Award, for the creation of theatre texts for children and young adults
- BÒTIL (Balears Ofereix Teatre i Literatura) (the Balearic Islands Offer Theatre and Literature), a competition intended to promote the creation of small-format shows based on Catalan literature, especially by authors from the Balearic Islands
We would love that this twentieth anniversary becomes a turning point for FIET and, by extension, for Sa Xerxa. We'd like to celebrate the journey we've made and set sail towards the future, in order to keep on developing our projects and also devise new ones in order to always bring first-class culture to a unique audience: children.
Thoughout the years, FIET has become one of the most appreciated events, both for professionals and for family audiences. Each edition it welcomes around 19,000 theatre-goers and is one of the professional festivals for children and young audiences with the best rating in Spain.
That's why we are so excited to celebrate FIET 2022 with all our hearts; it's too much a symbolic milestone to let it go. Sa Xerxa is committed to dedicate all the eagerness, hard work and momentum required, but we need support to make it a reality and be able to assemble the whole puzzle:
- hiring professional companies, both local and Spanish, to share their shows with the audience,
- renting material and hiring technicians to help these shows happen,
- assembling a powerful organising team to make all elements fit,
- managing communication, logistics, attention to professionals and all other aspects linked to a festival's everyday life,
- and, most of all, offer the audience a wonderful FIET they can enjoy 100%!
With your support we can stay afloat this 2022 and keep on dreaming that we will be here for, at least 20 more years!
We want to keep on going. We'll only be able to make it with your support.
We want to continue developing this beautiful cultural project. SAVE FIET, SAVE SA XERXA!
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Pourquoi est-ce important
At Sa Xerxa, we've been cultivating for 20 years the desire to enjoy culture. 20 anys bringing theatre closer to children, bringing theatre closer to the towns in the Balearic Islands. 20 years of hard work, of activism to achieve culture for all, and also of financial difficulties to secure the project's stability.
Sa Xerxa receives funding from several local institutions in order to carry out FIET and its other projects, but the truth is since 2012 we have found ourselves with several setbacks which have stood in our way: precisely in 2012, when we were about to consolidate our project, the payment of several already-approved grants was called off; between 2018 and 2021 the amounts received from different administrations were lower; moreover, in recent years increased limitations on what kinds of projects are eligible for funding have been put in place, and we have therefore had to cancel the Guillem d'Efak Award.
Nevertheless, we want to be optimistic for the future and that's why we are starting this campaign; in the team behind FIET and Sa Xerxa there is no room for defeat or failure. We'd like to reach out to all the people who love culture, who believe that it must play a central role in our society, and that children and young adults must have projects designed specifically for them; they are our society's future and we therefore think that they need to be educated with values such as tolerance, effort, equality and social inclusion, because we strongly believe that culture is a right that every one must have access to, regardless of their financial status or their place of residence.
Carrying out this year's FIET is an exercise of self-affirmation and vindication: we want to keep on bringing theatre closer to children and to towns and from there continue with our activities for essential collectives: children, young adults, families, creators, schools, grandparents... and also have an impact on the most excluded collectives. Because each and every one of them, with their different capabilities, have the right to access culture, with all the personal and social benefits this entails.
The journey hasn't been easy, but we want to keep on going.
Will you help us keep on offering theatre for all?
SAVE FIET, SAVE SA XERXA!
Our association was created in 2003 with the goal of bringing together people with sensitivity for culture's social value.
FIET's nuclear team, and by extension Sa Xerxa's, are Àngela Jaume, Aina Quintana, Jordi Rosselló and Jaume Gomila. Jordi and Jaume are at the helm of this project from the start, Àngela joined it over twelve years ago and Aina first started as a volunteer, then worked for FIET during the festival and now plays a fundamental role in Sa Xerxa's operations. Jaume is FIET's executive director, Angela is its artistic director together with Jaume and also coordinates all the teams, Jordi coordinates local teams and Aina is FIET's head producer. They all have their own skills –Jaume is a doctor, Jordi is a cultural manager, Aina is an economist and Angela has a huge background thanks to having worked in the tourism sector and in places so different from home as the Falkland Islands– and from this mixing we get the drive to carry on the endless amount of projects Sa Xerxa implements all over the Balearic Islands.
We also would like to mention key people for FIET and Sa Xerxa such as Margalida Gual and Margalida Tous as well as Lida Quetglas and Joan Jaume Sansó, mainstays in the office during two crucial periods for FIET; Joan Borràs, technical coordinator from the get-go, together with his team; Xisco Villegas, FIET and Sa Xerxa's webmaster; Sole Gallardo, in charge of FIET's professional activities since 2015; Margalida Bonnín, Sebastià Sansó and Joan Sitges, who contributed to Sa Xerxa's national and international promotion, and an endless list of volunteers who are the push that year after year helps us get to every corner in Vilafranca to offer the world's best festival.