Young Europe IV has won the Art Explora – Académie des Beaux-Arts European award!

It is our immense pleasure to announce that, among 150 applicants, and 6 finalists in its category, Young Europe IV is elected winner for its innovation in access to culture, and rewarded with a €50,000 prize!

Young Europe IV aims to transform European classrooms into theatres for the duration of a play -- and change the sorts of stories we tell about people from non-dominant backgrounds.

The ETC project, an activity co-funded by the European Union, brings 9 theatres from 7 countries together to co-create plays that come alive for young people and transcend national, cultural and even language barriers.

This edition focuses on the non-dominant voices in our societies as a challenge to the dominance of the white, heterosexual, male perspective in European theatre literature.

Each participating theatre is working with an emerging playwright, who will share their 'diverse' story through plays that will be performed in school classrooms from the UK to Cyprus. The process is supported and guided by established European theatre mentors.

This highly-prestigious award will enable ETC to transform the reach of Young Europe IV and create a diverse theatre canon for young audiences across the continent, through translations and the organisation of a dedicated theatre festival in 2024. The news comes towards the end of the EU European Year of Youth 2022, which aims to build a more inclusive future.

Young Europe IV is part of the ETC programme TRANSFORMATIONS: Recharging European Theatres and Audiences in a post-Covid World, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

Learn more about Young Europe IV

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About the Award

The Art Explora - Académie des beaux-arts European Award aims to fight against all economic, social and geographical barriers in order to renew, together with its laureates, the dialogue between the arts and the public. It supports innovative projects, across all art forms, that can be shared, replicated and scaled across Europe. 

This 3rd Art Explora - Académie des beaux-arts European Award has been marked by a growing number of applicants, with over 150 from 22 countries. The three winners have been selected by a jury formed of leading figures from the world of art, culture and academic research. 

  • Art Explora is an international foundation that inspires new encounters between arts and audiences – locally, nationally and internationally.
  • The Académie des beaux-arts (French Academy of Fine Arts) is one of the five academies that make up the Institut de France (Institute of France). It promotes artistic creation through all forms of expression, notably by organizing competitions, awarding annual prizes, funding artist residencies, distributing grants and working to champion France’s cultural heritage.

Words from the ETC Board

Heidi Wiley, Executive Director of European Theatre Convention

"Young Europe IV is a European youth theatre project thought for revealing non dominant voices, connecting artists and audiences in 7 countries. It has two aims. First, helping emerging dramaturgs to raise their voice on complex and poorly represented subjects, such as sexual identity, migration issues or mental health. And to give students in schools access to this new drama repertoire, more representative of our societies. Young Europe empowers teenagers to see theatre plays they can easily access and connect with, which they can feel widely represented and inspired by.

It is an honour to receive the Art Explora - Academie des Beaux-Arts for this project. It will allow us to enlarge our reach for more young people to explore theatre made with and for them, through translations and a theatre festival. It will bring the theatre world together around these new plays for young people, laying the grounds for a more diversified theatrical writing and a new European theatre canon.”


Serge Rangoni, ETC President, General Manager & Artistic Director of Théâtre de Liège/Belgium

"Winning the Art Explora – Académie des Beaux-Arts European award is a great recognition for the importance of the work by ETC to engage with the future generation.

We started our project Young Europe fourteen years ago. Since then and until today with its 4th edition, we have seen how the chance for young European playwrights to meet and work together has helped them to artistically transform their emotions and make theatre relevant to Europe’s youth. So, I can only thank the Art Explora jury for helping us to continue giving a voice to young people and shape our future."


Paulien Geerlings, ETC Vice-President, Head Dramaturge at De Toneelmakerij, Amsterdam/The Netherlands

"I am delighted that Young Europe 4 received the Art Explora Award 2022. I greatly appreciate that this award underlines the need for a new, broader, and more diverse repertoire, written by a multitude of voices. It is essential not only to see your own story reflected on stage but also to hear stories that allow us to understand what we do not yet know. I would like to thank the participating playwrights for being brave enough to share their stories. In this Young Europe IV project, it is moving to see how we come to better understand our different cultures and backgrounds by sharing these stories. Stories that unite. If a group of theatre-makers, as different as they can be, can become one by sharing stories and embracing rather than shunning our differences, then I hope the same can be true for all of Europe."


Main image: ETC Vice President Paulien Geerlings (holding the certificate), ETC Project Manager Teresa Pfaud (centre) and ETC President Serge Rangoni (far right) celebrate the announcement of the award with Frédéric Jousset, founder of Art Explora (c) Matthieu Joffres, Art Explora

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