Online Side Event at World Conference on Culture and Arts Education
ITI/UNESCO Network's Panel Discussion
Harmonizing Heritage and Innovation: Navigating Tradition in Contemporary Arts Education
ZOOM, Monday, 12 February 2024 | 14h00 – 15h30 (Paris Time)

The upcoming UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education, taking place from 13 to 15 February, 2024, in Abu Dhabi, is set to include a Panel Discussion organized by the ITI/UNESCO Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts.

This side event, titled "Harmonizing Heritage and Innovation: Navigating Tradition in Contemporary Arts Education," aims to delve into the delicate balance between preserving cultural heritage and embracing innovative approaches within the realm of arts education.

This event is designed to foster a dynamic and inclusive dialogue on the intersection of heritage and innovation in arts education. By exploring how tradition can coexist and thrive alongside modern approaches, our goal is to inspire educators, students, and professionals in the performing arts sector.

Date and Time:
Monday, 12 February 2024 | 14h00 – 15h30 (Paris Time)

Online event via ZOOM:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 828 8011 5731
Passcode: 535699

Note: The participation link will only be available at the date and time of the event.

The UNESCO World Conference on Culture and Arts Education itself, to be held at the Ministerial level, aims to adopt a global Framework on Culture and Arts Education. Hosted by the United Arab Emirates, the conference seeks to enhance inter-ministerial policy dialogue, fostering a more integrated approach to education and culture. Stakeholders from Member States, intergovernmental organizations, UN agencies, UNESCO Chairs, UNITWIN Networks, academia, and civil society organizations worldwide will converge to exchange expertise, share knowledge, and shape innovative ideas.

The ITI/UNESCO Network for Higher Education in the Performing Arts, a collaborative effort between UNESCO and ITI involving over 60 higher education and research institutions, adheres to the guidelines and procedures of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chair and Network Programme. The network focuses on higher education in the performing arts, encompassing drama, theatre, dance, music theatre, playwriting, and related disciplines.

Explore more details about the event by clicking here.


Chen Zhongwen

General Secretary of ITI/UNESCO Network
Deputy Director-General of ITI


Daniel Bausch

Head of Advanced Studies Accademia
Teatro Dimitri Switzerland

Opening Keynote

Lemi Ponifasio

Samoa and New Zealand

Stage Director, Choreographer, Visual Artist
Artistic Director of MAU
World Theatre Ambassador of ITI
International Dance Day Message Author

Speech: “Navigating Tradition in Contemporary Performing Arts Creation.”

Lemi, a visionary artist, seamlessly blends traditional and avant-garde dance, creating captivating performances. His commitment to local communities includes collaborative projects that respect cultural heritage. Ponifasio empowers local artists through training, bridging traditional forms with contemporary expression. His visionary approach fosters appreciation for cultural heritage, inspiring connections between cultures and generations.

Invited Speaker

Jarosław Fret


Founder and Leader of Teatr ZAR
Theatre Director and Actor
Director of the Grotowski Institute

Speech: “Insights on Tradition and Innovation in the European”

As founder of Teatr ZAR and Director of the Grotowski Institute, Fret skillfully merges traditional and contemporary elements in performances, preserving heritage and fostering innovation. His groundbreaking research into religious music's oldest forms and direction of performances, like the Gospels of Childhood triptych, showcase his adept navigation of tradition and modernity.

Invited Speaker

Serge Nicolaï


Actor, Theatre Director, Educator

Speech: “Insights on performing arts training for amateurs, professionals and the young”

Serge serves as artistic and pedagogical director of L'Aria. As a pivotal figure, he has shaped the organization's training and artistic vision, directing a curriculum that blends rigorous physical training with personal growth and artistic exploration. In this role, Serge guides performers, both professional and amateur, through a comprehensive journey, fostering a deep understanding of their bodies, emotions, and creative potential.