Dear Sir or Madam,
We are honoured to inform you that the 55th International Gathering of Children of Europe – “Joy of Europe” will take place in Belgrade, Serbia, between October 1st and 6th 2024.
The Belgrade City Administration is the founder and general sponsor of the International Gathering of Children of Europe, with the Children’s Cultural Centre Belgrade as its executive producer. The “Joy of Europe” festival has the EFFE label of quality, granted by the European Commission.
The idea of establishing “Joy of Europe” was born back in 1968 after a performance of the Swedish Boy Choir in Belgrade. Every year since then the festival has aimed to bring together children from across Europe through song and dance by showcasing their own culture and customs, as well as artwork at the International Drawing and Painting Contest. Today, “Joy of Europe” is the biggest and oldest festival of children’s creativity.
Eligible to apply for the “Joy of Europe” festival are art schools, cultural centres, studios, clubs, and associations, primarily groups that achieved remarkable results at national and international competitions, festivals etc. The participating group should be registered in a European country, outside the territory of the Republic of Serbia and should represent the culture of that country. The performing group can consist of up to 15 children, between 7 and 14 years of age, and 2 adult companions – group leaders. It is strictly forbidden to cross the age limit or to bring older or younger children to the festival. Participants can present their work through dance (classical, traditional, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, break dance, etc.), music (vocal, band or choir), or multimedia-type performance.
The greatest and the most interesting fact regarding this festival is that the children are going to be accommodated in families of their peers from Belgrade schools (one child per family), since the essential goal of this event is the development of long-lasting friendships, socializing and intercultural learning through experience.
Costs of hotel accommodation (BB) for 2 adult companions, only, are covered by the organizer. The travel costs to and from Belgrade are covered by the participants themselves. In case the participant’s bus is used during the festival the organizer covers the cost of fuel for the duration of the event, as well as the costs of accommodation for 2 drivers.
The slogan for the 55th International Gathering of the Children of Europe is “HOW THE MIND GROWS”. This choice serves to honor the 50th anniversary of the first publication of Budimir Nešić’s renowned book of the same title. The book “How the Mind Grows” depicts the distinctive originality of children’s perspectives through a series of statements, thoughts and answers gathered from his work and interaction with children. Budimir Nešić was a Serbian psychologist and writer who devoted his professional career to children. Alongside his work with children and parents as a psychologist, he excelled as a songwriter, aphorist and author of children’s books and scripts which is why his works were brought to life on stage, screen and as music composed for children. Nešić was a co-author of the renowned books “A Pen Writes with its Heart” and “Greet Someone”. We are proud to say that he spent a significant part of his career at Dom Pionira (today known as the Children’s Cultural Centre Belgrade) and the Center for Social Work in Zemun.
How to engage with the topic as a group?
This year, we wonder how children perceive the world, what inspires them, how they grow and develop, what is the world they mature in like, to what extent adults comprehend them and whether a bit of arrogance is what is shown in their assumption of always being always right. The slogan “HOW THE MIND GROWS”, as the guiding inspiration for the “Joy of Europe” performances, can be widely and freely interpreted in accordance with the artistic sensibility of the group.
The basic program units of this manifestation are:
1. CARNIVAL – a formal parade of participants in costumes through the city centre
2. FRIENDSHIP GATHERING CONCERTS – concerts at the hall of Children’s Cultural Centre Belgrade (live performance no longer than 10 minutes, music can be performed live)
3. GALA CONCERT- Each group performs an act no longer than 3 minutes and every vocal and instrumental part of the performance has to be recorded in a studio – full playback is compulsory. Gala Concert will be TV broadcasted live on the national TV channel of the Republic of Serbia.
4. SPORTS DAY and ECO ACTIVITY – planting trees – interactive entertainment and sports
5. EXHIBITION OF THE AWARDED WORKS OF ART FROM THE 26th INTERNATIONAL ART COMPETITION “JOY OF EUROPE” – at the Gallery of the Children’s Cultural Centre Belgrade;
The application deadline is April 1st 2024. Applications received after the deadline will not be taken into consideration. The Board of the festival will make the final selection and inform the applicants about the results by April 15th, 2024. Each country will be represented by only one chosen group.
The application of potential participants should contain:
1. Filled-out application form
2. Video or link of performance for the Gala Concert, up to 3 minutes long
The 55th Joy of Europe will be dedicated to a specific theme, as is our tradition. We will timely inform you about the chosen theme in due course.
Filled-out application form and the video or link of the performance for the Gala Concert should be sent to the following e-mail address: email@example.com
Professor Dragan Marić, MA
CHILDREN’S CULTURAL CENTER OF BELGRADE
—> Download the application form