• The Sibiu International Theater Festival (FITS) sets up the Sibiu Performing Arts Market, an annual projects taking places during the Festival, with the purpose to create a cultural alternative in Central and Eastern Europe, the possibility to establish a network of festivals, a database of creators and managers and a coherent dialogue platform to serve this part of the continent.
• Starting 1997, The Market became part of EurAAm Bourse – a project initiated by nine arts markets in Europe and Quebec, which decided to create a space for cooperation and artistic exchange, aiming to develop, promote and show performances internationally, in order to facilitate access to new cultural markets. The EurAAm Bourse – subsequently AREA – was made up of: Entre Vues – Brussels (Communaute francaise de Belgique, Ministre de la Culture et des Affaires sociales, Service de la diffusion), ASSPROP (Association des Programateurs Professionnels), Bourse Rideau (Montreal, Canada – Reseau Independent des Diffuseurs d’Evenements Artistiques Units), Kulturbörse Freiburg (Freiburg im Dreisgau); Le chainon manquant (Cahors, France, Orques Idees); KTV-ATP – Kunstlerborsen (Thun, Morges, Switzerland), Fira de Teatre al Carrer de Tarrega (Tarrega, Spain), Mercat de Musica Viva de Vic (Spain), Borsa Internationale dello spettacolo appi (Milan, Italy), Internationale Artisten – en evenimentenbeurs (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), Deutsch – Niederlandische – Kulturborse Kleve (Cleves, Germany), XTRAX (Manchester, United Kingdom).
• The Market expands its cultural and artistic horizon, welcoming guests from all over the world, but still placing great emphasis on the presence artists from Central and Eastern European, as well as from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), former USSR countries.
• The Market hosts the event ‘East/West Meeting of Festival Directors’ – an exchange of ideas moderated by festival directors and cultural management specialists, enabling participants to see performances from the FITS programme and meet other participants of The Market.
• A special section of gipsy music, contemporary dance and rock performances was organized (up until 2006).
• Between 2003-2006, FITS and The Market, as a Festival project, were part of the European network EUNETSTAR (European Street Arts Network), funded by artistic directors of nine festivals from eight countries, with the purpose to produce, develop and promote street art and outdoor theatre. The network was made up of International Street theatre Festival (Ghent, Belgium), Namur-en-Mai International Fair Arts Festival (Namur, Belgium), Stockton International Riverside Festival (Stockton, United Kingdom), Oerol Festival (Terschelling, The Netherlands), Coup de Chauffe L’Avant Scene Cognac (Cognac, France), International Theatre Festival Malta (Poznan, Polonia), Galway Arts Festival (Galway, Ireland), Ana Desetnica Ljubljana & Lent Festival (Maribor, Slovenia) and the Sibiu International Theatre Festival (Sibiu, Romania). The project continued between 2006-2010, with the president of The Market and FITS, Constantin Chiriac, also leading EUNETSTAR.
• Between 2004-2009, The Market and FITS were part of Europe Arts, an association aiming at stimulating, training and supporting classical theater, street theater or circus artists, authors and directors to establish a relationship with audiences from a different culture or not speaking the language of performing arts. Europe Arts, a European political project focusing on multiculturalism and multilingualism, is involved in the creation of European production, their dissemination on the continent and the identification of funding sources. Europe Arts is associated with the International Department for Arts Management Consultancy for Activities Outside Europe.
• A banner year for the local and national environment in the European and global cultural context, the year when Sibiu held the title of European Capital of Culture and when Romania became a member of the European Union, which favored the development of The Market, translated into a higher number of participants and of international promotion opportunities.
• The Market and FITS entered into a partnership with Open Street, as active members ever since the network was set up. Open Street is made up of experienced institutions in promoting street arts, giving all members access to its resources and contacts of the best operators in the field: artists, schools, training and production centers, local councils and institutions involved in events and specialized mass-media. It aims at developing street arts, a vital component of cultural and social promotion in the urban and regional environment, so that all social classes enjoy the experience of performances. Constantin Chiriac is a founding member of the Open Street Network and a member in its Board of Directors.
• The first edition of the section Talkback seminars, later known as Cultural Conversations.
• The structure and framework of The Market has changed, as follows: we organized presentations of artists and professionals, happenings (15 minutes fragments of certain performances) and information sessions on funding; redesigned the logo, the organizing team and the venue.
• The first edition of Cultural Conversations is printed, made up of a series of interviews with artists of FITS 2011, guests of the Talkback Seminars.
• The Market moves to a new, warmer and more appropriate venue, Ibis Hotel.
• The Market gets its first website.
• The Market sees its first international conferences, socializing events and workshops, among which the first editions of Festival Readings and the first workshop on presenting artistic productions within The Market, The Art of Pitching.
• The Market witnesses a significant improvement of the number of events organized and of participants, resulting in a prolongation of the event from three to four days.
• The Market is extended to six days, so that all participants have the possibility to enjoy the experience of cultural and professional meetings, as well as access to FITS performances and events, in the context of a city with a strong artistic vibration.
• The first edition of the conference European Dimension and Community Involvement (European Capitals of Culture 2021) and of the workshop Meeting and classes with great choreographers.
• The Market becomes an associated structure to FITS, based on its growth during the 19 editions.
• The format of The Market is reorganized: the happenings are replaced with new workshops and thematic conferences.
• The first edition of the workshop Festivals in the 21st century: Who Are They For, How We Do Them, How Do We Finance Them? takes place.
• A new, more functional exhibition and presentation place is organized, allowing for better interaction between participants.
• The first speed networking event is organized – a new format of quick, focused meetings facilitating an important list of contacts and the exchange of information in a short time interval (10 minutes).
• The participation packages have been reconfigured, while extra packages have been added, in order to offer more flexibility in participation, depending on each participant’s needs.
• In the context of global restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Sibiu Performing Arts Market took place exclusively online. The format was welcomed by participants and more online meetings continued throughout the year.
• The Market took place in a hybrid format, combining the physical and online dimensions, thus enabling participants in Sibiu to connect with those who could not travel, and be together through digital solutions.