Early childhood and performing arts

A challenging relationship explored through illustration.
First edition 2019

Bologna Children's Book Fair is a partner of the four-year project “Mapping - A map on the aesthetics of performing arts for early years” an artistic research supported by the Creative European Programme, dedicated to the relationship between early childhood (children from 0 to 6 years) and performing arts (theater, dance, music, circus, etc.). The project involves 18 partners from 17 countries, including La Baracca - Testoni Ragazzi, the Children's Theater of the City of Bologna as well as the Bologna book fair, which creates programmes aimed at creating an interaction between the children’s performing arts and the world of illustration and literature.

The first step taken by BCBF in this project has been the international contest "The Children - Spectators", which will be held yearly; the best illustrations among those selected each year will be included, as a special “young” section, in the final large exhibition of the project alongside the illustrations of four prestigious international artists: Katsumi Komagata, Manuel Marsol, Fabian Negrin and Klaas Verplancke.

About 418 illustrators from 45 countries applied for this year’s contest, sending one illustration each. 31 artworks have been selected by a jury composed of Roberto Frabetti (founder and director of Bologna’s children’s theatre La Baracca - Teatro Testoni Ragazzi), Giorgia Grilli (co-founder of the Department of Education’s Children’s Literature Research Centre, University of Bologna), Ivan Canu (Mimaster, Milan), Mauro Evangelista (Ars in Fabula, Macerata).