Early childhood and performing arts

A challenging relationship explored through illustration.
Second edition 2020

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.

In the framework of this project, the Bologna book fair organizes each year the international contest "The Children - Spectators". The best illustrations among those selected for each edition 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 650 illustrators from 62 countries applied for this year’s contest, sending one illustration each. 38 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), Ayami Moriizumi (art exhibitions curator, representative in Italy of the Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo), Paola Vassalli (expert in children’s literature, former director of the Educational Art Workshop Services at Rome’s Palazzo delle Esposizioni).