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Culture shift

Israel Festival announces new artistic director team

Itay Mautner and Michal Vaknin will lead veteran cultural event ahead of its 61st year

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Itay Mautner (left) and Michal Vaknin, the new artistic directors of the Israel Festival, announced July 4, 2021 (Courtesy Yair Meyuhas)
Itay Mautner (left) and Michal Vaknin, the new artistic directors of the Israel Festival, announced July 4, 2021 (Courtesy Yair Meyuhas)

Jerusalem’s Israel Festival, an annual summer arts event, has announced a new team of artistic directors.

Itay Mautner and Michal Vaknin, both familiar names from the Israeli cultural world, will lead the artistic program together.

Mautner helped establish and lead the Mekudeshet Festival and its previous incarnation as the Jerusalem Season of Culture.

Vaknin, a producer and director, is known throughout Israel for her productions, including Shalem, the concert of broken instruments, and Window Stories, a 2019 massive installation of window frames in downtown Jerusalem.

The two wanted to work as a team in offering new models and paradigms for the arts event, which is is currently planning its 61st year.

“I’m excited and full of expectation for the work of Michal and Itay,” said Eyal Sher, the Israel Festival director. “Curiosity is guiding us in this new adventure: Curiosity for the creation of new artistic works, for the festival with a different character and style and curiosity for work as a team with energy and brains — something we so need so much in these times.”

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