In Memoriam: Valeria Frabetti

ASSITEJ celebrates the life and extraordinary legacy left by Valeria Frabetti, in her work for children and young people. It was under her artistic direction that La Baracca was the winner of the ASSITEJ Award for Artistic Excellence in 2008 at the 16th World Congress in Adelaide, Australia.
We asked our Treasurer, Roberto Frabetti, to sum up her life and work as only he can do best…

We wish him, his family and the whole Baracca family all strength at this time of loss. 

This August, Valeria Frabetti left us.
Woman and artist of the Italian and international TYA, she was one of the founders of La Baracca in Bologna, of which she was Artistic Director until 2015.

Under her artistic direction, La Baracca was assigned the ASSITEJ Award for Artistic Excellence 2008 for the project “0-3 years. Theatre for early years” at the Adelaide Congress.
Valeria has been author, actress and director of many theatre and dance productions for young audiences, from early years to teenagers, constantly affirming through her artistic work the right of children and young people to be loved and respected for what they are – at 1, 8 or 13 years old.
An artistic direction guided by her great curiosity, open to collaborations, attentive to the characteristics of different artists and different languages, always ready to give space to the creativity of young artists. This is how Valeria has allowed the Centre for children and young people theatre of Bologna, first based at the Teatro Sanleonardo and then at Testoni Ragazzi, to be a real space for research and experimentation, able to continuously renew itself in contents and generations.
This “open” way in which she conceived the artistic direction has allowed La Baracca to build a very solid relationship with Bologna, but it has also made Bologna a place known by many artists from all over the world. 

She directed by facilitating processes, giving space and supporting creative paths, whether they were production ideas or large research projects, artistic, educational and cultural, such as Small size.

Thanks to all of this La Baracca was assigned the ASSITEJ Award, and above all Small size was able to be born and find its own way.
She liked to define herself “curious” in its double meaning: eager to know, but also “extravagant”. 

For this reason she made her being a doctor coexist with her being an artist.
A synthesis that led her to passionately throw herself into the adventure of Arte e Salute Ragazzi  (Art & Health for TYA) since 2010, when she already knew about her cancer. For ten years she oversaw the creation and development of a children’s theatre company composed exclusively of actresses and actors affected by psychiatric disorders. 

With them she has created plays of great strength and elegance, presented every year to the audience of children in the city.

After 10 years of fighting with her cancer, always proud, with her head held high, Valeria decided it was time to go.
Valeria was a great woman who lived dreaming of a world of great women. Great in dreams and hopes, certainly not in power or vanity, traits that never even touched her.
She was great in always affirming, without any ambiguity, her right to be what she wanted to be.
In her life, as a doctor and as an artist, she has continued to open door after door, for others and for herself, creating and offering opportunities. Without any fear of showing her intransigence, her rigour, but also her irrepressible enthusiasm and her infinite curiosity.

Always showing what she simply was.

A free thinker, an absolute divergent.

For me, proudly, my sister.

– Roberto Frabetti, ASSITEJ Treasurer