/ The Project / The Festival

Nicola Miulli Creations is a space for multidisciplinary, research-based visual experimentation, focusing on creative projects applied to various areas of design, building stories and identities. 

As creator and author of the Festival, NMC owns the brand MANIBUS,

which represents an Art and Enterprise project that connects the artisan wisdom of Apulia with Contemporary Art. MANIBUS gives voice to the authentic cultural treasure of the Apulian lands in a completely new manner in order to preserve its intangible assets and bring young people closer to crafts that would otherwise be lost.

It is a great event that includes artist residencies, artisan production, exhibitions, round tables and performances. It is the meeting of Art and Enterprise.

The artists of MANIBUS 2022 were selected by the curatorial board specialised in Art and Enterprise, and by the scientific committee. The selection was made starting from a short list of national and international artists specialised in the practice of artist residencies, following the criterion of gender parity. Two Italian and two foreign authors were identified, and among the two foreigners, one EU and one outside the EU. The artists’ profiles also met the scientific need for a suitable artistic language expressed by each, a language that could easily dialogue with the Apulian artisans and their specificities in terms of research, materials, workmanship, sensitivity and visions.

Similarly, the artisans of MANIBUS 2022 were selected by the curatorial board, the scientific committee and a team of local experts and historians. The selection of the artisans and maestros involved considered the artisan profession in all its contemporary meanings: both as an enterprise of the individual artisan dedicated to his workshop, and as a company and industry, where craftsmanship was channelled into the regional production sector to represent its excellence.

Material played a predominant role as the subject of the dialogue between host craftsman and guest artist.


Hands are thinking tools, capable of creating what is useful and – at the same time – beautiful. Using only their hands, the people of Apulia have squared lands with the geometries of dry-stone walls for centuries, they have dug cisterns, built norie and trulli, pruned olive trees, produced pots that they then filled with oil and legends, creating a landscape of multiform beauty and extraordinary poetry. The past is full of a whole complex of actions and knowledge arisen from the hands of an infinite number of people, developed over millennia. Yet everyday stories of women and men, trades, arts and languages risk disappearing under the blows of the global market’s logic. Voice must be given to the authentic cultural treasure of the Apulian lands in an entirely new way, to preserve these intangible assets and bring young people closer to professions that would otherwise be lost: this is how Manibus – International Festival of Art and Enterprise was created, with the background of Costa dei Trulli. Manibus is a tribute to savoir-faire, a hymn to ancient industriousness and the ability to create by hand. It is an event that tells the story of Apulia through the hands that have shaped it and continually reshape it, and the artist’s capacity for vision. Manibus is a festival that brings the artisan wisdom of Apulia together with contemporary art. It is a great event that includes artist residencies, craft production, exhibitions, master classes, performances. It is the meeting of Art and Enterprise.

Globalisation has put the tradition of passing knowledge down from generation to generation – a very special part of all that is “Made in Italy” – at risk, suffering from the marginalisation of craft practices. Manibus – International Festival of Art and Enterprise gives these valuable craft activities momentum in a new formula, reconnecting those in the sector directly with the art market. During the Festival, four renowned contemporary artists will stay in Apulia to explore its environments and people, to then convey the artisan culture through their poetics. The result will be an original installation conceived in the place and for the place, closely connected with the Apulian territory, its techniques and its materials.
Apulia has embarked on an extraordinary path of development over the last decade, starting with a more mature awareness of its cultural resources. Landscapes, archaeological sites, artefacts, food and wine products, urban centres and monuments are the driving force behind an expansive process of unprecedented scale. Costa dei Trulli is the perfect setting for the first edition of the Festival: geographically and symbolically in the heart of the region, it favours a flow of experiences, craftsmen and workshops from the entire area. Moreover, the proven presence of cultural institutions is combined with accommodations of great international prestige. Considering that the area in question encompasses the most representative landscape and cultural icons of Apulia, such as the monumental olive trees of the Agrarian Park, the dry-stone walls, the trulli and the Archaeological Park of Egnazia, artistic sensibility will act as the utmost magnet.

The municipalities involved are Monopoli and Fasano.

Mario Aprile
Apulian born in 1988, he is Vice President of Giovani Imprenditori di Confindustria (Young Entrepreneurs of Confindustria) and is the CEO of Organizzazione Aprile Gestione Archivi Srl, responsible for its credit, taxes and finance. As a third-generation entrepreneur, he began his entrepreneurial journey in the field of document outsourcing and business process management in his family company. He is leading a profound digital transformation in the company with the introduction of the use of blockchain in the archival sector, basing his work on the principle of open innovation. He has organised five editions of the largest Italian start-up marathon, “Digithon”, with Francesco Boccia, former Minister for Regional and Autonomous Regional Affairs.
Franco Broccardi
Chartered accountant, expert in cultural economics, arts management and business management and organisation, he holds positions as consultant and auditor for ANGAMC, Federculture, ICOM as well as for museums, theatres, art galleries, foundations and cultural associations. He is the coordinator of the working group Economy and Culture at the CNDCEC and of the Assobenefit Academy.
Martina Cavallarin

As an art critic, independent curator and essayist, she deals with Contemporary Visual Arts with a focus ranging across different languages and necessary contaminations. She designs and curates international exhibitions and publishes books and catalogues distributed in Italy and abroad. She carries out Cultural Project Management activities, courses and workshops at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna and Venice, at IED, in public institutions and private galleries, and participates in juries and scientific committees within private and public institutions.

Achille Chillà
Achille Chillà teaches Italian and History at G. Salvemini Comprehensive Institute in Fasano, and is an authorised tourist guide for the Region of Apulia. He is an ordinary member of the Società di Storia Patria per la Puglia [Apulia Homeland History Society]. He edited the historical notes and translation from Latin, in Carbonara L. (ed.) Henry Swinburne. Viaggio nelle due Sicilie negli anni 1777, 1778, 1779 [Journey in the two Sicilies in 1777, 1778, 1779], CISVA digital editions – Pensa MultiMedia, 2010. He published “Monopoli, guida turistico-culturale” [Monopoli, a cultural tourism guide], Adda Editore. He has been the editor of the literary criticism journal incroci since 2019, a six-monthly journal on literature and other writing (Adda Editore).
Giuseppe Ciracì
Born in Brindisi, Giuseppe Ciracì started his career in Apulia and then moved to Milan, where he has developed research in the field of figurative painting, in an original reinterpretation of ancient and modern art history. He has taken part in numerous group exhibitions and held solo shows in Italy and abroad, from Lecce to Rome, from Venice to Milan, Berlin and Bali, Indonesia.
Maria De Mola

She was born and lives in Fasano. She teaches Art History and has focused her interests on historical and artistic heritage since 1982, collaborating with museums and institutions and publishing numerous books, essays and articles. Committed to promoting Fasano’s cultural heritage, she chairs the local section of the Società di Storia Patria per la Puglia [Apulia Homeland History Society]. She has curated and presented art exhibitions, not infrequently working to spread and promote handicrafts.

Nicola Miulli
He is a creative director and designer. As a pupil and collaborator of Massimo Dolcini, he started his professional career after graduating in 2002. Meticulous and curious, he conceives multidisciplinary design projects, generally focusing his activities on beauty, design culture and respect for history. He has developed skills in design, philosophy of aesthetics, and the design of complex visual identities in the branding world over the years. His projects have been published in leading international trade journals and he has won major international awards. Some of his works are exhibited in various museums.
Michela Rizzo
Born in Venice, Michela Rizzo joined the contemporary art world in 2004 when she opened a gallery in a small venue in the historic centre. From the early years to today, she has carried out many projects and enjoyed prestigious collaborations with internationally renowned artists, including Damien Hirst, Brian Eno, Tony Cragg and Peter Blake. Michela Rizzo has served on the jury of numerous awards and on the steering committee of the Rome Fair.
Damaso Zanardo
Born in Venice, he is an entrepreneur operating in the logistics and real estate sectors. He has always been involved in association activities and has promoted numerous initiatives to promote ports and logistics in Venice, holding various roles. With the LOG OS “hospital logistics” project, he was awarded the “Innovative Projects” sector prize. He is currently working on the theme “Venice Metropolitan City” with both Confindustria and CCIAA.
Fabrizio Panozzo

Fabrizio Panozzo is the scientific director of aiku – “art enterprise culture center” of the Ca ‘Foscari University of Venice where he teaches “Cultural Policies”, “Critical management studies” and “Artistic Management”. His research interests are primarily focused on the various forms of interaction between the company and artistic, cultural, and creative processes. In the domain of Art and Enterprise, he has published books such as the recent “Culture and creativity in business environments” (Franzlab, 2021) and articles in international magazines.

In recent years he designed and managed a series of research projects including: “Industry, Culture, Creativity and Local Development” (2015) on the relationship between cultural productions and territorial attractiveness, “Art & Business” (2017) which introduced the format of the ” artistic residence in business organizations”, now replicated on dozens of occasions in business firms across Italy. In 2022 he won, with the aiku center, the “Culture + Business” award. He currently coordinates the Spoke “Tourism, Culture and Creativity” within the innovation ecosystem financed by the Next Generation EU funds.

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