The Arts Decree (see 4.2.3) is the main legislative framework in Flanders and Brussels for supporting the professional arts. This means the Flemish government is the main body providing funding for the performing arts (theatre, dance, music theatre, multidisciplinary arts, etc.), although local governments sometimes take on an important role (e.g. in funding companies with a local venue infrastructure, such as the city theatres). Playwrights can also apply for support from Flanders Literature, a separate fund for literature (see 3.5.1). The Flemish government supports Flanders Arts Institute — in which the former Vlaams Theaterinstituut (VTi) merged — as the independent centre of expertise for professional performing arts, visual arts and (classical) music in Flanders. Flanders Arts Institute (see 5.5 and 7.2.1) provides support and networking opportunities for and shares expertise and data with artists and performing arts organisations. Flanders Arts Institute organises the international promotion of arts from Flanders (see also 1.4.3) and — managing a large collection of historical documents and books — takes up a role in performing arts heritage. CEMPER (which is funded through the Cultural Heritage Decree) is the expert hub for performing arts and musical heritage in Flanders. They collaborate with Flanders Arts Institute and others in TRACKS, a network for archive and collection management in the arts.
Circus has its own legislative framework, the Circus Decree, providing funding for circus companies, schools, workshops, and the expertise centre Circuscentrum, which offers support to and promotes circus from Flanders. It is also the documentation centre of the Flemish circus sector.
The Federal culture institutions BOZAR (centre for fine arts) and La Monnaie/De Munt (the national opera house) should also be mentioned as players in the performing arts field in Flanders and Brussels. On the Federal level, there is also a tax shelter scheme for performing arts (see 4.1.4).
A number of issues have been the topic of debate in the performing arts sector and in public arts policy in the past five years (some of which are aggravated by the COVID-19 crisis). These include the precarious position of (performing) artists and the importance of fair practices (see 2.3 and 2.5.5), the position of (large) cultural institutions — a debate that was sparked in 2019 by an open letter of the city theatres of Ghent, Brussels, and Antwerp with the request to the Flemish government for becoming a major art institution (see also 1.3.3) —, budget cuts in funding for the arts (see 7.1.3), and the changing conditions for producing and presenting work in Flanders and abroad. The changes in local cultural policy (see 1.2.4) — creating a different context for culture centres, which play a major role in programming performing arts productions (see also 6.4) — and signs that the traditionally strong dissemination of (publicly funded) performing arts throughout Flanders and Brussels has begun to falter, has caused concern among arts professionals and organisations. Performing arts from Flanders also have a strong international reputation, which results in intense international collaboration and touring. There are signals that this narrative of growth (more transnational collaborations, more stagings abroad) has reached its limits, and that artists are reconfiguring their international practice.
The Decree on Amateur Arts (see 6.4) is the policy framework for amateur performing arts on the level of the Flemish Community. It arranges funding for OPENDOEK and Danspunt, which provide support for amateur artists and associations in, respectively, theatre and dance. OPENDOEK organises the annual Landjuweelfestival, a contest among amateur theatre companies from Flanders. Danspunt is one of the partners in the annual Dance Day (‘Dag van de Dans’), which is organised by Kanaries in actie vzw, a collaboration between dance organisations.
 See also Kunstenpunt, ed. 2019. Landschapstekening Kunsten: Ontwikkelingsperspectieven voor de kunsten anno 2019. Brussel: Kunstenpunt, 36-49.
 For a discussion of the position of major art insitutions in the field of arts in Flanders, see Overbergh, Ann, Katrien Kiekens, and Dirk De Wit. 2019. ‘First among equals? The art institution today’.
 Janssens, Joris. 2018. ‘De theaterprogrammering in de cultuurcentra (2006-2015). De productie en spreiding van podiumkunsten: een derde bodemonderzoek’. In Cijferboek Kunsten 2018, Brussel: Kunstenpunt, 233–40.
 Leenknegt, Simon. 2018. ‘The only way is up? Cijferanalyse van de internationalisering van de productie en de spreiding van de Vlaamse podiumkunsten (2000-2016)’. In Cijferboek Kunsten 2018, Brussel: Kunstenpunt, 41–70.
 Janssens, Joris. 2018. (Re)framing the International. On new ways of working internationally in the arts. Brussel: Kunstenpunt.