The Arts Decree (see 4.2.3) is the main legislative framework in Flanders and Brussels for supporting the professional arts. This includes composers, musicians and organisations (ensembles, concert houses, opera houses, music theatre companies, music clubs, management bureaus, music education outside schools, etc.) in classical music, folk, jazz, pop and rock music. The Arts Decree also arranges the support for Flanders Arts Institute — in which the former Flanders Music Centre 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) shares expertise and data with artists and music organisations. It also supports professionals in classical music through the organisation of (international) promotion and networking opportunities (see also 1.4.3). Since 2019, VI.BE (formerly known as Poppunt) provide similar services for professionals in folk, jazz, pop and rock music, next to support for amateur pop and rock musicians and DJs.
The Flemish policy framework for amateur music is provided by the Decree on Amateur Arts (see 6.4). It arranges funding for Muziekmozaïek (folk and jazz), Vlamo (instrumental music), Koor&Stem (vocal music), and VI.BE, which in turn support amateur artists and associations. Professional concert organisers also collaborate for initiatives that provide career opportunities and counselling for (young) musicians.
CEMPER (which is funded through the Cultural Heritage Decree) is the expert hub for performing arts and musical heritage in Flanders. They collaborate together with Flanders Arts Institute and others in TRACKS, a network for archive and collection management in the arts. Other important institutions concerned with musical heritage in Flanders include the Study Centre for Flemish Music (SVM, dedicated to 19th– and 20th-century music), MATRIX (which has a library and documentation centre on contemporary classical music) and the libraries of the conservatoires of the Schools of Arts (see 5.3). Both Flanders Arts Institute and the Flemish Public Broadcaster (VRT) hold extensive collections of music recordings from Flanders and Brussels.
On the Federal level, BOZAR (centre for fine arts) and La Monnaie/De Munt (the national opera house) are important music venues. This level of government also provides support to the Belgian National Orchestra and the Musical Instruments Museum. The tax shelter for performing arts is also a Federal matter (see 4.1.4). Classical music, music theatre, and opera productions can make use of this scheme.
A number of issues have been the topic of debate in the music 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 artists and the importance of fair practices (see 2.3 and 2.5.5), the danger of monopolies in different stages of the music value chain (such as the increasing power of streaming services in music distribution), budget cuts in funding for the arts (see 7.1.3), and the conditions for touring in Belgium 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 concerts (see also 6.4) — and the effects of stricter rules on volume levels (in effect since 2013) have caused concern among music professionals and organisations.
 See also Kunstenpunt, ed. 2019. Landschapstekening Kunsten: Ontwikkelingsperspectieven voor de kunsten anno 2019. Brussel: Kunstenpunt, 50-59.
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