Different government levels in Flanders and Brussels have support programmes aimed at (individual) artists and cultural workers. On the Federal level, there are specific regulations concerning social security for artists, discussed in 4.1.3. The main funding schemes are located at the level of the Flemish Community, where most forms for supporting professional artists are integrated into the Arts Decree.
Artists can apply for (short term and longer term) grants, which allow for the research and development of new ideas, residencies abroad or reflection on one’s oeuvre. Project funding is available for individual artists (max. three years), which can serve for developing or producing work, presenting it, artistic reflection, participatory work or a combination of these goals. ‘Breakthrough projects’, on the other hand, are aimed at supporting tailor-made trajectories of artists on the verge of an international breakthrough. The Flemish government also meets travel and subsistence costs for artists presenting their work abroad and offers support for a number of international residencies. Artists who unite and organise (e.g. in theatre companies or music ensembles) can equally apply for project funding (the modalities for organisations are similar to those for individual artists) or structural funding (max. five years).
The mentioned types of funding apply for artists active in different disciplines. The exception are professionals working in the fields of literature and audiovisual content, who can apply for grants through respectively Flanders Literature and Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF), funds that function independently from the Arts Decree. Another exception are circus artists, for whom the Circus Decree provides individual grants for developing their oeuvre (max. one year) and project funding for creating and presenting work (max. three years).
Furthermore, we should mention the grants for passing on craftsmanship through a teacher-pupil trajectory. These support craftspeople and (applied) artists (for max. two years) when passing over their expertise — considered as a form of intangible cultural heritage — to a pupil. Amateur artists can apply through the Decree on Amateur Arts for refunding travel costs when participating in an international project.
Beside funding programmes, the Flemish government has also taken measures to stimulate entrepreneurship among artists and facilitate them in gaining a private income (see 7.3). Another form of support for artists and cultural and creative workers comes from funded organisations, such as the centres of expertise (‘steunpunten’) for the professional arts (Flanders Arts Institute), for cultural heritage (FARO), for socio-cultural work for adults (Socius), for circus arts (Circuscentrum) and supralocal cultural activities (OP/TIL), who offer information and networking opportunities to individuals and organisations active in the cultural sector. Flanders Architecture Institute fulfils a similar role for architects and VI.BE for musicians (except classical musicians). Cultuurloket offers artists and culture workers advice on business related and juridical questions. Flanders DC offers guidance to entrepreneurs in the creative industries.
Some local governments offer (project) funding for local artists and cultural workers (such as the Cities of Antwerp, Ghent or Mechelen). The Flemish Community Commission (VGC), the representative of the Flemish government in the Brussels-Capital Region, offers funding possibilities for projects and artist career trajectories.
 This section only discusses recurring support programmes for artists and cultural. For a discussion of the temporary measures for mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on individuals in the cultural sector, see the separate COVID-19 overview on Flanders.
 For an overview of funding schemes, see the website of the Department of Culture, Youth & Media of the Flemish government. For a discussion of evolution of project funding through the Arts Decree, see Hesters, Delphine, Joris Janssens, and Simon Leenknegt. 2018. ‘De projectenparadox. De evolutie van projectsubsidies en beurzen via het Kunstendecreet (2006-2017)’. In Cijferboek Kunsten 2018, Brussel: Kunstenpunt, 367–87; Leenknegt, Simon. 2019. ‘Waarom zijn projectsubsidies belangrijk in de kunsten?’ Kunsten.be.