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Belgium/ 7. Public institutions in cultural infrastructure  

7.3 Status and partnerships of public cultural institutions

Flemish Community

In 2017, Flanders has the following major cultural institutions: Kunsthuis Vlaanderen (the merger of the Royal Ballet of Flanders and the Flemish Opera), Brussels Philharmonic, the arts campus deSingel, Ancienne Belgique (pop and rock venue in Brussels), Antwerp Symphonic Orchestra, arts centre Vooruit, Concertgebouw Brugge, KMSKA (Royal Museum of Fine Arts – Antwerp), M HKA (Museum for Contemporary Art – Antwerp) and the Castle of Gaasbeek.

These major institutions have varying types of management structures. Until a number of years ago, these major cultural institutions were excluded from the existing decrees and were not evaluated by the existing advisory bodies. In the meantime, guidelines for the two museums and the castle have been introduced in the Flemish Parliament Act on Cultural Heritage and for the other institutions in the Flemish Parliament Act on the Arts. These institutions have to submit a policy plan, covering a period of 5 years. The guidelines include stipulations on quality assessment (including foreign experts) and a management agreement for a five-year period.

In the government agreement for the current legislature (2014-2019), the Flemish Government has put forward the strengthening of these Institutions, because of their status as centres of excellence and ‘ambassadors’. The institutions that are supported via the Flemish Parliament Act on the Arts have already seen a rise in their subsidy from 2017 onwards.

For Flanders, there is no recent research concerning the evolution of public-private partnerships and cultural sponsorship.

French-speaking Community of Belgium

The institutions subsidised by the French-speaking Community of Belgium where the subsidy is greatest compared to all the other operators are specifically cited in the decree:

Multidisciplinary cultural centres

  • Le Botanique (Brussels)
  • Les Halles European Cultural Centre (Brussels)
  • Palais des Beaux-Arts, Charleroi
  • Le Manège Cross-border Cultural Centre (Mons)

Performing arts

  • Royal Opera of Wallonia (Liège)
  • Philharmonic Orchestra (Liège)
  • Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia (Mons)
  • Music Council (Brussels)
  • Musical Youth Federation (Brussels)
  • ‘Festival de Wallonie’ (Namur)
  • Choral Song Centre (Namur)
  • National Theatre (Brussels)
  • Charleroi Danse, the Choreographic Centre of the French Community
  • La Bellone performance space (Brussels)
  • Theatre des Doms (Avignon)

Letters and books

  • Archives and Museum of Literature (Brussels)
  • Royal Academy of Language and Literature (Brussels)

Plastic arts and museums

  • Goldsmith Museum (Seneffe)
  • Grand Hornu Museum of Contemporary Art (Mons)
  • Mundaneum (archive centre) (Mons)
  • Mariemont Museum (Morlanwelz)


  • Belgian French-language radio and TV (RTBF)
  • Cinema and Audio-visual Centre
  • Local TV stations
  • Art and experimental cinemas
  • Audio-visual creation workshops

Most of these institutions are linked to the French-speaking Community of Belgium by programme contracts which define their missions and their subsidies.

German-speaking Community

The Belgian Radio and Television Centre of the German-speaking Community is a para-community service which has a management agreement with the government. The Media Centre of the German-speaking Community is a department under the aegis of the Ministry for the German-speaking Community but with separate management. The open channel is under the financial responsibility of the German-speaking Community while the management is the responsibility of a private-sector non-profit association.

Chapter published: 16-01-2018

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