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In 2018, the government will implement regulations that stimulate citizens to buy art works from living Flemish artists.

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Belgium/ 8.1 Support to artists and other creative workers  

8.1.1 Overview of strategies, programmes and direct or indirect forms of support

On the federal level, there are specific regulations concerning social security for artists (see chapter 5.1.4). For an overview of measures to stimulate the creativity of individual artists, see chapter 8.1.3.

Flemish Community

The main instruments for supporting artists are integrated in the Flemish Parliament Act on the Arts. Artists, as individual actors, can apply for grants or projects. Artists who unite and organize (e.g. theatre companies or music ensembles) can equally apply for projects (for organisations) or structural funding.

  • Grants for artists: short term grants and longer term grants (max: 3 years, only for established artists). These allow for the research and development of new ideas, residencies abroad or reflection about one’s career.
  • Project subsidies (for artists or organisations): for projects limited in time (max: 3 years) or scope. Projects for different functions (development, production, presentation, participation and reflection) and disciplines can be applied for.
  • Structural funding (5 years)

The Flemish government also stimulates the international practice of artists. It meets punctual travel and subsistence costs for artists who present their work abroad, offers support for a number of international residency programmes and launched the new instrument of the ‘breakthrough projects’, supporting tailor-made trajectories of artists on the verge of an international breakthrough.

The Flemish Parliament Act on the Arts equally holds instruments that stimulate entrepreneurship and facilitate the alternative income of artists, such as artists’ loans. In 2018, the government will implement regulations which stimulate citizens to buy art works from living Flemish artists.

Kunstenloket is a portal for the culture sector in areas such as cultural management, entrepreneurship, administration, complementary financing,... and Kunstenpunt (Flanders Arts Institute) is a support organisation and expertise centre for the development of the arts, working on topics such as the position of artists in the field and offering information and networking opportunities to artists. Both are subsidized by the Flemish Parliament Act on the Arts. Kunstenloket will be enlarged into Cultuurloket, catering for a larger group of creatives - not only artists. To date, Flanders DC serves as an important portal for creatives. It is a Flemish governmental organisation that promotes entrepreneurial creativity throughout the region through network development, research and events.

For the fields of Literature and Film, VFL and VAF respectively provide grants to artists in order to develop their work.

French-speaking Community of Belgium

The French-speaking Community of Belgium bases the way that the management of the cultural policies is organised on drawing a distinction between creation, creativity and participation.

Creation is taken to mean on the one hand the various types of art which have earned a recognised status in the field, and on the other, the works produced by professional artists or those whose competence is recognised.

Creativity is taken to mean the various forms of expression, most often artistic, but also other forms of expression which contribute to the realisation of individual or collective potential. Activities covered by creativity may be guided by professional artists. The field of amateur artistic practice may likewise be considered as a dimension of creativity.

Participation is taken to mean not just participating in artistic works as a spectator, reader or listener, but above all, an active involvement in cultural, artistic or citizen practices which promote individual and collective expression.

The aspects of creation are basically handled by the general Artistic Creation unit, bringing together performing arts and plastic arts, and by the general Letters and Books unit. Creativity and participation are mainly supported by the general Cultural Participation unit, which covers the youth, continuing education, amateur artistic practices and creativity, and training sectors.

Chapter published: 16-01-2018

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