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Belgium/ 8.1 Support to artists and other creative workers  

8.1.3 Grants, awards, scholarships

Flemish Community

For grants and bursaries: see chapter 8.1.1.

Since 2003, the Flemish government yearly awards the Ultimas (former Culture Prizes) in all cultural disciplines. Laureates earn a prize of 10 000 EUR. Every year, one career prize is awarded: the Prize for General Cultural Merit (for 20 000 EUR).

French-speaking Community of Belgium

There is particular support available for artists in the form of scholarships in the sectors of individual artistic practices (plastic arts, literature and music in the case of contemporary composition). This is a way of supporting both creation (music, writing, theatre, etc.) and continuing training, although it remains inadequate. There are also scholarships available in the field of dance to support artistic research, with no requirement to lead to any creation.

When it comes to the plastic arts, the Ministry of the French-speaking Community of Belgium acquires works of art, lodged with municipal or provincial museums, in art centres and with public administrations. The French-speaking Community of Belgium also encourages the performing arts by backing cultural institutions in hosting young companies and new shows.

When it comes to the cinema, aid is available for script-writing and the development and production of shorts and feature films. In addition to this direct aid, the Ministry of the French-speaking Community of Belgium also supports specific structures (support workshops and production workshops) specialising in the development of the production of film projects, mainly documentaries.

Aside from the main institutions in the field, all music institutions get aid every year and sometimes on a project basis. In addition, the French-speaking Community of Belgium promotes show planning (performing arts: choirs, storytelling, theatre, etc.) in cultural venues in Wallonia and Brussels, by awarding one subsidy per performance, for shows which have been recognised in advance as being of a high calibre.

Various literary prizes are also awarded: the five-yearly literature prize, the three-yearly poetry, novel and essay prize, the prize for the best first work, the translation prize, and the prize for publicising Belgian writing abroad.

There are also initiatives to create and develop artists’ workshops and support structures (theatre, dance, cinema) and residencies (mainly for the performing arts, but also for translation) in various cultural institutions.

German-speaking Community

  • Eastern Belgian Art Prize (every three years);
  • Ceramics Prize (annually); and
  • Prize awarded by the Council of the German-speaking Community for literary publications or publications dealing with topics relating to the German-speaking Community (annually).

Chapter published: 16-01-2018

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