One in four arts organisations in danger of losing subsidies

Arts organisations in Flanders and Brussels launched the #ambitieuzerdandit (more ambition than this) campaign on Wednesday. They ask the government of Flanders to provide more resources for the sector. One in four organisations is in danger of disappearing due to losing its subsidies, according to the Flemish Arts Council (oKo).

Flemish and Brussels arts organisations have been extremely worried since they received letters with provisional subsidy recommendations for the next five or ten years last week. According to an analysis by oKo, one in four organisations will be threatened with losing its subsidy in 2023. These include Toneelhuis, Ictus, Needcompany and Z33. The organisations which would still receive Flemish subsidies - 64 percent of the applicants - would have to make do with an average of sixteen percent less than requested.

In response, the arts organisations launched the #ambitieuzerdandit campaign on Wednesday. The art organisations want to remind Flemish Minister-President Jan Jambon, who is also responsible for culture, of his commitment to find extra money for the professional arts.

"Without an extra budget, many arts organisations, which are eager to rebuild after the pandemic, risk ending up in a reduction or closure scenario. That would be at odds with the positive evaluations of the commissions and the appreciation of the public," says Leen Laconte, director of oKo. "Without an extra budget, the sector will come under heavy pressure, internationally we will have to take big steps back, polyphony will be lost, employment will be threatened and experimentation will become extremely difficult."

According to oKo, an additional €38 million is needed, on top of the €175 million currently provided. The extra money is necessary to compensate for increased costs, restore purchasing power and implement new policy emphases.


© BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK - The Bourla schouwburg/ Toneelhuis pictured during a visit of Minister of Health Vandenbroucke to Toneelhuis (Bourla), on the opening night of Saint Amour 2022 (27th edition) organised by Behoud de Begeerte, in Antwerp, Saturday 29 January 2022. ​

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