Last Saturday, Flemish Minister of Culture Jan Jambon announced that the subsidies in the Flemish cultural field will be drastically cut as of January 1st, 2020. The project funding pot will be decimated by 60% – from 8.5 to approx. 3.5 million euros per year. The structurally subsidised arts organisations will lose 6% of their funding, the large arts institutions 3% – on top of the 5% savings in the previous round. These draconian measures worry the entire sector. Below are three articles/posts that reflect on the seriousness of the matter:
‘projects fundings are not only meant to support the new comers or more experimental art forms, but mainly to provide content to our entire ecosystem, at large. If you strangle the projects, it’s the entire system […] that chokes – and dies.’
> Facebook post Agnes Quackels <
‘The strength of Flanders lies in its fine mesh, its versatility, its diversity of styles and voices. […] The undertow of the artistic field must be as wide as possible so that new voices and aesthetics can develop. Many initiatives disappear by themselves, while others continue to grow. The point is: if this humus is drained, if the influx movement becomes too narrow, your focus on internationalisation will also be affected in the medium term’.
> Opinion piece Michiel Vandevelde in De Standaard <
‘You like to look abroad, but know that Flanders is also being looked at from abroad. In the field of the arts, Flanders is considered an example of good practice by The Netherlands, in the field of the arts people in Scandinavia talk about the Flemish model, in the field of the arts when it drizzles in Paris, it rains in Brussels. And we, international directors and curators, would like to be able to keep on seeing – and being confronted by – all those artistic creations that are moulded out of the Flemish clay’.
> Open letter international curators in De Standaard <