Vision, mission and history

Karel Stulens met Antwerp Symphony Orchestra o.l.v. assistent-dirigent Martijn Dendievel. Foto: (c) Wouter Maeckelberghe

Flanders Arts Institute is the support centre for the performing arts, classical music and the visual arts in Flanders and Brussels. The organisation caters to both national and international professional arts audiences. The organisation is known as Kunstenpunt to national audiences.


Flanders Arts Institute is the support centre for the professional arts in Flanders. We perform four major tasks for three artistic disciplines: the visual arts, the performing arts and classical music:

  1. info and advice
  2. networking and exchange
  3. sector marketing and (international) promotion
  4. innovation and development

You’ll find detailed information about these tasks below.

In addition to these core tasks, every five years, at the request of the government, we prepare a Landscape Sketch of the Arts, a description of the evolving arts field. Where lie the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, opportunities and issues?

“Driven by knowledge, inspired by art” is our tagline. This stands for building, processing and sharing knowledge based on a very close proximity to the arts field. In this, facts and figures are just as important as applied knowledge. Many new practices and insights arise from within the arts field itself. The role of Flanders Arts Institute is to collect that knowledge, place it in context and pass it on.


The world is changing rapidly and becoming increasingly complex; the arts must evolve accordingly. Flanders Arts Institute aims to be a source of inspiration, an accessible and reliable knowledge source, data supplier and fact checker, a mainstay, a facilitator and an innovator, for all who work in the arts.

We take both elements of our tagline – “driven by knowledge” and “inspired by art” – very seriously. That’s what makes us unique: up-to-date, objective and accurate information, and a strong commitment to artists, art workers and art organisations.

Day after day we see the numerous challenges they face. Our aim is to assist them in the most targeted manner possible, always with an eye to the future. This means that Flanders Arts Institute must sometimes also adopt a position, but always with nuance and a solid foundation.

We want in this way to contribute to an arts field in which mutual caring, fairness and solidarity come first. A field that finds the time and space to continue to renew and develop, and to build bridges to related domains.

The four core tasks of Flanders Arts Institute

1. Info and advice

Flanders Arts Institute helps all those involved in the arts sector – especially those entering the field – by providing easily accessible basic information with which they can find their way and (continue to) professionalise their career. Here they can find the knowledge they need to do their work.

The main target group is novice art workers and new networks and circuits, but it goes without saying that this service is also available to people with more experience and/or established organisations. Here they can find information on topics such as sustainability, fairness, good governance, the Arts Decree, etc …

☞  The tools we use for this are our Morning Coffee, info sessions, writing tables, online
platform Advice, and more.


2. Networking and exchange

Flanders Arts Institute organises a varied range of events – physical and online – at which art professionals can expand their network and exchange experiences.

Our events revolve around meetings and consist of substantive conversations about current themes. They are organised per discipline as well as across disciplines, both locally and internationally, public as well as private.

To promote international exchange, we bring foreign art professionals to Flanders to discover our art scene, and we organise visits abroad for artists and art workers from Flanders. To this end, we join forces with diverse and varying partners in the field: from informal collectives to established organisations.

The target group here is very broad, ranging from starting art workers and organisations to those with many years of experience. We try to divide our efforts and time fairly, with attention to as many (sub)sectors as possible, urban as well as non-urban. We also select based on the opportunities and needs of people and groups, we seek advice from partners, we focus on open calls and on external, diverse selection committees and juries.

☞  The tools we use for this are varied: exchange platforms, sector events and more.


3. Sector description and (international) promotion

This task concerns identifying, describing and promoting art and artists from Flanders –especially to foreign professionals. It’s also about presenting an overview to those who want to get to know certain subsectors in the field better.

This is done by participating in promotional events, supporting makers in presenting themselves at these events, by creating publications that describe the sector and via our arts database.

The priority target group here are international professionals with an interest in the arts field in Flanders. We place the spotlight on makers with the relevant experience. We look for the best match between the “opportunity” (the event, the audience that attends) and the makers we support in their presentations.

☞  Tools we use for this include: field sketches, our arts database, working visits, international visitor programmes, presence at trade fairs and showcase platforms, and more.


4. Innovation and development

The arts field is continuously changing and evolving, embedded in a society in transition. Society and the arts are faced with tough issues of great urgency, for which there are no clear solutions. Consider the social position of artists and freelancers, structural exclusion mechanisms, polarisation, or the climate problem …

These challenges must be addressed across disciplines and require perseverance: sustained research, frequent experimentation, repeated consultation. It concerns long-term processes in which we build, test, summarise and redistribute knowledge in close dialogue with the sector.

☞  Tools we use for this include magazines, podcasts, articles, blog posts, focus conversations, interviews, and more.


Flanders Arts Institute emerged in 2015 out of the fusion of the former support organisations for visual arts (BAM – Flemish Institute for Visual, Audiovisual and Media Art), music (Flanders Music Centre) and performing arts (VTi – Institute for the Performing Arts in Flanders).

Research and development

Which areas of focus will determine the future of the arts in Flanders and Brussels? What are the current research projects of Flanders Arts Institute envisioning the development of the arts sector?