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The Flemish performing arts sector is still not a reflection of today's society in all its diversity. Although there is no doubt about the interculturality of Flanders, prevailing (power) structures, institutional barriers and social inequalities ensure that artists from minority and racialised groups bear the negative consequences.  

What strikes us is that the supply and demand are difficult to match. It is here where kunstZ tries to build bridges in its mission, vision and approach.

 

The presence of ethnically and culturally diverse artists provides new perspectives, fresh ideas and challenging works so that we are able to continue to grow as a sector and society. Making and giving space to interculturalism is necessary for the cohesion of the community in which we live and are part of. Continuing to raise awareness of ethnic and cultural diversity should result in sustainable engagement, new practices and the redefinition of the art space for creators and artists. In this way, ethnic and cultural diversity is normalized in all facets of the performing arts sector (audience, supply, technique, structures, ...) and lowers the barriers for various artists who often fall outside the norm.  

KunstZ is based on the idea that the homogeneity of the Flemish performing arts sector is in sharp contrast with actual Flemish life. Representation on stage and behind the scenes is not obvious and getting there can be difficult for those outside the dominant groups. That is why KunstZ wants to give a voice and power to groups that do not necessarily fall under the norm, so that their creations can grow with the necessary support.  

The goal of kunstZ is an inclusive environment, where ethnic and culturally diverse artists are a permanent part of the Flemish performing arts sector. Starting with the creators and artists, we hope to give their creations a stable place in the sector so that they become an integral part of the current discourse. We believe that in our sector all narratives should be given the same opportunities and no distinction should be made between socio-cultural backgrounds. 

Mission and vision

Operations

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KunstZ is an organisation dedicated to the training, guidance and support of performing artists from ethnically and culturally diverse backgrounds. The approach is based on three artistic practices:  trajectory guidance in the kunstZtheaterworkspace, the kunstZpool and the kunstZacademy.

KunstZ offers trajectory guidance to ethnically and culturally diverse talent. People who are interested but do not yet know the Flemish performing arts landscape.

Do you have artistic ambition? Do you want to work behind the scenes? We map out an individual trajectory for each participant. You can get started with kunstZ productions, move on to another theater company, follow an interesting training course or apply for a job in the arts sector.  

In the theatre workspace, our participants go to work. Not only do we make our own productions, we also work on co-productions with companies that are established in the sector. That way, you get to know people from the sector and you can exchange experiences. In this way, the sector can meet participants, exchange experiences and inspire each other.

 

Do you have an idea for a performance or project?  No problem!  We offer  - if it's possible -  substantive logistical, production and financial support. The support and guidance that kunstZ offers is tailor-made and can vary from artist to artist, depending on the needs of the project.

The  kunstZacademy is a part-time theatre training course where, in a diverse group of like-minded people, you work on your skills and competencies in order to be able to move on to commissions, work placements, or continued full-time training in the professional performing arts.  By participating in the Academy, the participants also work directly and indirectly on other skills that significantly increase their chances on the labor market (be it within the arts or in other sectors).

In our training, we develop acting methods and explore theatrical forms this exploration often leads participants to new acting and movement styles. ​The kunstZacademie wants to develop a universal hybrid theatre language in which the various identities communicate with each other without losing their individuality.

During the regular lessons and the kunstZmodules we work on various forms of movement, singing, writing, theatre history, etc.

KunstZparticipants can register in the kunstZpool . The participants in the pool form the basis of the operation of kunstZ. KunstZ fulfills a bridging function between the 'pool' and the wider arts sector. Where possible, we allow participants from the kunstZpool to move on to their own projects, but also to other theatre companies, production houses, training courses, work placements, employment, etc. The intention, on the one hand, is to increase the network of both parties, to exchange experiences and content. On the other hand, we want to use these creations to enrich and renew the arts with alternative content and stories.

The pool is open to participants with artistic ambitions but also to people who want to work behind the scenes.

The history of kunstZ

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Kopspel vzw starts, together with muziekatelier Ward de Beer , FMV , PAJ , Onthaalbureau Inburgering, with theatre workshops for newcomers.  The result is the theatre, dance and music project 'Genesis'.  After 'Genesis' a few players form their own company 'Grupo Noisette', in which Kopspel supports their productions. After Genesis received the Cutting Edge Award for Best Theatre Performance, Kopspel vzw dreams about a larger project, supported by the arts sector.

KunstZ is the dream come true and was founded as a project by Kopspel vzw to increase the visibility and employment of newcomers and migrants in the theater sector. An art pool is being set up in which people with an ethnically and culturally diverse background interested in the performing arts sector (both artistically, technically and productionally) receive individual trajectory guidance. The focus is the visibility and employment of ethnically and culturally diverse talent.

In the kunstZtheatre workshop, productions are made with participants from the kunstZpool that focus on the content that the participants provide themselves. Makers and artists who often fall out of the norm are given a place here to create themselves.  

 

Nine theatre companies commit themselves to offer the kunstZpool work experience and financially support the project: Bad Van Marie, Compagnie KaïET!, Laika, luxemburg, DE MAAN, MartHA!tentatief, Rataplan, de Roovers and Villanella .

KunstZ is expanding and developing new practices to introduce and give a place to interculturality in the Flemish performing arts in a sustainable way. This resulted in the kunstZacademie, a free part-time theatre course for people with an ethnically and culturally diverse background. The kunstZacademie wants to lower barriers for artists and makers with new ideas and a surprising look. A different mother tongue, a different background and a different way of thinking are supported here  encouraged and reinforced. This specific theatre training provides the opportunity to optimally develop talent and individuality, to learn with each other and from each other.

Muziektheater Transparant and the Toneelhuis are joining kunstZ.

KunstZ is recognized and subsidized within the Arts Decree.

KunstZ is moving to the Matterhorn building in Borgerhout together with theatre companies Laika , De Roovers and Transparant. 

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