International Press Conference in Brussels

Be SpectACTive!

International Press Conference

Participation in the Performing Arts: the Be SpectACTive! Experience in the European Context

Brussels, 13th of February 2020

At ABC huis (Art Basics for Children house)

Jollystraat 125, B – 1030 Brussel, Belgium

Together with the partners, EU representatives, artists and cultural professionals, the large-scale cooperation project Be SpectACTive! (supported by the Creative Europe program of the EU) will present aims and practices of its second edition. By using a critical lens, the international press conference intends to rise a debate around the notion of participation and the active engagement in the performing arts at the center of most of the policies enacted at local and EU level.

Started in 2014, the second edition involves 19 partners – theatres, festivals, universities and research centres – located in 15 different European countries. They experiment different forms of artistic productions bringing together artists, professionals and communities of citizens. Co-programming, co-managing and co-commissioning are just some of the key-words that are part of the lexicon of the project. Be SpectACTive! is an action-research and production-oriented network that, since the beginning, has placed the spectators at the center of artistic and organisational processes. In the frame of the project, artists, cultural professionals and citizens are allies for a more inclusive and trans-cultural Europe.

The conference will be the time to discover the developments of the project and meeting its protagonists, that will be introduced by the curators Giuliana Ciancio and Luca Ricci. Particular attention will be paid to the Be SpectACTive! creative process that covers all the phases, from the conception to the distribution. Core of the process, the intensive program of artistic residencies: a fundamental opportunity focused on the time to create and on the interaction with different communities. To tell her experience in Be SpectACTive! the artist Samara Hersch talks with the general director of arts centre BUDA (Kortrijk, BE), Kristof Jonckheere. In this wake Yvona Kreuzmannová, founder and director of Tanec Praha (CZ), and Anna Šimončičová from Divadelná Nitra (SK) will present the “European Art Commissioners”, the program that every year links two communities of two different cities for one goal: to commission an art work. Following, the discussion on cultural participation policies in Europe and Flanders with the Head of Unit of Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, Walter Zampieri and Luc Delrue, Secretary General of Flanders Department of Culture, Youth & Media.

The conference is going to end with a moment of open debate, introduced by the moderator Mieke Dumont, includes some reflections of Bart Rogé, Director of Demos (BE), Kris Rutten from Department of Educational Studies of the Ghent University (BE) and Ása Richardsdóttir, Secretary General, IETM (BE).


13:30 – 14:30 I Registration

14:30 – 14:50 I Introduction of the Project Be SpectACTive! by Giuliana Ciancio & Luca Ricci, curators of Be SpectACTive!

14:50 – 15:20 I The Art Creation Process in the Frame of Be SpectACTive!

  • about ‘Body of Knowledge’ at BUDA Kortrijk (BE)
  • Tanec Praha (CZ) & Divadelná Nitra (SK) about the European Art Commissioners Project

15:20 – 15:50 I Participation in/and Cultural Policies in Europe and in Flanders

  • Walter Zampieri (Head of Unit – Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency – EACEA)
  • Luc Delrue (Secretary General – Flanders Department of Culture, Youth & Media)

15:50 – 16:30 I Reflections & Debate

and all of the 19 European partners

All the panels are moderated by Mieke Dumont.