Vooruit in 2019-2020: more than ever an open house for everyone

People who come to Vooruit have been using the new lobby for several weeks. It is not only the Vooruit building that welcomes visitors, the new artistic program for 2019-2020 also highlights inclusion and accessibility. The entire Vooruit team, the artists, the local and international partners are committed to breaking barriers for and together with the public. Tonight, during the 2019-2020 season presentation, Vooruit will unveil the approach, the program and the plans.

Removing barriers

Vooruit is a house that embodies a long and intergenerational tradition of encounters. Celebration, art and togetherness are part of the DNA and are visibly present in the building. For the 2019-2020 season, Vooruit devotes specific attention to people who have not been able to get access that easily until now, sometimes because of physical challenges, sometimes because the invitation did not reach them. In removing barriers, Vooruit now uses the expertise of people with special needs.

"We are welcoming artists, employees and directors who reflect the many-coloured nature of the city. We are broadening the cultural canon. We are increasing the accessibility of our website and our building. And we are asking our audience to show us where we can improve, which performances we should stage and who should become part of our audience. That is the only way to expose and remove barriers."

- Franky Devos, general coordinator

Solidarity as a code word

Vooruit has already intensified contacts with newcomers and with organizations that work with people with disabilities. Vooruit facilitates encounters between artists and elderly people from the neighbourhood and get local participants more involved in international artistic work.

"More than ever, Vooruit stands for solidarity. We want to connect artists, locals and organizations. We consider the present, the complexity of daily reality. Vooruit aspires to be a platform where inequality is challenged through performances and experiments that inspire and transform despair or apathy into engagement."

- Matthieu Goeury, artistic coordinator

Mix of genres and formats

For the second year in a row, Vooruit stages a combination of regular performances with monthly festivals - nine in total. The regular program includes performances by renowned companies such as Toneelhuis, but also sensational new work by world-famous performer and creator Bruno Beltrão. The leading theatre group tg Stan is on stage no less than three times and we are proud to welcome Jan Martens, Eric Minh Cuong Castaing, Tiago Rodrigues, Alice Ripoll & Cia Suave and Florentina Holzinger for the first time.

The nine festivals will unify the program by including themes such as sexuality, aging, accessibility and inclusion. These festivals are multidisciplinary and introduce the public to well-known artists and emerging talent. Eccentric or individual performances are fitted within a broader program. Among other events, we are already looking forward to: the Theater Festival (back in Ghent after 15 years!), concert evenings focusing on films and projections during 'Videodroom', a philosophy festival ‘night of the free thinker', the music festival 'Eastern Daze', the Festival of equality, ‘With Pleasure'- a festival about sexual expression curated by Eva Neklyaeva, the circus and performance festival ‘Smells Like Circus', the focus program 'Women and Children First: exercises in accessibility', the hip hop festival ‘Out The Frame’, and 'Public Works' - a surprising trail with work by the Vooruit city residents.

In addition, our audience can also attend a number of fixed series, such as the book program Uitgelezen, the 10 x 10 series, in which ten your creators showcase their work for ten euros each, or in-depth breakfast conversations during 'Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast'.

Vooruit is expanding

This mix of genres and formats was fully rolled out for the first time in the 2018-2019 season, and with success, it turns out. Vooruit received no fewer than 371,454 visitors in 2018, an increase of 20% compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, there are noticeably more artists working behind the scenes in Vooruit, thanks to the expansion of the number of studios and residential areas where they can create in peace.

The full 2019-2020 program encompasses over 750 activities. By contrast: in 2018 we hosted 273 stage performances, 108 concerts, 136 lectures, current affairs debates or activities within the Stadsatelier, 65 literary events and book presentations, 49 tours and 117 events hosted by partners, including many nightlife parties.

The full program will be online at vooruit.be at 8 pm. Tickets can be purchased from May 29 at noon, both online and at the Vooruit ticket counter.

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