Since 1994, the Kunstenfestivaldesarts has taken place annually over three weeks in the month of May in some twenty or so theatres and arts centres in Brussels.
Over time the Kunstenfestivaldesarts has become an outstanding annual artistic project, shining a spotlight on the capital both locally and internationally. On several levels the festival fulfils its role as a builder of bridges in the city. It stimulates collaboration and encounters between various cultural actors in the Brussels-Capital Region, it transcends language barriers and brings together theatres and companies, performances and operas, round tables and parties. The festival also links different geographic areas in the city, turning it into a huge stage for cultural action, welcoming interventions in its public spaces and shows in its prestigious theatres while always retaining its distinct profile.
The Kunstenfestivaldesarts has established itself internationally over the years as a role model. For three weeks, the festival brings together remarkable contemporary artistic creations in Brussels. It also creates a space for reflection, confrontation and dialogue between works and people driven by a desire to create, perceive and share.
The Kunstenfestivaldesarts is dedicated to international contemporary creation at its most innovative. It places the emphasis on the creation of new work and on a diversity of artistic languages. The festival opens up a broad spectrum. It does not follow a specific theme and it looks beyond aesthetic and cultural boundaries, as well as beyond the continent of Europe.
Contemporary here does not mean a particular aesthetic, but refers to work by artists who today, and each in their own way, question our reality, our ways of thinking and acting, as well as their own ways of seeing and doing, their own status and tools.
International first and foremost, the festival champions an open and cosmopolitan vision as an antidote to intolerance of all kinds. The festival deeply believes in the need today to resist all kinds of self-centredness and withdrawal. We are part of a complex network of communities that makes territorial, linguistic and cultural divides increasingly porous. The city, and Brussels in particular, is the environment par excellence where this cosmopolitan identity is visible and where the local, regional, national, European and international come together. In Brussels, a capital many times over, the festival intends to build bridges between the country’s two largest communities living together here, as well as with other communities in the city.
The Kunstenfestivaldesarts offers a cutting edge arts programme that does not pander to the culture of entertainment. Its programme is a blend of artistic quality and risk. The festival brings together artists with a personal vision of the world and audiences keen to challenge and expand their perspectives. The festival disputes the validity of a niche culture; it wants to be open and generous, is aimed at a wide audience and believes in the likelihood of success and the need for a platform which presents well-informed artistic choices to a vast audience. The uncompromising line it takes and the specific nature of its artistic choices make its name unique and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts itself a project widely recognised in Brussels and far beyond its borders.