Presentation in English

For five years the School of Gaasbeek

In 2014, the then new association ‘De School van Gaasbeek. Platform for Creation and Residence ‘ concluding its agreement with the Municipality of Lennik. A year earlier we made the proposal to the mayor and the aldermen to reuse the former village school and former town hall of Gaasbeek. Their commitment and enthusiasm were immediate.

And a lot happens at 5 years. In 2014, the municipality of Lennik completed the premises, the apartments, the workrooms and accompanying spaces.

Today the workrooms are very busy. Artists, young artists, from the dance, the theater, the music, the visual arts, the literature, … fill the spaces! To date, there are already 135 in total! They come from all angles and from all sides of the world. Those residences remain the essence of our work.

‘De School van Gaasbeek’ works closely with MuseumCultuur Strombeek / Ghent (a collaboration between contemporary art between SMAK and the CC Strombeek Bever). They invite two artists per year to take a long residency in ‘De School van Gaasbeek’. The dance school of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker PARTS regularly gives her students the opportunity to work in Gaasbeek for a long time. Some students from the art schools KASK (Ghent) and the Toneelschool Maastricht make use of the workspaces. In addition, ‘De School van Gaasbeek’ selectively addresses questions for residences. All this explains that it is quite busy.

Already three years in a row ‘De Vrienden van De School van Gaasbeek‘ organize the Summer Concert. The Friends came by Piet Van Waeyenberge chairman of the ‘friends’. The Summer Concert in the church of Gaasbeek are warm moments where we can offer the friends an exceptional concert. In 2016 that was with Jos van Immerseel, in 2017 with Jos van Immerseel and Ayako Ito. And this year the friends can enjoy BLindman [sax] & Eric Sleichim. After three years we are already with 235 friends. The financial support of all those friends who can bring ‘The School of Gaasbeek’ together has become one of the pillars to make the operation possible anyway. But in addition to the performance itself and the support, the ZomerConcert is always a pleasant gathering and a moment of meeting.

With the annual SeptemberFestival, ‘De School van Gaasbeek’ is most visible. In 2018 we already know the 5th edition on 7, 8 and 9 September. In the festival we bring young talents, mostly residents of the year, together with experienced big names from the world of the arts. For the SeptemberFestival 2018 there will certainly be Chris Lomme and Viviane De Muynck, in addition to a lot of young talent. Big ladies of our theater for the first time together on a stage. During every edition of the September Festival, the Poetry Sunday was compiled by Sigrid Bousset. This is how all the greatest poets and poets from our country came to Gaasbeek. That is no different from 2018 on Sunday afternoon September 9, Paul Bogaert, Inge Braeckman, Charles Ducal, Peter Holvoet Hanssen and Jan Vanriet.

The full program of the SeptemberFestival 2018 will be fully known by 1 August at the latest. Since this year we have been working with SeptemberFestival with an important partner. The Pajottenland department of De Orde van den Prince supports the September Festival crucial. Their chairman Piet Vanthemsche and their members make art and culture in the region possible.

In those years, and for the coming years, the building itself – the former village school and the former town hall – has become a challenging and stimulating project. Improvements must create added value. Paul Robbrecht of architects Robbrecht-Daem was approached and prepared to design the renewal of the playground, the playground wall, the open-air lighting … and a new school gate. The works were carried out together with the municipality of Lennik. Today you can enjoy the renewed playground walls and especially the striking, very nice completely new playground. The greenery was also planted, and the delicate, very fine placement of the lighting is ready. The municipality of Lennik not only invested a nice budget, but also the technical teams from the municipality of Lennik. It remains pleasant to know the employees of the municipal services extra motivated to work on exceptional and beautiful things. The final piece will be the completely new school gate. An exceptional design by Paul Robbrecht. The new gate will be installed this year. An architectural masterpiece will from then on enrich the school and the village square of Gaasbeek. We can finance the school gate with the support of private partners. We will give you all the details about this at the solemn opening at which all the friends will be invited.

The School of Gaasbeek wants to make further improvements to the buildings with the municipality of Lennik soon. An important aspect of this is the very welcome support we received from Minister of Culture Sven Gatz. The entire improvement and the architectural added value that we can realize is thus made possible by a unique collaboration between the non-profit organization and the Municipality of Lennik, private partners and the Flemish Government.

In accordance with an agreement to transfer the cultural policy of the provinces to cities and the Flemish government, the Minister of Culture Sven Gatz will also support the operation of ‘De School van Gaasbeek’ with a subsidy from 2018 onwards. So, after five years we can look back on many artists who resided and worked in ‘De School van Gaasbeek’. Soon there will be five editions of the September Festival in the annals. And we were able to bring together the ‘Friends of De School van Gaasbeek‘ and offer their three Summer Concerts. And we are now developing an operation with the support of many individuals, governments, partners and especially countless artists.

July 2018