Cas-co Leuven & SEA Foundation collaborate
Cas-co’s vzw main building at the Vaartstraat in Leuven Belgium
Off the Grid / Cas-co x SEA
SEA Foundation in Tilburg and Off the Grid / Cas-co in Leuven are proud to announce their new collaboration. With the financial support of the Grensverleggers “De Buren” impulse grant, they will implement the Acts of Care, Solidarity, and Empowerment project. This project aims to encourage artists to reflect on their role in society and promote social change through their work. The sharing of ideas and programmes brings together two leading institutions in the Netherlands and Belgium. Together they aim to create opportunities for artists to work and exchange ideas across borders. The importance of international collaboration in the arts cannot be overstated. It is an essential tool for artists to expand their horizons, connect with their peers from different cultures and backgrounds, and explore new perspectives and ideas. Collaborations and exchanges can also help artists develop their careers and reach new audiences, as well as open up new opportunities for funding and grants. The programme coordinators are Michaela Davidova, curator and team member at SEA Foundation and Koi Persyn, curator at Off the Grid.
Leuven and Tilburg
In the case of SEA Foundation and Off The Grid / Cas-co, the collaboration will be particularly significant for Tilburg and Leuven, as both cities are university cities, with a lively student population and a rich academic history, albeit Leuven University is much older than the University of Tilburg or UvT. Moreover, Tilburg and Leuven both have a lively culture and arts scene, with numerous festivals, concerts, and exhibitions throughout the year. Both cities state a growing interest in promoting contemporary art. Tilburg has even created a unique slogan and hashtag for this #stadvanmakers (city of makers).
Commitment to art practices
SEA Foundation has been active in the Netherlands since 2011, providing artists with residencies, studios, and exhibition opportunities. Similarly, Cas-co based in Leuven has been a vital player in the Belgian art scene since 2015, offering artists affordable and high-quality studios, project support, and presentation opportunities, as well as collaborative partnerships. Off the Grid (OTG) was born in 2019. It is a platform in Cas-co where visual artists and cultural workers can develop their practice by doing and experimenting with new forms of presentation and audiences. OTG offers individual residency and presentation programmes, as well as group-based programmes. The platform welcomes exhibitions, festivals, virtual exchanges, happenings and performances, screenings, events, talks, research projects, and so on. The two institutions share a commitment to supporting artists of all ages, emerging and mid-career, and in particular those working in cross-disciplinary and hybrid practices. Through this collaboration, Off the Grid / Cas-co and SEA Foundation aim to create new opportunities for artists to develop their work, share their ideas, and explore new forms of expression. The partnership between SEA Foundation and Off the Grid / Cas-co is also significant because it brings together two institutions with different strengths and perspectives. While SEA Foundation has been focused on supporting artists through residencies and exhibitions, Off the Grid / Cas-co has been actively involved in developing a thriving artistic community in Leuven. By combining their strengths and expertise, the two institutions intend to create a more robust and dynamic, and sustainable program of collaboration that benefits both artists and audiences. To this end, the collaboration creates new opportunities for artists to develop their work, find ground with their peers in another culture, and explore new forms of expression. This collaboration demonstrates the importance of international partnerships in the arts and highlights the benefits that can be gained from working across borders and cultures.
The program developed by SEA Foundation and Off the Grid / Cas-co will involve a series of residencies, readings, workshops, and exhibitions, bringing together artists from the Netherlands and Belgium to collaborate on new works and explore new ideas. The residencies will take place over a period of several months, during which artists will have access to studio space, mentorship, and support to develop their work. The workshops will focus on specific themes centred on solidarity and empowerment allowing artists to learn from each other and develop new skills.
SEA Foundation and Off the Grid / Cas-co are pleased with their newly forged cooperation and look forward to the exchange of expertise and facilities between the regions of Flemish Brabant and North Brabant. The project is supported by Grensverleggers “De Buren”, an initiative of the Flemish-Dutch House deBuren and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.