Six venues enter into intensive collaboration

20 september 2020

Six venues from the Brainport region have entered into an intensive collaboration this year. Not because they have to, but because they can and because it makes a lot more possible. Because the venues have the same goal. To make culture and the performing arts in particular more accessible for all inhabitants of this region. To mean more for makers, performers, the public and the business community. In co-financing with Regio Deal Brainport Eindhoven, ambitious plans have been made for the period 2020-2024. And those plans are now taking shape in the first concrete results. 

Regio Deal
Under the Regio Deal banner, the central government has made a one-off financial impulse available to strengthen the region. The innovative technology region is growing enormously and investments are essential to maintain and shape this growth. An attractive residential and living climate helps to attract much-needed new talent. But it also helps to create a strong social and societal connection between residents. With culture as the proverbial cement of society, cooperation between the venues as "houses of culture" is no more than logical.

Getting started
The culture pact of the six venues - Park Theater Eindhoven, Speelhuis and Cacaofabriek Helmond, Schalm Veldhoven, Hofnar Valkenswaard and Kattendans Bergeijk - includes ambitious plans and goals in the areas of internationalization, production and education. To realize these plans, cooperation is essential. Think of connections in programming, marketing, technology but also themes such as sustainability and diversity. The intention was already there and the Regio Deal is a great support to continue. And the energy that is released by working and fighting together and going for something together is enormous. A tour of the initiators has already shown that.

Collaboration is people work
The five directors of the six venues - Giel Pastoor, Jochem Otten, Sjoert Bossers, Paul L'Herminez and Dries Floris - have been involved from the very beginning. Energetically and directly with their hands dirty, and open and honest to each other. They have a wealth of expertise and experience in the field of culture. Meanwhile Monique van den Berg has joined to coordinate the whole as project leader. With over 10 years of management experience in the theater world, she is a great addition to the core team. Of course, this team cannot do without the expertise and enthusiasm of their dozens of employees. From the goals set, a number of wonderful internal working groups have meanwhile emerged, which have set to work in a concrete manner. Doing things together and discovering them gives a lot and creates pride, is - already - an important observation.

First results
Ticket sales for the new theater season recently started. The theater venues have already found each other. Through collaboration between all the marketing staff, they started simultaneously and with a great campaign: The goal is to enthuse residents about theater with a brand new site where the entire offerings of all theaters can be found.
In addition, the concept of the digital stage is completely up and running thanks to the use of workgroup technology. Live theater is of course the basis, but unlocking what happens on stage for those who cannot or may not be there is a fantastic add-on. Especially in these corona times, it helps to give more people access. The equipment to make this possible is now hanging in all the stages. This innovation literally makes dreams come true. Liveregistration of creators elsewhere, broadcasting to less mobile audiences, producing culture journals for the region.

Next steps
In the coming four years there is still a great deal to do to further realize this meaningful role. Especially for the target groups for whom culture and theater are not self-evident. Lack of money, lack of time, no transport, no friends to go with them, no suitable offerings. Taking stock of the needs of residents is extremely important. Listening and not filling in the blanks. Starting a conversation. With the municipalities, with schools, with neighborhood coordinators, with creators and players, with visitors. Looking at what is there and where we can connect. To see what is not there yet and can be set up. With the goal, for example, of giving all children up to the age of 12 in the Brainport region structural access to theater. To entice more and different target groups to visit the theater. To connect internationals more easily with theater. To have the theater better reflect society.

The venues go for it!