Every four years, the Rotterdam Council for Art and Culture (RRKC) brings out their advice for the Cultural plan, the distribution of multi-year grants for art and culture by the city of Rotterdam. The period for the Cultural Plan is four years. For the judgement of the various applications, the Council constitutes temporary committees. In the end, the Council hands over a complete advice on the Cultural Plan to the city of Rotterdam, based on the presented plans of the cultural institutions in Rotterdam. More information on this procedure can be found here.
Theater Babel Rotterdam has existed in its current form for five years now. It combines theatre productions, talent development and education. These three core activities form a dynamic unity and reinforce each other. In January 2020, Babel submitted a new cultural plan for the period 2021-2024. Underneath, you can read a summary. Would you like to read the whole cultural plan (in Dutch), click here to open the pdf.
INCLUSIVENESS – Babel is the only theatre company in the Netherlands that is truly inclusive. – We fully carry out our approach of inclusivity in every section of the company and the organisation. – Our mission is the innovation and integration of inclusive art and breaking through resistance to make society inclusive. – The innovation is directed towards questions as: how does inclusive work contribute to the regular artistic theatre practice? And: with which methodology can performers who are also clients in healthcare develop their artistic talents?
ACTIVITIES – Babel creates shows with an ensemble of 30 performers, from which 24 actors have a physical and/or mental disability. – Yearly, we make a new big production in the series portraits of an inclusive city, to which artists from other art disciplines contribute as well. – Next to that, there is a workplace for new theatermakers who want to develop themselves within the inclusive theater. – All productions and presentations are part of the educational trajectories for VSO, VO, MBO and HBO. We have succeeded in making structural agreements with five schools to make sure our inclusive theatre work forms a substantial part of their curriculum. – Last but not least, we stimulate the development of the inclusive society by giving workshops to companies and the government, projects in the neighborhood and a biannual symposium. We are also setting up a Council of Development in which youngsters and professionals create their advice for inclusivity.
AUDIENCE – We present all of this to a regular audience and to a large number of special target groups. – We are convinced that the audience will only become inclusive when it can identify with the people on stage. – We engage our audience after the show by having dinner with them and starting the conversation based on the methodology of ‘The last word’.
CO-OPERATION – We intensively co-operate with health care institution Pameijer (covenant). – Next to that, we are starting up new co-operations with Atelier Van Lieshout, Operadagen Rotterdam and the partner-institutions united in Kunstblock.
GOALS – Our goals for the upcoming years are in short: more audience, more products and everything inclusive.
Summary of our current cultural plan 2017-2020:
Theater Babel Rotterdam
house for inclusive art
Theater Babel Rotterdam is a renewed cultural institution, brought to life by clustering the expertise of health care institution Pameijer (Theater Maatwerk) and the rotterdamcentrefortheater. For the first time, there is a professional interdisciplinary theatre institution for artists with and artists without specific disability. Theater Babel Rotterdam makes inclusive art. It is an academy and a theatre group that uses theatrical means to contributes to the personal and cultural development of the people of Rotterdam, no matter their background, sexuality or physical and mental capacity.
Babel looks at the world with an eye for the exceptional, the displeasing and the intangible. Sometimes it’s good to not look at the stage, but at the person who stayed behind backstage. The co-operation between these two art and health care institutions is a new artistic step towards the realization of an inclusive society. Theater Babel Rotterdam offers the artists with a specific disability the possibility to culturally and present themselves culturally. The health care institution guarantees a responsible care environment.
The institution has four core tasks:
• education & training of inclusive actors and creators
• producing & presenting inclusive interdisciplinary shows
• cultural education & emancipation
• research & sharing knowledge
Babel will reach 16.000 visitors on a yearly basis, of which 6.000 youngsters and children up to the age of 25. Next to art and culture supporters, Theater Babel Rotterdam is directed towards professionals from health care, the arts and education, and to people who are not primarily interested in art, but are attracted by the themes of our productions. Each inhabitant of Rotterdam can participate in the work of Babel. Cultural education & emancipation organizes very approachable encounters in various ways.
Babel has an academy; a nationwide acknowledged parttime training that is certified every 5 years by KunstKeur. Each year, 563 students will follow this training. Graduated students are capable of using a broad palet of theatrical means (language, physical, visual and musical) to relate to current social and artistic developments. This relation results in high-quality inclusive art that communicates with specific target groups as well as with regular audience.
In total, Babel will create nine big productions in the period 2017-2020, of which four interdisciplinary shows, one music theatre project about the Johannes passion with an annual reprise in the Easter period and four family shows in autumn.
Next to that, annually 4 theatre ateliers will be made and 40 workshops given in co-operation with Galerie Atelier Herenplaats. Furthermore, Theater Babel Rotterdam will realize throughout the whole cultural plan period: a festival, a production with a modest nationwide tour, debates, theatrical readings and expositions in co-operation with Galerie Atelier Herenplaats.
Working together is an essential part of Babel. We work further on collaborations of the rcth with the local surroundings, educational institutes and the cultural field. It’s a dynamic network that comes from a supportive, supplementary and substantive urgency.
Babel want to have an innovative pioneering role in the area of diversity policy in the cultural sector. Research to new forms of work and a transferable methodology are a priority for the institution. By connecting health care and art from artistic values, Theater Babel Rotterdam adds a new colour to Rotterdam.
Read the whole plan here (in Dutch): Rcth+ Meerjarenbeleidsplan 2017-2020
Click here if you want to read more about the procedure of the cultural plan application 2017-2020, or watch the video by the rrkc underneath, with a presentation about the advice on the cultural plan.