€2.4 million for Stuk renovation in Leuven

Summary

Flanders is providing €2.4 million for improvements to Leuven’s most beloved cultural institution

Cultural hub

Flemish culture minister Sven Gatz has approved a budget of €2.4 million for the Fund for Culture Infrastructure to carry out a major renovation of the Stuk cultural centre in Leuven. The project is also supported by the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and the city council, which together are providing an additional €750,000.

Stuk is one of Leuven’s two main cultural venues. It hosts stage performance, exhibitions, concerts, film screens and festivals, in addition to lectures, readings and workshops both for artists and for the public.

Since arriving at its current home in 2002, the centre has experienced spectacular growth, now numbering 100,000 visitors a year. More than 150 artists have been offered residencies there.

Stuk was founded in 1977 on KU Leuven’s social sciences campus. The original name, t’ Stuc, was an abbreviation of Student Centre.

Almost immediately, it became a crucial space in helping artists to launch their careers, with a list that includes polymath Jan Fabre, playwrights and stage directors Jan Decorte and Guy Cassiers and dancer and choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.

Stuk’s current building on Naamsestraat has multiple spaces for performances, rehearsals and lectures, including a cafe, cinema, auditorium and the Soetezaal theatre, which seats some 220 people. The renovations will take place in both indoor and outdoor space and include new flooring and toilets and improvements to seating in the Soetezaal as well as to disabled access. More sustainable insulation will be installed and other improvements to energy efficiency will be made.

“This arts centre is an important place for creation and the development of new talent,” Gatz said in a statement. “Over the last few years, Stuk has seen a major evolution and now reaches a broad public. The renovations are essential to allow further growth. Once they are completed, this place will provide new contemporary opportunities for both artists and the public.”

Photo: The cafe terrace at Stuk
©Joeri Thiry/Stuk

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