Makershuis Tilburg started in 2017 as a breeding ground for circus, dance and theater talent. Partner organisations Het Zuidelijk Toneel, Theater De Nieuwe Vorst, DansBrabant, Theaters Tilburg and Festival Circolo have joined forces to give the performing artists of the future a place in the city.

Three years later, we look back and ahead with the people behind Makershuis: Adeline Willems (producer), Joanneke van de Woestijne (executive producer) and Nicolle van Lith (board member).


Nicolle: "In recent years we have mainly pioneered. We just started. Collaborations have been set up with interesting partners. We have developed pathways to support recently graduated artists in different phases of their professional practice. We organized Prejavus, the presentation evenings where the artists can show their work to the public.

Now it’s time to look at the organization again: what is needed to make Makershuis Tilburg future-proof, to give new artists the support they need to ultimately continue independently. Questioning our role in the city and how we can improve it. Makershuis wants to become more visible in Tilburg. The Prejavu evenings can receive even more audience, which is an important task for the both artists and us. "


Adeline: "Everything is in development. Since this season, the Prejavu evenings are not only programmed but also produced by our own artists. The artists receive a fee and a budget for production and programming with Joanneke and me as supervisors. This way, our artists are also introduced to the production aspect.

The Prejavus are also increasingly being programmed in different places, an example being the Prejavu at Theaters Tilburg during Festival Circolo. These developments contribute to a much more diverse audience and network. "


Nicolle: "Our producer Janneke Defesche - who switched to Festival Cement in January - has fulfilled a double role in recent years. She did the business side, as well as guiding and supporting the makers on the work floor. In order to give Makershuis opportunities in the future, we have come to the conclusion that we need to split these tasks up. "


Joanneke: "I'm going to take on the role of executive producer. The last two years I have worked as a business assistant and producer at Festival Cement, where I have learned a lot about the Dutch field. In particular about the financial structure of the arts sector, and how you can get involved as an organization or artist. I soon noticed: this is what I want to do, make art and culture possible, manage and connect people and develop strategies in an industry that is constantly changing.

What I mainly take from my previous job at Cement is the focus on the individual artists’ development. Finding tailor-made programmes is really key: what does this new generation of artists need in terms of guidance, contacts and opportunities to continue developing. "


Adeline: "As a production assistant, I was able to learn a lot from Janneke Defesche in the past year. She has involved me in the entire production process and in this way has made a huge contribution to my development for my current role as a producer. With the arrival of Joanneke van de Woestijne, the hands-on production and the business activities can be divided between two passionate producers instead of one. Makershuis continues to grow, so it is good that all developments surrounding our artists receive the necessary attention. "


Nicolle: "We are now entering a phase in which we will further develop the dot on the horizon. Our partner organisations play an important role in this, and we also connect to other artist development programmes in the country. We look at the possibilities of exchange in knowledge and the expansion of the artists’ networks. "


Joanneke "We want to help artists move forward in their unique professional practice, both artistically and professionally. That is why we are developing a Cultural Entrepreneurship program for students and alumni together with Fontys School of the Arts. We organize meetings based on 5 pillars: identity, entrepreneurship, network, finance and talent development. We are very happy with this collaboration. This will give young artists a clearer picture of what their professional practice entails. "


Adeline: "The production side is a great challenge and learning opportunity for the artists. For the Prejavu evenings, we will work with the artists on questions such as, what will my program look like? How do I shape this into a concept / theme? How are you going to curate the performances? What do the performers need in terms of space and technology and what is available at the location? Does everything you want to arrange fit within the budget? And how are you going to promote the program? How do you deal with all these responsibilities and how do you take the lead? "


Nicolle: "Young graduates also need to know how the business side of their practice works and how they can market their product. Even though they have no background in these topics and their interests lie somewhere else. Our job is to encourage them to think about it anyway. "


Adeline: "One of the most important challenges for young artists is increasing the visibility their work in the widest and most relevant network. It involves knowing which network you belong to, how to build this network around yourself, and how to connect with professionals within it. The wider and more relevant the network, the greater the opportunities for collaboration and exchange.


Joanneke: "In the next few months it will be a challenge to keep the developments moving, despite the uncertain times in which we now live. We will certainly find forms together to keep the creativity flowing, I am convinced of that! "




Willem II Straat 49

5038 BD Tilburg



Boardmembers: Nicolle van Lith (chair), Wim van Stam (treasurer), Maurice Dujardin (secretary), Sophie Lambo, Rob van Steen, Marc Eysink Smeets


Sandra Smits (executive coordinator),

Adeline Willems (producer)


Makershuis Tilburg is a charity with ANBI- status.  Please find our annual summary and financial report 2019 here.

FolLOW Makershuis Tilburg


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