The Enchantment background
Festival De Betovering - International art festival for young people
De Betovering (The Enchantment) is The Hague’s annual international art festival for young people (aged 0-12), which takes place on nearly every stage, in the museums, libraries and in the streets of the city. This public festival, with over 550 performances and workshops, takes place during the autumn holidays and lasts 9 days. The festival allows children to acquaint themselves actively and receptively with high quality and accessible art in their free time, hereby aiming to contribute to the development of a highly diverse group of children. De Betovering heads a unique collaboration, connecting some fifty cultural organisations, social institutions and companies in The Hague.
Performing arts represented
The emphasis is on performing arts. The performances are selected from the current offer. We mainly book productions by professional, nationally funded theatre and dance companies for young people, mostly based in the Netherlands and Belgium. We also bring in a number of performances from other countries. These are often strongly visual performances that do not emphasise spoken word, such as dance or circus theatre performances. This makes them extra suitable for non-Dutch-speakers and the hearing-impaired.
Depth and reflection for young visitors
Besides the performances, the festival also presents a broad programme of workshops, several miniature performances, art objects and a street theatre route. The workshops, often tailored to the festival, are usually linked to the content of performances or a museum or gallery tour. They contribute to depth and reflection.
Visitors from all around
The festival’s target audience is broad, and comprises children (and parents) from all parts of the city and far beyond, from every layer of society and from both Dutch and international backgrounds.
De foundation aims to organise activities that stimulate and present artistic expression for and by children and young people and furthermore everything that is directly or indirectly related to or may be conducive thereto, all in the broadest sense of the word.
De Betovering aims to contribute to the development of a broad range of children by allowing them to acquaint themselves actively, receptively and reflectively with art, outside of school. The period between the ages of 2,5 and 12 is the best time to lay a child’s cultural foundation. The time for sewing seeds is therefore limited. The festival takes place annually, during the autumn holidays. This is a resting point in the year of in young family dynamics.
De Betovering’s core values:
1) quality, 2) the audience (children) as a starting point, 3) international and culturally diverse, 4) collaboration and a wide span across the city.
De Betovering programs, organises, stimulates and steers. It is a collaboration that connects some 50 cultural organisations in The Hague. The festival creates a movement within the city, that resonates beyond the festival period. De Betovering can therefore be seen as a movement. The organisers are the driving force behind this process. They add value through their role in internationalisation and quality development of the programme.
The size, coherence and balance within the programme, the affordable ticket prices, the links between workshops and performances / museum visits and the great diversity of locations and disciplines also provide added value.
This distinguishes the festival from (a publicity bundle of) the regular offer. In recent years, De Betovering has proven that there is great demand for this. Annually, the festival attracts around 25,000 visitors. In addition, several thousand see the street theater.
By working together and by combining good cultural entrepreneurship with a growing artistic quality, we will continue to build on our objective in the coming years: to introduce as broad a range of children as possible to high-quality and accessible (inter)national art outside of school.
Stichting de Betovering wants to contribute to the enjoyment of art and culture by the broadest possible range of children, as well as stimulating their development. By also programming in local venues, in companies and in the streets, the Enchantment reaches many children who have limited or no contact with stages and museums.
We will continue to prioritise quality, accessibility & internationalisation, as well as search for high-quality, culturally diverse programming. We remain committed to children with limited cultural participation and children of non-Dutch origins, from all areas of the city, also by offering relax performances. Finally, we will endeavour to create and maintain relationships with partners that help enable the development of De Betovering and support our cultural entrepreneurialism.
If we want to provide a rich breeding ground to give art a place in the heart of every child, in order to make a valuable contribution to his or her development, we need to make an effort. Especially for children you have to pull out all the stops to encourage them to participate in art and culture, also outside of school. If we can reach that group, we have won half the battle. When children reach the age of 12 they often have very different things on their minds. If we provide them with valuable tools before then, it will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
In future, our society will desperately need the creative talents of today's children. Dare to join us in our conviction that children deserve the best, especially when it comes to art and culture.
“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on!”