Moving forward with
the power of art


Young people from North Tilburg have narrow perceived life opportunities and are hardly grasping their full potential in education or talent development. North Tilburg is the district with the highest proportion of residents with a low level of education (43.5% compared to 35.8% for the city as a whole). From as early as the age of 8 the street culture is dominant in influencing the behavior of youth. Criminal activities are undermining the social structures of the neighborhood and exposure to criminal behavior is high. Public service providers (such as police, youth work, housing association) are losing ground in reaching out and engaging with the youth.

Solution proposed

ForwArt explores how culture can become an agent for social transformation. It creates a cultural ecosystem in North Tilburg to help youth express the intrinsic culture inherent in them and thus built up subjective well-being. Supported by more responsive public services it works on the expressed challenges toturn the tide of criminal undermining in the area. ForwArt offers youth at risk wider perspectives, positive role models and alternative pathways than those leading to criminality; it aims to explore, discover, engage, develop, support & exhibit talent from the fringes of society, while their statuses shift from outcasts to role models.

ForwArt also creates permanent art expressions, to make the urban texture welcoming and open for individual expressions of culture and identity. Reflecting the identity of people living in North Tilburg, art could become an everyday experience for them. Various art products will be co-created (mountable sculptures, murals, graffiti, internal corridor designs) to which people can easily relate.


  • City of Tilburg;
  • 1 dance company: Corpo Máquina;
  • 1 national theatre company: Het Zuidelijk Toneel;
  • 2 public service providers: ContourdeTwern; WonenBreburg;
  • 1 education and training centre: Onderwijsgroep Tilburg;
  • 1 public company: Community Media Center Tilburg;
  • 1 local public authority: Police Zeeland-West-Brabant;
  • 1 infrastructure provider: BPD Development Ltd.;
  • 1 higher education and research institution: Tranzo, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioural Science, Tilburg University

Expected results

ForwArt will invest in North Tilburg to help inhabitants express the intrinsic culture inherent in them and thus build up subjective well-being. Supported by more responsive public services it will work on the expressed challenges and turn the tide of criminal undermining in the area. Its success will be measured on 4 dimensions: [1] subjective well-being, [2] undermining, [3] social art participation and practice [4] public service delivery. Among others, results will be:

  • Eudaimonic well-being raised by 5% among youth (8-20) measured on Flourishing scale
  • 20 positive role-models established with artistic lifepaths
  • Reported criminal activity levels dropped by 10%
  • Perceived feeling of safety raised by 12%
  • Conflict resolution techniques raised for 100 inhabitants
  • 12 art performances prepared based on the life-situation, struggles, needs, and interests of local youth
  • Talent development for 100 young people
  • Public services are appreciated and responding to local needs +20%
  • Tilburg’s position among Dutch cities will improve with 5 positions in quality of “municipal services and relationship between the municipality and its citizens”