Young people in some areas of Ghent are particularly at risk of social exclusion, and not being engaged by traditional educational and social activities. Ghent decided to work with local organisations to revitalise the social housing neighbourhood ‘Malem’ with a community arts practice that offers qualitative training and creates infrastructure for circus artists. The partners did so in a former parish church listed as non-protected heritage.
In 2015 CIRCUSPLANEET bought the former church in the Malem neighbourhood, built in the fifties on the borders of Ghent’s historic city centre, and CIRCUSKERK was born. The church was renovated and is now open for activities. The city, local schools and leisure organisations introduce young people to the CIRCUSPLANEET. In the longer term, youth can subscribe for activities. Ghent funds up to 80% of the subscription fees through a reduction card called ‘UitPAS’.