Expat Spouses Initiative group in The Way Beyond Art
Expat Spouses Initiative at work in Werksalon
Sustainability group on tour in The Way Beyond Art
Sustainability group at work in Werksalon
Eind(je)feest, Agents of Change, foto: Diewke van den Heuevel
Eind(je)feest, Van Abbemuseumkoor, foto: Diewke van den Heuevel
Eind(je)feest, De Groene Gasten, foto: Diewke van den Heuevel
Eind(je)feest, Internationalocals, foto: Diewke van den Heuevel
Eind(je)feest, Queering Constituency, foto: Diewke van den Heuevel
research project


23/09/2017 - 03/01/2021
activities with constituencies
Curators: Loes Janssen, Steven ten Thije

The museum belongs to all residents of Eindhoven. The collection is a common good. How can fellow citizens make use of the museum? When is the Van Abbe collection relevant and for whom? These are the questions that we ask ourselves in the Werksalon. The Werksalon stands for a trajectory that we have launched with several collectives from the city, which will we continued until September 2020. We look for shared interests; what deserves our attention, what is worth making a fuss about? Together with particular groups from Eindhoven we investigate how art and living together in the city can support each other. In the course of 2018 you will be able to read or experience the results this research. The Werksalon is also the name of the first floor of the new building of the Van Abbemuseum, where the collection is on view in The Way Beyond Art (second floor) and The Making of Modern Art (ground floor). The Werksalon is an open space where collectives in this traject, as well as every other visitor, can work, have presentations or meetings.

We have launched the first phase of the Werksalon with the following collectives:

Queering the Collection

The project Queering the Collection is one of our methods for becoming more inclusive. Since 2015 several events have been organised in order to make fluidity, the contrarian and unexpected in identity, sexuality and politics fit and open topics for discussion.  In 2016 en 2017 visitors could, with the help of a Qwearing the Collection (designed by Olle Lundin), view the collection through a queer lens. Around all activities a community grew, which now comes together in the Werksalon to review the relationship between them, the museum and the hot topics.

Expat Spouses Initiative Eindhoven

Our focus is on helping the international spouses of working residents in the Netherlands to integrate professionally. How do we accomplish this? On the one hand, we work with the community of spouses. We support the spouses to find a job and get adjusted to the Dutch labor market in what we call our “Professional Empowerment Program”. On the other hand, we work with local Dutch people, companies, organizations, and government, to do some collective “place-making” together: Making our regions the international hubs we all envision them to be. We want to make professional integration easy, and we want to involve all of the residents of the region in making it happen. Our current community is located in the Eindhoven region, but we are planning to expand to other locations in the Netherlands.
Find ESI Eindhoven on Facebook.

Sustainable Eindhoven

Fiona Jongejans is one of the entrepreneurs in Eindhoven that connects the urgency of climate change issues to (social) design. She has invited several individuals of her network to take part of her project in the Werksalon. In two meetings in November and December Fiona and curator Steven ten Thije have enquired into and discussed about shared interests and urgent issues.

Agents of Change

Agents of Change is a project by The Umbrella Network in collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum focusing on giving center stage to social design, Arte Util and community projects in Eindhoven by organising interactive tours, workshops and various activities to create a social map of the city. It means researching “the commons” and connecting local initiatives, individuals and active communities with a critical and analytical position within society. They all believe that change is always possible and that real social transformation begins on a small scale. They are the real Agents of Change.These dynamic communities, artists, social designers and hands-on citizens are working parallel in different neighbourhoods. They are facing similar challenges and local problems. We invite them to exchange their knowledge, challenges and experiences. It is a starting point for a negotiation process with the art institution to re-think its position within the city and open up different possibilities of support and interaction with these communities. We encourage them to discover how to use the Van Abbemuseum and its resources differently: as a platform to reflect their position, as an agency for action. 

On November 29, the Van Abbemuseum organizes a meeting in the Werksalon so you can get in touch with the Agents of Change from Eindhoven and gain insights about their projects. You can read more about the program here.

The Werksalon consist of three rooms:

Research room

The space where research is conducted within the different themes related to the city and the collection of the museum. In this space there are various possibilities for presenting the research and stories. It includes a.o. a podcast studio, presentation walls and archives. There is a map of Eindhoven on which all social initiatives in Eindhoven are mapped (in collaboration with Agents of Change). This space also offers space at the Arte Útil Archive. In addition to various groups working here, you as a visitor are more than welcome to look around or to relax on the pillows with some reading material or a good conversation.

Production room

Everyone can leave his or her idea behind by making a banner. The production room contains large empty scrolls and letter templates to leave powerful and interesting questions and statements. These huge banners are included in The Way Beyond Art, the collection presentation on the second floor.

Presentation room

A place that offers even more opportunities to present and meet. Our partners can invite their own guests (and museum visitors) for film screenings, discussions, lectures and presentations.


Can & Asli Altay (Future Anecdotes Istanbul).

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