From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Vooruit Arts Center is a historic complex in the Belgian city of Ghent. Vooruit was originally the festival and art center of the Ghent labor movement, with a ballroom, cinema, theater, etc. It is now mainly used for concerts and other cultural events.
Vooruit was designed by Ferdinand Dierkens and built between 1911 and 1914 and became a symbol of the socialist movement in the interwar period. The building is named after the socialist consumer organization (or cooperative) Vooruit (in English: forward) (1891-1970), supported by Edward Anseele, to protect workers against the instability of capitalism. There workers could eat, drink and enjoy culture at low rates.
As festival and art center Vooruit was part of the compartmentalized Flemish Society until the Second World War. After the Second World War the building deteriorated until the re-launch in 1982 in its present form as a cultural center. In 1983 Vooruit was recognized as a listed monument. The building continued operating during the restoration process, from 1990 to 2000. In 2000, a fully restored Vooruit was awarded the Flemish Monument of the year Prize.
Presently the rooms are used for parties and concerts, but also for cultural events or debates.