Vooruit (Dutch: Kunstencentrum Vooruit)[a] is an historic complex in Ghent, Belgium. Vooruit was originally the festival and art center of the Ghent-based 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 ("Forward") (1891-1970), supported by Edward Anseele, to protect workers against the instability of capitalism. There workers could eat, drink and enjoy culture at affordable costs.
As a festival and art center, Vooruit was part of the compartmentalized Flemish society until World War II. 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.
- The Maison du Peuple - a similar building in Brussels built by Victor Horta for the Belgian Workers' Party and demolished in 1965.
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- Dutch pronunciation: [ˈvoːrœyt].