In its ever growing quest to cement its reputation as an all-round creative force and city where dreams, and businesses, are made, the city of Antwerp, spearheaded by its magazine This is Antwerp, is putting on the second edition of D.A.T.E, otherwise known as Discover Antwerp Through Experience. A four-day bootcamp that brings together international creatives and their local counterparts, at its core D.A.T.E investigates how creative entrepreneurs shape the city, and how the city shapes them. We take a closer look at the initiative.

Save the D.A.T.E. Discover Antwerp Through Experience Eiland

Save the D.A.T.E Eiland

The city of Antwerp has always been known for its fashion scene, but its creative entrepreneurship extends beyond mere clothes and cuts. Indeed, its knack for innovation has impacted a wide range of industry sectors, from food to furniture design, something that is increasingly visible when you stroll through the city’s many retail arteries. And, in order to bring these to light and give them the shine they deserve, the powers-that-be at the city’s tourism bureau are organising a four-day excursion that seeks to introduce the port city’s many facets to a tightly-curated group of influencers and opinion-leaders. Extended to practitioners of all disciplines including fashion, food, music, art, graphic design, programming, woodworking and even dance, the group will include American artist and designer Pawel Morbert, Danish food and travel writer Nana Hagel, Dutch creative entrepreneur and brand strategist Shirin Mirachor, British record label owner and menswear designer Ryan Leech as well as many other like-minded individuals. Taking place in March, the four-day roll call will encompass city tours, creative workshops, studio visits, bike tours and cultural immersions in a bid to present and confront the local scene to its international guests.

Save the D.A.T.E. Discover Antwerp Through Experience Middelheimmuseum

Save the D.A.T.E Middelheimmuseum

At night, locals will join the international contingent to give short presentation about themselves, their concepts and their work, with the four-day trip rounded-off by a conference, D.A.T.E.lab, that will see keynote speakers take to the stage to share insights and experiences. Billed as “an inspiring and intimate evening on the interplay between a city and its creative scene,” both established and emerging international and local talents – from creative entrepreneurs Rizon Parein and Boris Daenen to local heroes Thomas Van Orshaegen, Senne Van Den Bogaert and Max Davis – will intertwine and mingle to pepper the evening with first-hand accounts of their own professional trials and tribulations. And, you might be wondering, what’s in it for you? Well, the chance to gain different cultural perspectives on creativity and entrepreneurship without omitting the oh-so-crucial aspect of forging new relationships, exploring collaboration opportunities and beefing up that address book. Truth is, if 2014’s edition, which included workshops on silkscreen printing, 3D printing and designing with leather, is anything to go by, this will go a long way in further enhancing Antwerp’s reputation for creative and entrepreneurial proactivity.

D.A.T.E. runs from the 13th to 21st March.
Visit thisisantwerp.com for more information.
Visit thisisantwerp.com/datelab for the full list of D.A.T.E.lab participants.