Meet the team!
Kunstpodium T would look very different without the assistance of our awesome volunteers, driven interns and fantastic board members. Here they will introduce themselves and tell about what they do at Kunstpodium T.
These pieces were published in our newsletters. Each two weeks we introduce one of our team members.
Klaartje Esch | Managing director
Klaartje started working at Kunstpodium T in 2016, when she started as project coordinator. Since 2017 she is managing director and continues on tirelessly. Next to her job, she keeps busy taking care of her two children (1 and 4 years old) and her young dog, together with her boyfriend. She doesn’t like to sit still and this shows in her hobbies: Klaartje enjoys horse riding, hiking, cooking and taking care of her vegetable patch. In addition to this, she is an artist herself.
Klaartje enjoys the variety of working at Kunstpodium T. As managing director you need to know a lot about many things; from fundraising to curating exhibitions and being there for those with questions and issues. She also enjoys working with young artists. The combination of these two is the highlight of her work in Klaartje’s eyes. When she first started as managing director, the beginning was exciting and new: where to begin? When she first got to Kunstpodium T after her maternity leave, she was surprised. Master Marleen Sleeuwits and her group of Apprentices (with a.o. Inversie-talent Maureen Jonker) had created a surprising exhibition: a beautiful fusion of all the artists. This exhibition, ‘Overlap’ was part of the Apprentice Master season 2016/2017. This is the exhibition that is still most vivid in Klaartje’s mind: it reminds her of the importance of her work and Kunstpodium T and that young artists need a space to grow and experiment.
When asked about her favourite memory of Kunstpodium T, Klaartje is reminded immediately of a different exhibition. Artist initiative De Roze Sokkel, founded by former Apprentices, had a six week long exhibition and work period at Kunstpodium T; Klaartje guided them then. They set up their exhibition as a residency. They send out an open call to other artists with no criteria or selection. People from the entire country came. The team of De Roze Sokkel lived in the exhibition rooms during these six weeks between all the artworks: a very educational process. The rooms kept changing: afterwards they organised an awesome finissage with a DJ, campfire and many new and old friends.
Since Klaartje is managing director is, she keeps building on the foundations of the previous team members and director. She is continuously working on improving, strengthening and professionalising the organisation and its projects. She is very proud of the program and the new board. Together with them, Klaartje is continuously working on realising the vision of Kunstpodium T’s future with for instance a social safety plan: From white cube to safe space. In this way, they built towards a future where Kunstpodium T is a key figure to young artists in the Netherlands and Belgium: a community where starting artists can find each other and work together on their future.
Linda Köke | Project coordinator
‘I am Linda, import Brabander from sunny Limburg. Since June 2017, I have been working at Kunstpodium T as project coordinator. Together with managing director Klaartje Esch, I arrange everything around our projects, make sure the exhibitions are done and take care of the communication together with our interns. I am also the contact person at ARTpart for young artists who would like to chat about their art projects and plans. In addition to working for Kunstpodium T, I write about art and exhibitions as freelancer and for Metropolis M. The best thing about working at Kunstpodium T to me is the variation – literally not a single day is the same. Even after years each artist and exhibition surprises and inspires me. I am in awe of what the artists make and achieve, and am happy that we as Kunstpodium T can make a contribution to their development!’
Hans Coolen | Handyman at Kunstpodium T
“Since June 2020 I am handyman at Kunstpodium T. I take care of chores in the building and make sure that the exhibition spaces are in good shape. Together with the artist I install the exhibition and do other sporadical chores. I like meeting artists and finding out their reasons to make art. I have worked in the mental health care for 18 years as psychiatric nurse and retired two years ago. Originally I was trained as a machine fitter: back in the day, you were forced to pick a trade and work as soon as possible. I am very creative and used to make a lot of things myself. I also used to take a lot of pictures of people. In hindsight, I should have just gone to the art academy! It is no coincidence then that I ended up at Kunstpodium T.”
Manon van Beek | former intern and volunteer
‘From February to July I did my internship at Kunstpodium T. During this time I also became a volunteer to be active in the cultural field. I am currently studying Art and Economy at the HKU. After graduation I want to study art history at the University in Utrecht. In my spare time I enjoy drawing and painting. Ever since I was little, I have loved art. My grandmother had a room filled with crafting materials where I could make whatever I wanted, a true walhalla. We also visited museums together often. From day one I felt at home at Kunstpodium T. Everything is open. Whatever happens, you can be yourself!‘
Maria Heerkens | former intern and curator ‘Artists of Color’
I’m doing an internship at Kunstpodium T as part of my Audiovisual study. I create content for the socials, among other things, and have thought up with and curated the exhibition “Artists of color”. I am a very activistic person. My mission is to make the world a better place. Diversity is a theme that keeps me busy. For example, I would like to show the diversity of Tilburg at Kunstpodium T. I do this with the exhibition “Artist of color”. It is a kind of celebration of diversity and inclusivity in Tilburg. I want people to see that there are very talented artists of color who deserve more recognition in the art world. Curating this exhibition does not necessarily suit my education, but it was a very nice opportunity that I got and I took it with both hands. This is also the very first time that I curated an exhibition. Very exciting but also very cool! Calling myself the curator of this exhibition also just sounds crazy. I hope there will be another edition in the future. I am extremely grateful that I got the opportunity to do an internship at Kunstpodium T. It is very special how Klaartje and Linda give you all the space you need to do your own thing.’
Iris Tolkamp | former intern
‘During my internship I was responsible for generating and posting content, coordinating the volunteers and trend and communication research. I also interviewed the team members and volunteers for this rubric ‘Meet the Team’. I love being creative things. In my spare time I do this by drawing, painting, making graphic designs and doing theater. I ended up at Kunstpodium T via the final exhibition of the minor Design 360◦ from Fontys, in which I participated. The atmosphere at Kunstpodium T appealed to me immediately. This very atmosphere ensured that I felt at home right away and have had a wonderful internship, in which I got to develop myself. I am going to miss being an intern at Kunstpodium T badly!’
Sanne Akkermans | work experience placement
‘Hi there! I am Sanne, 22 years old and born and raised in Tilburg. For the next six months I will join Kunstpodium T to gain experience within the arts- and culture sector and I am really looking forward to this. Last August, I graduated from the masters degree in Art Policy and Art Business, and before that I graduated with a bachelors degree in Arts and Cultural Studies, so I can call myself a true Master of Arts! I am a big fan of art, I regularly visit museums and theaters and enjoy going to concerts and lectures on art and culture. A few fun facts about me: I’m a hufflepuff, my favorite artist (and photographer) is Andres Serrano and I collect beer coasters!’
Amber Schaaf | communication intern
‘I am Amber Schaaf, 24 years old and residing in Tilburg. I started my internship at Kunstpodium T at the beginning of February. Currently, I’m working on my final year of my studies in Communication. During my internship at Kunstpodium T, I hope to be able to apply my communication skills in the cultural sector. My main focus here is marketing and communication. Besides regular work for the company, I will also spend these six months writing my thesis about the safety-policy at Kunstpodium T. Art really appeals to me, which is why I am proud to be a part of the team at Kunstpodium T.’
Suzanne de Groot | intern
‘Hi! My name is Suzanne de Groot, I’m 23 years old and I live in Drunen. As of the beginning of last February, I’m an intern at Kunstpodium T. During this internship I will be combining a focus on marketing & communication with research about the community and inclusivity. I am studying International Leisure Management at Breda University of Applied Sciences, which means that I’m learning everything there is to know about the leisure sector. Because of my affinity for history and art, my personal focus in my studies is mainly aimed at the cultural sector. This is also the reason why I’m interested in Kunstpodium T: my comfort zone in culture is in the historical and classical side of things, and here at Kunstpodium T I get the chance to experience and explore the current, modern side .’
Eveline Westerduin | gardener (volunteer)
After retiring, Eveline worked at a different organisation for a couple of years. When that stopped, she noticed the vacancy for a gardener at Kunstpodium T in the newspaper. Upon reading this, she stopped by, took the job, and changed the garden into a beautiful place to enjoy during exhibition launches and warm summer nights. At first she worked with two other people, who both stopped after a while. Now Eveline works in the garden on her own, and enjoys doing so. Klaartje and Linda know her as a hard worker. The garden, filled with native plants, is one of our favorite spots, thanks to Eveline. We even get to enjoy apples from our own tree every year! Eveline comes to Kunstpodium T from the spring until the fall to pursue her hobby, gardening.
Fráncy van Iersel | volunteer
Fráncy van Iersel has been volunteering at Kunstpodium for almost two years. She is very creative and likes to spend her time with art and culture, both as her job and as a hobby. She also works at the Living Museum in Tilburg. Here, she is the secretary of the board and together with artists, she is one of the editors of the newsletter TLMT. Two years ago she was looking for a fun way to spend her time. Via the website of Tilburg.com she came across a volunteering opening at Kunstpodium T. She had been here before and had a pleasant experience. She decided to mail for more information and could start the very same week! The reason that Kunstpodium T appealed to Fráncy, is the reason why she enjoys all her volunteer work: what Kunstpodium T stands for. To her, Kunstpodium T is a great place that helps young artists along the way and makes the step between the art academy and the professional field a bit easier. She also enjoys the variety in the exhibitions and that she gets to meet many artists during her work. The atmosphere is always pleasant and she gets inspired and energised to get creative herself. To her, art really is an expression of inner feeling and can offer a critical view on society. To Fráncy, art can connect and ‘give colour to life’.