What is RAAK!?

The mission of RAAK! is to expose and counteract socio-cultural contradictions and prejudices in (Eindhoven) society through the use of culture. Education through culture is an excellent means of entering into dialogue with various groups in society, seeking to connect and minimize or eliminate mutual prejudices. RAAK! focuses on a group of vulnerable young people and appeals to their creativities, thus giving them the opportunity to discover and develop their own talents.


  • Reduce barriers to (actively participating in) culture
  • Remove existing prejudices
  • Offer a different perspective
  • Strengthen resilience and increase self-esteem
  • Create a group process
  • Get acquainted with employment opportunities in the cultural sector
  • Reduce barriers to accessing standard cultural offerings


In 2012, three students from theater, film and television sciences came up with the plan to organize a "talent search but different" in the Parktheater. For them, it was an excellent opportunity to put their acquired theoretical knowledge into practice, and for the Parktheater, it gave the opportunity to organize a new activity for a new target group.

Professional coaching

The idea was to, after auditions, professionally coach a group of primary school-aged children to produce a diverse performance. It had to be more than a competition or a showdown. For the children, the learning process was central – they got the chance to develop their talents in a concentrated way and learned what it takes to put together a performance. RAAK! successfully took place in both 2013 and 2014.

A gentle nudge

Although the 2013 and 2014 projects were very successful, both in terms of quality and variety offered as well as number of participants and public interest, the project organizers wanted to delve in even further. Upon inquiry, they found that a large majority of the participating children had already been to the theater previously, either for a performance visit or for an audition. The organizers realized that this was a group of children who would participate even without the "gentle nudge". They had plenty of options and were already sufficiently encouraged by parents or by school to discover and develop their talents.


The organizers thought how nice it would be if the RAAK! children who were reached were the ones who face a much greater barrier to (participating in) culture. Children who are equally talented but really need that 'nudge' to discover and/or develop their talents. Hence, the idea of ​​a new RAAK! was born.


In order to be able to achieve the full-scale project objectives, three parties are actively collaborating. All of these parties have drawn upon their own background to contribute knowledge and experience equally to the project.

Parktheater Eindhoven

In 2012, Parktheater introduced the thinX innovation fund (theater and innovation 10.0). Under this umbrella, a multitude of activities take place that are not only fun and good to do now, but also contribute to theater of the future -- our knowledge of that future and possible influences upon that future.

There are four spearheads within thinX: talent development, society, generations, and science. RAAK! is a project under the umbrella of thinX, with the aim of actively involving young people who, for various reasons, face a great barrier between themselves and culture and the cultural making process.

Summa Plus

Summa Plus was founded in 2006 within what was then still called ROC Eindhoven, and its main goal is to reduce the number of students who leave school without a diploma. The intended effect is to offer participants perspective again. It is keeping young people "in the system" in a positive spiral.

The Summa Plus student population is very diverse; many are young people with learning and behavioral problems, and there is a steeply increasing group of foreign speakers. The belief is that visiting or participating in culture can positively contribute to realizing the 'do good for society' objective and can help these young people stay 'above board'.


Dynamo youth work (affiliated with Lumens) is a creative platform for young talent and calls itself a youth center, stage, workshop space and school, all in one. Established in the 1980s with a Protestant Christian background, Dynamo youth work has been offering young people a place in Eindhoven to develop within their subculture.

Dynamo youth work immediately responded both positively and actively to RAAK! and started thinking about how the project could be enriched.