Article 2 of the Constitution of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation reads as follows:

“Within the context of the cultural traditions of Europe in general and the ideas of Erasmus in particular, the aim of the Foundation is to enhance the position of the humanities, social sciences and the arts. The emphasis lies on tolerance, cultural pluralism and non-dogmatic, critical thinking. The Foundation tries to achieve this aim by awarding prizes and by other means. A cash prize is awarded under the name of the ‘Erasmus Prize’.”

In accordance with this article, the Board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has decided to award the Erasmus Prize 2014 to Frie Leysen.

The Prize is being awarded to Frie Leysen for the following reasons:

  • Her work is characterised by perseverance and boldness.
  • She has an antenna for scouting out new talents and creating a platform for them.
  • She encourages us to be open to non-European theatre traditions and emphasises the importance of a change in perspective.
  • When programming festivals, she is non-compromising and she is prepared to deviate from established rules.
  • For Frie Leysen, the ultimate criterion for making a festival is to give centre stage to the artists and their art.