Historical background

Le 19, Centre régional d’art contemporain (Crac) was founded in 1993 and opened its doors in 1995. Dedicated to the dissemination, production and mediation of contemporary art, it shares the missions of the French art centres as defined by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, and has also established itself as a place for sharing, prospecting and research.

Since 2018, the 19 has been awarded with the CACIN (Centre d’Art Contemporain d’Intérêt National) label, and belongs to the national network of DCA art centres, as well as to the regional networks Seize Mille and TRAC. It is also a member of Bla !, the national association of contemporary art mediation professionals, the national MÔM’ART association (“Musées Joyeux” network) and the regional association Une ouverture pour l’art.

The 19 is supported by the French government, the Burgundy-Franche-Comté Region, the City of Montbéliard and the Pays de Montbéliard Agglomération.
On a national scale, the art centre is geographically located in the east of France, halfway along a network of contemporary art structures based on an arc stretching from Dijon to Strasbourg, via Besançon, Montbéliard, Belfort and Mulhouse. Internationally, it is close to the borders with Switzerland and Germany, to which the town of Montbéliard was attached for three centuries (County of Würtemberg). Locally, the 19 is strategically located in front of the railway station of the city, on the edge of Montbéliard’s heritage town centre, in the warehouse of the first office of the Peugeot car company, which has had a major impact on the history and current sociology of the urban area. The industrial aesthetic of this 1920s building is particularly attractive to the artists and audiences of Le 19.

A unique place

The 19, Crac’s project

Le 19, Crac offers between three and four exhibitions per year in its 550 m2 exhibition space, as well as exhibitions outside its walls in collaboration with various local, national, or international partners. In both cases, the artistic programme reflects the evolving plastic and societal issues of art, paying particular attention to approaches involving the creation of common grounds. These are based on the principles of assembling artistic processes, popular cultures, and the involvement of non-professional within the production, the subjects and the experimentation of the art pieces and exhibitions. They are inspired by contemporary research in the human sciences and alternative political communities. The aim is to encourage the emergence of a shared sense of purpose and a general attitude to the art centre as a public space for co-learning.
Le 19, Crac supports artists by providing financial and logistical assistance to produce their work. It also helps them to disseminate their work and professionalize it. The art centre pays close attention to artists based in the region and seeks to open dialogue with other artists based in Europe or abroad. Le 19, Crac regularly invites external curators (art centres, production structures, artists, independent curators) to design new projects and share collective learning experiences.

Discover more about the art pieces produced by the 19, Crac : website of D.C.A.

The artists’ residencies, whether they are based in schools or specific neighborhoods or connected to a specific process of art production for an exhibition, are at the crossroads of exhibitions and mediation, and resonate - sometimes critically - with the local environment and the local population. Reception is at heart of Le 19’s project, which affirms the emancipatory potential of art, its capacity to transform our understanding of the world around us and our ability to take part in it. Le 19, Crac is asserting the right to “complexity”; for everyone, and therefore the duty of an art centre to offer an open and inclusive approach to art through encounters, dialogue, and experimentation. These involve artists, audiences and partners from different backgrounds.

Our partners (non-exhaustive list) : Éducation Nationale, FRAC Franche-Comté, HEAR (Haute École des Arts du Rhin de Strasbourg et Mulhouse), Centre Chorégraphique National Viadanse, La Galerie du Granit (Belfort), École d’art de Belfort, Musées de Montbéliard, Musées de Belfort, Conservatoire de Musique et de Danse du Pays de Montbéliard, Karlskaserne de Ludwigsburg (Bade-Würtemberg, Allemagne), Médiathèque de Montbéliard, Le Moloco, Les Compagnons d’Emmaüs, Sésame Autisme, etc.