Genk is a coal-mining city and energy is part and parcel of its history. The planned science and industry park known as Energyville will tie Genk’s future, as well as its past, to the theme of energy. Making energy the theme of the annual Children’s Arts Factory was therefore a logical step, as was holding it in the Winterslag district, which is synonymous with coal mining. At the same time the project lowered the cultural threshold for the largely autochthon children living in Winterslag and thus attracted large numbers of participants.
Energy and its use is a hot topic. It is part of the trend towards more environmentally-friendly thinking and of the growing interest in green or alternative energy. What is learned in the cradle lasts to the grave, so it is important to introduce children to the subject at a young age. However, the Children’s Arts Factory did not restrict the subject to mechanical energy; it also covered human and intellectual energy through, for example, food and books as reading fodder.