The former Consulate General of Italy in Charleroi was quickly recognised the ideal setting for Melanie de Biasio's project.

A symbol of the historical roots of Italian immigration, this remarkable building, built by Jules Audent in 1877, hosted the Italian Consulate from 1958 to 2013. Its walls and woodwork are still impregnated with the dreams of Eldorado of several generations of Italian immigrants.

By purchasing this beautiful building, by creating this luminous project that is L’Alba, meaning ‘the dawn’ but, signifying the "House of talents", Melanie de Biasio has shown how much exiled populations, wherever they come from, are a rich resource for their host country. It is natural that today she presents others with the chance to visualize a new dawn for their artistic paths.

Supporting such a project undeniably contributes to the rebirth of the metropolis of Charleroi, which is emerging as a new center of culture.





Our residencies; catalysing artists to explore other ways of doing and being.

Every creator knows sooner or later the delicate moment of placing his art back into perspective. This moment, all at once fragile, exhilarating and uncomfortable, of a new exploration. But it is here that the essential cornerstone of any artistic journey revealed.

L'Alba offers creators a moment of pause, a warm and benevolent refuge, a laboratory where they can freely experiment with alternate paths, thus allowing the still submerged part of their talent to blossom and "let the imprudence come...", to paraphrase Alain Bashung.


The Program 

Favouring emerging and intimate forms, L’Alba programmes performances, exhibitions and cultural events through diverse formats that span solos to quartets and/or themes that resonate with the world. L’Alba organizes eight to ten events per year while simulateneously hosting programmes organised by our partners.


The House of Shared Talents

The house aims to be a place of encounters, simplicity and exchanges, a playground to broaden horizons. Artists, volunteers, partners, participants of social work programmes, and citizens, are all invited to meet and exchange their skills and know-how.

Important to recognise is that L'Alba is the first cultural association recognised in the framework of the social economy (Walloon Region). This is a significant step forward in relation to the vision it has always had, i.e. to open the house to all, especially by including the most vulnerable through breaking down social barriers.


Equality, Diversity 

L'Alba actively contributes to the fight against precariousness by allowing the professional and social reintegration of disadvantaged people by engaging them in work via the so-called "article 60" procedure of the Belgium’s Public Social Welfare Center (CPAS). Importantly L’Alba is the first cultural association to be recognised by the Walloon Region as an Social Economy Initiative (IES). 


Bringing Together Creators and Cultural Places

L’Alba is located at the intersection of an urban dynamic: education, culture and citizen. In addition to the residency center, artistic workshops have been, are and/or will be organised in partnership with other local institutions, such as Eden, the Grumiaux Conservatory and the Rockerill. 

The house is above all, a place open to the public, to all audiences. The artists in residence are invited to meet these audiences during events of all kinds: readings, concerts, installations, debates, etc. In this respect, L’sAlba defines itself as a place of experimentation where the process of creation is shared with its public, gathering citizens, neighbors, students and members of the association.

In addition to its own programming, the Alba also reinforces the link between the Grumiaux Conservatory and the city. Our wish is to support the initiatives carried by the students and their teachers by becoming an extra-curricular playground for experimentation and evolution. 

Finally, the "alley" on the first floor reinforces this link between the inside and the outside, between the resident artists and the public, between the Conservatory and the main boulevard. The project aspires to open a third place, a convivial and intergenerational space, which would give pride of place to creative, citizen and sustainability initiatives. This space would be unique in its philosophy: a return to simple, authentic things, a certain frugality, a breathing bubble, a moment of suspension, Italian style of course...


The Art of Frugality

The art of frugality, simplicity and economy of means are the fundamental principles of L’Alba.
For its renovation, all furniture was donated or  purchased second-hand in in promotion of a circular economy, the only exceptions being technical installations which were new, energy efficient and in conformity with the standards.
Moreover, the building benefits from the latest technologies and materials in terms of insulation and heating.
Within its operations, L’Alba shares its equipment and infrastructure with local partners; in the same way, all rooms equipped with sound and light systems are made available to residents and local artists.