Between 1980 to 1991, Frie Leysen was the founding director of deSingel in Antwerp. Under her management, deSingel became an internationally renowned arts centre with a unique programme. In 1994 she founded the bilingual Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. In the ten years that she headed this festival, it grew into an influential festival for both Belgian and international arts. In the following years, she expanded her area of work to extend into Europe and beyond. In 2007, Frie Leysen organized the multidisciplinary Meeting Points festival in nine Arab cities. In 2010 she was curator of Theater der Welt in the German Ruhr area and in 2012, held the position of artistic director of the Berliner Festspiele. Since 2014 she is working as theatre director of the Vienna Festival in Austria. In 2003, Frie Leysen was awarded the Flemish Community Award for General Cultural Contributions, in 2007 she received an honorary doctorate from the Free University of Brussels and in 2014 she received the Erasmus prize in Amsterdam.