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Art world says thanks for bike bell, but now wants pedal back too

That 10 million is officially in. The art world is doing its best to sound grateful. The employers in the performing arts, gathered in the NAPK, have sent Bussemaker a thank you. Because she is not cutting 300 million from culture, but only 290 million. The extra money that last year raked together was by various lobbyists and parties is now embedded in the permanent grants. Not nearly enough, of course. As I have written before: the cabinet has not been the bike stolen from art world and now returns the bell. After long insistence, that is. But with screws.

So how bold is it for the Federation of Culture, Arts '92 and the Academy of Arts to ask for an additional 14 million? Not really cheeky, as NAPK states in its supporting press release. After all, that money is needed to ensure that the sector does not still fall over, as a whole. Without that extra 14 million, there will be nothing left of SMEs in the arts sector at all. We then mention Orkater, Presentatiehuis De Appel, LeineRoebana, Matzer, all the festivals. That extra 14 million, that is the pedal of the bicycle, with which we can one day park the thing against the kerb again. Should a later cabinet wise up and want to invest in our own culture again, before it is taken over by foreign countries.

14 million extra less

There is a good chance that this 14 million extra less cut will come. In any case, D66 frontrunner Alexander Pechtold was already there leaking loudly about it during the Paradiso Debate, at the end of this year's Uitmarkt. Makes sense, too. There must be something to dealing be for the parties that might sit around the table for a new government in 2017. Therefore, sometime in November, during the General Considerations on culture, the wish of D66 and Labour, plus a VVD shifted slightly to the centre, will be honoured to come up with 14 million extra reducing the total of the cuts from 300 million to 276 million. [hints]Bussemaker also speaks of 18.5 million that she previously "gave back", but that was not giving back: it was taken away from artists' pensions via so-called "cash shifting"[/hints].

Every little bit helps, they will think at NAPK, and the rest of the interest groups. So for now: Bussemaker, thank you. And when you think of that dress you got from the Dutch National Ballet, don't even think about that dress that Medea had her children bring to her rival.

The myth of Medea depicted on a relief. In the centre Glauke, the new mistress of Medea's husband Jason, who is given a dress mixed in burning poison by the betrayed kings.
The myth of Medea depicted on a relief. In the centre Glauke, the new mistress of Medea's husband Jason, who is given a dress mixed in burning poison by the betrayed queen.

Ministry figures:

€ 3.1 million for festivals in the Netherlands via the Performing Arts Fund
€ 1.2 million for expanding Culture Education with Quality in secondary schools via the Cultural Participation Fund
€ 1.2 million for the music education impulse via the Cultural Participation Fund
€ 700,000 for presentation institutions via the Mondriaan Fund
€ 700,000 for music theatre via the Performing Arts Fund
€500,000 for improving the labour market position of artists
€ 450,000 for talent development in the region through the Performing Arts Fund
€ 400,000 for the Dutch Design Week via the Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie
€ 400,000 for festivals through the Creative Industry Stimulation Fund
€ 350,000 for literary festivals through the Dutch Foundation for Literature
€ 350,000 for festivals via the Cultural Participation Fund
€250,000 for the Museum of Literature
€ 150,000 for Museum Meermanno
€ 150,000 for Huis Doorn
€ 125,000 for Slot Loevestein

NAPK's press release:



Amsterdam, 20 September 2016 - Minister Bussemaker today announced the structural addition of €10 million to the culture budget. An investment that is very welcome just before the start of the new culture note period. With this gesture, politicians indicate that culture is taken seriously as a domain for investment. As a sector, we have collectively indicated that €24 million is needed to tackle the biggest bottlenecks structurally - this €10 million is a nice first step. Especially in the performing arts, additional measures are still needed to strengthen the midfield, maintain the fine-grained distribution of supply and encourage a pluralistic youth offer.

In the run-up to Budget Day, the Federation of Culture, Arts '92 and the Academy of Arts indicated that an investment of €24 million would help the cultural sector maintain stability and calm in the field. This would allow the sector to prepare thoroughly for the announced system review after the 2017-2020 period.

In the performing arts sector, producers who are placed under the Performing Arts Fund fall away. They form the midfield of the performing arts sector: they are not as big as BIS companies but are certainly not project organisations either. They often have a long track record and play an important role in the sector's capillaries. For instance, in the field of talent development, education, genre development, etc. They have loyal audiences, long-term commitments with regional venues and intensive collaborations with performing arts festivals. We see that this midfield does not have a stable position in the whole and note that the policy framework of the Performing Arts Fund does not match their professional practice.

We trust that politicians for 2017-2020 will supplement the €10 million that has now become available to €24 million, so that this midfield is not lost prematurely. For the longer term, we argue that in a new structure, there should be a solid policy guarantee for performing arts SMEs. Even outside the BIS, continuity and the ability to run a professional business are important for employers to ensure quality and sustainable commitments in society.

The Nederlandse Associatie voor Podiumkunsten is the branch association of theatre and dance companies and music ensembles, most of which work with funding from the Ministry of OCW, the Fonds Podiumkunsten and/or provincial and/or local governments.

Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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