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Access to culture; Towards a new system in 2029


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People do not have equal access to culture in the Netherlands. This is because the supply of culture varies greatly by region. Also, artists or cultural institutions do not yet have an equal chance of financial support everywhere. There are calls for change from the cultural and creative field. At the request of the State Secretary of Culture and Media, the Council for Culture therefore released the report 'Access to culture; towards a new system in 2029' on 26 January. With the report, the council aims to make government funding contribute as much as possible to a rich cultural life for everyone in the Netherlands. This is important because culture adds colour to people's lives and because cultural production, practice and experience contribute to broad prosperity in the Netherlands.

The Culture Council wants to make culture more accessible by:

  • Ensuring sufficient cultural offers in every region by distributing funding more evenly across all regions and allocating extra money for this. Currently, cultural facilities, what can be seen, heard and experienced there and what opportunities for cultural participation exist vary too much from region to region. The culturally strong regions are getting stronger, while in other regions the opportunities and facilities are decreasing.
  • Broaden to different types of creators, cultural organisations and types of culture. Parts of the cultural field are currently underrepresented, for instance because the genres they work in, or the way they work or organise, do not fit into the current system.
  • To work on the vitality of the sector by firmly anchoring cultural education in and around schools, making funding for talent development more consistent and creating more connections between amateurs and professionals.
  • Reduced administrative burden for creators and cultural organisations by easing the way they have to apply and be accountable.

Proposals for change:

  • Come up with a 'Culture Framework Act' and anchor in it the concern of the state, provinces and municipalities for culture.
  • Bring the entire funding from central government under 1 national fund, with departments within it with a province as its working area (and the Caribbean Netherlands) to give attention to all regions from a cultural policy perspective. The Council for Culture 'new style' will then no longer advise on subsidy applications, but on frameworks and policy.
  • Apply broad notions of art and quality that cherish existing offerings and embrace the new.
  • Increase the budget structurally by €200 million a year.

Further elaborate with the industry

In the run-up to the introduction of a new system on 1 January 2029, much elaboration is still needed. The council advises the government to further involve the sector to harness the creativity of creators and cultural organisations.

Visualisation 'Access to culture' lying down

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