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Erik Akkermans

Director, consultant and publicist.

Tompouce from bakery kwakman

In the 'tompouce economy', culture leads the way in green;

The doughnut - American delicacy of Dutch origin - is popular. Personally, I prefer the tompouce. The name sounds chicly French, yet it is a much-appreciated Dutch treat, mainly thanks to HEMA. British economist Kate Raworth took the doughnut as a metaphor her alternative to the current growth economy. She argues that economic science is a very... 

Sandor Somkuti: Budapest 1985. CCBY2.0Sandor Somkuti: Budapest 1985. CCBY2.0


In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: the 1985 Budapest Cultural Forum and a renewed cold war. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Only a short time before, intense discussions between Warsaw Pact and NATO countries on security, disarmament and free cultural... 

In Perspective #19: The Branch and the Blossom

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: cultural education in primary education. Ambitions of a new cabinet Spring 2003. The sun began to shine a little more and branches began to blossom. Here presented the metaphor that could serve as a title for the report that... 

DALL-E 2023-11-14 17.16.50 - A noir-style, black and white illustration of modern jazz musicians performing in the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal

IN PERSPECTIVE 18: Has it already started, or is jazz policy in the Netherlands already over?

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: policies for jazz and improvised music. From the Oude Schans to Rijswijk May 1983, Monday morning, a quarter past eight. Location: the soulless office tower in Rijswijk housing the Ministry of Welfare, Public Health and Culture. Minister Brinkman addressed the members of the Working Group on... 

cover Friesland My Love by Oeds Westerhof.

One region, one love: Oeds Westerhof's political declaration of love

In Zutphen, I attended Jeroen den Herder's congenial small-scale cello festival. There, two young Portuguese students gave a lecture/recital on their research project on the music of the fado singer and composer José Zeca Afonso, an important voice in the 1974 Portuguese Revolution. At home, I looked up that music. It turned out to be the perfect background when reading "Friesland, my... 

Amersfoort Court

IN PERSPECTIVE 17: BEFORE Amersfoort was by the sea (Is it better for a municipality to stop embarking on large-scale new construction or renovation projects of art institutions?).

Still Amersfoort by the Sea is not a reality. Sea level rise is taking a bit longer to materialise. In the meantime, then, the city is still just centrally located in the country, with the largest national hub for train traffic, an average population profile, a historic city centre, a unique training programme for carillonneurs, as well as the 'music factory' in the Veerensmederij and the art gallery KAdE...., which scores well in reviews. 

orchestra playing in a dutch modern neighbourhood, plain clothes, civil servants looking on

IN PERSPECTIVE 16: The Giro d 'Italia and how the Promenade Orchestra lost.

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: walk of the orchestras. In the Hall of Mirrors January 1980, the Hall of Mirrors in the Concertgebouw. Culture minister Til Gardeniers accepts the report "Possession in service" 1 presented by the Federation of Artists' Associations. I found it exciting because the report, commissioned by... 

Created with Midjourney AI at the prompt: a bass guitar player working as a teacher in a classroom

In Perspective #15: With bass guitar in cabinet or classroom

Cees van Leeuwen was a bass guitarist in the pop formation Kayak. Not for very long; soon he chose to study again: cultural anthropology and law. He specialised in labour and entertainment law and started working as a lawyer. In later years, he was the legal counsel of singer Anouk, among others. Cees van Leeuwen was also state secretary for culture for a year (on behalf of... 

Created with midjourney ai at the prompt "handlebar bicycle museum willink style"

The art of just a little bit different - comment on essay Renée Steenbergen

Renée Steenbergen has made a name for herself through her expertise of private cultural finance and art collections1 . She recently received a lot of space in the NRC and attention from Culture Press for her latest publication The Art of Different. It made me curious. In her booklet, she makes some good proposals and offers useful suggestions for a healthier art business. For example: that both... 

Created with Midjourney AI at the prompt: famous actor taking driving lessons

A licence for the professional actor - In Perspective 14

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: training as a learning process for a sector. Driving licences and absenteeism policy The youth theatre company was a collective of actors. They were jointly responsible and they kept as much control as possible over everything, including transport to their performances. So an actor with a driving licence was then... 

In Perspective #13 - A GOOD COUNCIL FOR ROTTERDAM? (II) - New version.

The Rotterdam Council for Arts and Culture (RRKC) has been disbanded from 1 January 2023. I wrote about this in June this year2, and earlier the editor-in-chief did3. At that time, formal decision-making in Rotterdam had yet to take place. Given the question marks in the city council, it is safe to say that the college finally pushed through the dissolution. The... 

IN PERSPECTIVE #12: Matthijs' Sizes - Lessons in leadership.

The first 10 years of leadership were over. It seemed high time for refresher training: take a breath, stand back, acquire new skills and knowledge. But what and where? There were no specific offers for leadership in the arts. There was the option of going to Banff, Canada, for a then unique culture-focused management course. A single cultural manager... 

IN PERSPECTIVE #10: Tea, biscuits and a working title: Cultural Netherlands

I had coffee, tea and snacks ready. I had also asked my son, the designer, to sketch an example of a future logo for 'Cultureel Nederland'1. Although the Federation of Culture (FC)'s heyday took place at the chairman's house and not on the heath, it was meant to be a heyday. That is, an informal conversation about... 

The 59th Venice Biennale: there is so much to get behind the big and established names that has fallen away.

One might, when visiting the Venice Arte Biennale 2022, immediately shout 'woke' or 'wokism'. It's not that difficult, since the curator's choices emphasise female and non-Western artists.1 But I would find that too easy and ultimately unjustified. When you try to look fresh - forgetting all the reflections beforehand - it falls... 

In Perspective #9 - An IJ jump (About Production Houses Dance)

Next to the industrial complex was another large hoisting plant. Inside were some reminiscences of past activity. The factory hall in Amsterdam-North where Stork made its machines was now completely deserted, cold, bare and quite dirty. Here we stood, director and chairman of Dansmakers Amsterdam, Ger Jager and me. Was this going to be the new home for Dansmakers? And was much scepticism among our... 

A long and winding road to fair music rights

Paul McCartney - according to Philip Norman's biography (2016) - had discovered a nice extra source of income as an enterprising musician: the music rights of colleagues. He bought up the rights of others and the money flowed in. Friendly and naive, he tipped Michael Jackson to do the same and yes, to his shock, a few years later, music rights of The Beatles were... 

IN PERSPECTIVE 8: Does the last artist want to turn out the lights?

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: artists' interests. Above the children's circus The ground floor of the building on Passeerdersgracht in Amsterdam housed children's circus Elleboog. On the second floor were the chess federations: the national federation and Max Euwe's international federation FIDE, which you could sometimes see in person.... 

IN PERSPECTIVE 7: Artists and providence

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: providence for artists. The office at Noordeinde in The Hague. At the meeting table, all board members had a fixed place. At that spot was a packet of cigarettes of the right brand ready for everyone. The meetings started at the stroke of two o'clock. Around half past... 

IN PERSPECTIVE 6: The meter case and media art

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: media art. Aan het Haagse Spui It were tough negotiations. The battle for the meter cupboard symbolised that. The chairman of the Hague Filmhuis, a former alderman, went hard at it. And the board of the World Wide Video Centre & Festival... 

IN PERSPECTIVE 5 - From order and power to student and power - On mergers and discomfort in arts education

"Miss, please give me the minister!". Henk Vonhoff's voice sounded as commanding as it was eloquent as he addressed his secretary over the intercom. Vonhoff was commissioner of the Queen in Groningen, but also chairman of the supervisory committee of the Groningen State University of Applied Sciences, the only college still directly under the minister. We, faculty directors, were at... for the umpteenth time. 

IN PERSPECTIVE #4: International solidarity.

In the series In Perspective, Erik Akkermans looks back and ahead at developments in cultural policy and practice. Today: international solidarity. When Hans van Manen does want to receive Russians Scene 1. White House lawn On the lawn in front of the White House, first lady Pat Nixon1 walks past the assembled choirs singing to her. Suddenly, during a silent moment, the... 

In Perspective #2 - Centres for the arts, threatened and promising, part 2: beyond the A7

(What preceded. In the previous chapter, I thought back to my father. Who sought support from a predecessor of today's Cultuurconnectie to set up a creativity centre. And how he himself later downsized an arts centre precisely. Most municipalities now focus on cultural education in education, not on individual amateurs. What is the best model? And can you... 

In Perspective #2: Centres for the arts: threatened and promising - urban facilities

My father had received a visit from Amsterdam. It was a gentleman from the Association for Creativity Development VCO. He came to advise on how to set up a creativity centre and how to apply for a subsidy from the municipality. Goldsmithing was my father's hobby - secretly the profession he had hoped for as a boy - and in our... 

In Perspective - A good council for Rotterdam?

The Turfsteker rejected The mayor was angry. The councillor was angry. Everyone was angry because the A municipality wanted to put up a work of art by a locally highly regarded sculptor as a tribute to the peat cutter, but was denied a grant by the province. The Cultural Council had advised negatively. The relevant advisory committee lamented the artist's figurative work; it left nothing to... 

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