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All about politics, policy, society and how those things relate to culture and art.

Director Tessa Smeulers leaves Boulevard after 15 years

This summer, the fortieth edition of Theatre Festival Boulevard will be celebrated in 's-Hertogenbosch, with new names and old acquaintances. For director-director Tessa Smeulers, this special anniversary year is a moment to change her tack. After 15 years, she will bid farewell to Boulevard on 1 September. Head and heart "For years, my head and heart have been linked to Theatre Festival Boulevard. With great... 

International Theatre Amsterdam makes report on sickened working climate public 

"Regarding the victims, it was mainly employees with managerial duties who experienced the cross-border behaviour. This seemingly contradictory result with the discussed hierarchy is explicable from the fact that the perpetrator of the transgressive behaviour in the majority of these cases is (a) board member(s) or other manager(s)." Ivo van Hove suddenly left as director last year 

Boulevard on the Parade

Positive opinions for Theatre Festival Boulevard

This week, Fonds Podiumkunsten and the Province of North Brabant announced that Theatre Festival Boulevard will also receive subsidies for the next four years. On Wednesday 3 July, the Performing Arts Fund issued its advice on national cultural subsidies for the period 2025-2028. Theatre Festival Boulevard is extremely proud of the Fund's positive advice. Thank you to the committee who gave us... 

We remain the most humble theatre group in the world!

Theatre Group Alum welcomes the many newcomers in the new Arts Plan. That this is at the expense of Aluin, among others, we find surprising and of course very unfortunate. Of course, we can now report on our bewilderment at so much injustice but, after all, getting a subsidy is not a right. Although it sometimes feels that way when you have so many talented... 


Maas receives positive advice for arts plan 2025-2028. On Wednesday 3 July, Maas theatre and dance received the redeeming word from the State: for the next four years, Maas will remain part of the Dutch Basic Infrastructure (BIS). More money was applied for and granted for this arts plan than the previous one. The week before, the positive advice had already come from the Municipality of Rotterdam,... 

Bafflement at Silence over Culture Council's negative opinion

Today, completely unexpectedly, dance company de Stilte received a negative opinion from the Youth Performing Arts Committee of the Council for Culture. From January 2025, the company will no longer receive a subsidy from the Ministry of OC&W. Like a bolt from the blue, the assessment fell on the mat. In 2023, the company still had a positive monitor interview with the Youth Performing Arts Committee in which... 

The stakes of Schoof 1 are clear: Culture, Sports and Leisure. 

With the new far-right cabinet, a new reality has also arrived for the arts. As before in Brabant, where the provincial councils no longer placed arts and culture under science and education, Schoof-1, despite an NSC minister on Education, Culture and Science, puts culture under the heading 'Culture, Sports and Leisure'. This is evident from the new classification of the... 

The European Pavilion 2024: Liquid Becomings announces artists and boat itineraries

On 29 June, the curators and the consortium of The European Pavilion 2024: Liquid Becomings in Belgrade announced the participating artists and the boat routes. The artists were selected after an open call in March 2024 to join the curators on four boat trips on four European rivers: the Danube, Vistula, Rhine and Tagus. Each team ... 

Marieke Hopman new artistic director November Music

Marieke Hopman will be appointed November Music's new artistic director from 1 August 2024. She succeeds Bert Palinckx, who has been associated with the festival since 1999. Together with business director Theo van Dooremalen, Hopman will form November Music's board of directors. 'We are very happy with Marieke's arrival,' says board chairman Karen Neervoort. 'She has a lot of... 

Once maligned Brazilian hero Verocai conquers the Holland Festival.

This is what charisma looks like. Arthur Verocai, now 79, tall and lean, stylish jacket around bony shoulders, only has to look into the hall once to overwhelm the audience. In the Concertgebouw's main hall on Tuesday night, the Brazilian legend stood in front of the Metropole Orchestra to belt out work from his scarce albums. He hardly needed to... 

Katia Ledoux in Carmen. © Inés Manai

Carmen adaptation by Wu Tsang shows how to combine respect and topicality

Probably the most famous murder of a woman for what she is is that of the fictional Carmen, a free-spirited young Spanish woman with a fear of commitment. Opera composer Georges Bizet immortalised this character from a French story by Prosper de Merimée, making the crime of passionel a common term for what is none other than femicide. That habit of men killing women... 

Opening party Holland Festival drowns in Westergasfabriek

It was busy at Amsterdam's Westergas area, this Thursday, 6 June. Fantastic, of course, that not only do you have a couple of excellent running restaurants and clubs there, and the evening four-day march passes by while there is a big salsa party at the club near the world-famous Gashouder, but then it still feels a bit weird that the royal opening of the... 

Dutch Film Festival, BAK and Holland Opera among those duped: Utrecht advisory committee settles old scores

Utrecht was the first of the big cities to announce the opinions issued on cultural institutions' grant applications for the next four years. Large and well-known players like the Dutch Film Festival, visual arts institutions like BAK and IMPAKT and youth opera company Holland Opera saw their applications rejected, as did Het Huis Utrecht. At the same time, the advisory committee does recommend... 

advertisement against VAT increase. (This is placed by us for free, it was not paid for by the campaign organisation)

Unique cooperation against VAT intentions. And now move on. 

The far-right coalition Schoof 1 has - even before there is a cabinet - created a first. Never before has there been such a wide protest against a proposed tax measure. An advertisement against the plans to increase VAT on sports, culture, events and media from 9% to 21% appeared in all daily newspapers. So we take those here... 

Madety with MS Co-Pilot on the prompt: a fridge bursting at the seams

Bring in 953 million with a VAT increase on culture? Wilders' protocabinet certainly can't do maths.

The new far-right cabinet is not going to cut back on cultural subsidies, even though ending subsidies for art altogether was one of Wilders party's sacred points. That those subsidies are virtually untouched should really be the big news after the presentation of the agreement between PVV, VVD, BBB and NSC, on Thursday, 16 May. That was the news only... 

No more free tickets for journalists after personal attack. Rightful action or unwanted harassment?

 "Jazzenzo no longer welcome at venues and festivals," claims online jazz magazine Jazzenzo. The reason is a letter the medium received from the BIM House on 24 April. In that letter, co-signed by an impressive number of prestigious venues and festivals such as TivoliVredenburg and North Sea Jazz, the BIM house announces that it will no longer grant free tickets to the unpaid reporters of... 

Utrecht arts education embroiled in fighting divorce (Part 2)

The Utrecht School of Music, also known as DUMS, has decided not to apply for a subsidy from the municipality. In a letter the school sent at the beginning of April to consultation partners in the Utrecht amateur arts field, the management states: "Our teachers indicated at its foundation that they did not want to be subsidised in order to guarantee independence from the municipality. However, Cultural Affairs gave... 

logo Netherlands Association for Performing Arts

Stages should be a safe place for everyone

It is with concern that we see an increasing number of polarisation-inspired incidents in our houses and on our stages. Everyone, from creators to staff and audiences, should be safe inside our houses and on our stages. In doing so, even in this antagonistic time, there is no place for actions or intimidations motivated by... 

Rape under the carpet

What happens behind the scenes at organisations when they face allegations of (serious) cross-border behaviour? Trainee Emilia accuses a theatre technician at a well-known theatre company of rape. This piece is based on her story and her own research, anonymised for privacy reasons. June 2022, beer, vodka, joints and a share scooter It's party time in a city park; students... 

Fltr: Madeleine Matzer, Martine Manten, Agnes Bolwiender

MATZER becomes polyphonic

's-Hertogenbosch, 6 March 2024 - From 1 January 2025, Madeleine Matzer will step down as artistic director and director-director of MATZER Theatre Productions. She founded the company in 2007 and has since made dozens of performances that played at diverse locations: from Theatre Carré to care institutions. In recent years, she not only directed, she also wrote the successful performances Je kan... 

13th edition Delft Fringe Festival in full swing

Be surprised, entertained, moved and stimulate your brain at the Delft Fringe Festival Delft, Tuesday 5 March 2024 - This year's Delft Fringe Festival will take place from 28 May to 9 June. It is the 13th time the festival has been organised in Delft. From 410 applications, 28 makers have been selected to be seen this summer... 

Jonas Staal (left) during his speech. Audience members from left to right: neske Beks, Charles Landvreugd and Karin Amatmoekrim. Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Becoming a member of NSC? - Academy of Arts stage of desperate search for engagement

"The vote for Wilders may be a dissenting vote, but apparently explicit racism is not a dealbreaker for all those people. That's terrible for someone of colour." In the stately Trippenhuis, seat of the Academy of Arts, this high word from Karin Amatmoekrim sounded extra emphatic. She was responding from the stage to a late-arriving audience member, who felt that "we... 

Why the Culture Council's Design Thinking is going wrong

The 'Access to Culture' advice presented by the Council for Culture on Friday 25 January 2024 is causing quite a stir. The newsletter we wrote about it on Substack was eagerly received, even though it did not ask, let alone answer, all the questions raised by the advice. Since, at 230 pages, it has also become a rather voluminous document, it... 

Access to culture; Towards a new system in 2029

People do not have equal access to culture in the Netherlands. This is because the supply of culture varies greatly from region to 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. Therefore, at the request of the State Secretary for Culture and Media on 26 January, the Council for Culture... 

Cinedans FEST '24

Cinedans exists 20 years! The anniversary edition Cinedans FEST '24 will take place from 20 to 24 March at Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam as well as online from 20 to 31 March on Cinedans WEB.For five days, Eye will be all about the international dance film with special highlights and premieres, including the arrival of special guest Celia Rowlson-Hall who will perform a... 

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