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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. 

Westbeat, Amsterdam's newly built cultural fray, is perhaps too good.

Art, and certainly avant garde art, thrives on the frayed edges of society. Especially in the second half of the 20th century, industrial heritage and as yet unrenovated urban foam were the places where art could escape the norms of the ruling class. The NDSM wharf in Amsterdam North, Hall 4 or the Submarine Wharf in Rotterdam, Ceramique in Maastricht, Sterrebos in... 

Pull free short stories by well-known authors from the vending machine- ILFU Storytelling Machine makes summer tour of Utrecht

This summer, the Netherlands' first Verhalenmachine (Storytelling Machine) will again tour Utrecht hotspots. From the ILFU Verhalenmachine you don't pull out a croquette or a can of soda, but one of hundreds of free short stories. In the coming weeks, the Verhalenmachine will tour busy Utrecht locations, such as the Neude Library, the Uitalage on Steenweg and TivoliVredenburg. This tour is... 

Goodbye movie house, longing for museums: (my) insights after corona

What does culture visit after corona look like? The topic came up regularly on this site in recent months. I myself wrote two personal contributions on it. Now that cultural institutions may almost reopen their doors, the crystal ball is giving way to reality. In my article on 'the promise of the empty hall', I noted a reluctance to... 

Godfried Bomans: respectively loved, vilified, misunderstood and forgotten

Godfried Bomans died half a century ago. Almost immediately afterwards, the Netherlands' best-loved writer sank into oblivion. It is time for a reappraisal of Bomans' literary work and even his political views. I delved into the archives, also looking for the few traces of Bomans in Amersfoort. First some round figures. Seventy years ago, he delivered a lecture... 

'Monument to BKR' shows how well an income scheme for artists can work

With 'A monument to the BKR', Fransje Kuyvenhoven has indeed written a tribute in her "history of a high-profile artists' scheme (1949-1987 )". If only because the first hundred pages contain no text, but a chronological showcase of artworks from the BKR. By Karel Appel, Corneille, Constant, Lucebert, Jan Wolkers, Kees van Bohemen, Ger Lataster, Armando, among others. And because there are... 

Raymond K. is in love; a piece with butterflies in the stomach as spring arrives

Every Sunday morning is like a lockdown. The city streets are deserted. I encounter only characters from my stories. Two men and a woman with phone numbers on their chests walk around lost. They no longer know who they are or where to go. A retired writer searches desperately for the pages of a lost story.... 

'Only now do I have a fairly comforting life.' Frank conversation with Hans Dorrestijn

Cabaret artist Hans Dorrestijn is known as a gloom and professional grumbler. But in recent years, Holland's blackest joker has less and less to complain about: he has had great success with his nature books and his cabaret shows, and won several awards. This week he turns 80, but he does not want to stop - his new book Wensvogels has just been published. In nine candid questions 

'For museums, a reservoir of deferred rent and taxes awaits' Paul Baltus of Amersfoort in C is working hard on a plan B.

'At some point, you get it again. then you just have to start paying again. Unless there will somehow be remission, but that is not the case for now.' For Paul Baltus, director of museum dome Amersfoort in C, a big challenge awaits if the intelligent lockdown will slowly be lifted. How can... 

'Bring all the venues in Amersfoort together in one management group.' Bernard van Gellekom has an unorthodox vision of cultural survival at the time of Corona.

'If you can put only a quarter, or even less, in a hall that normally holds 600 people, then the tickets do become very expensive, because your costs don't change. Then my popular heart starts beating again: should we really want something so elitist?' Bernard van Gellekom is an important figure in the Amersfoort pop scene. In his home... 


Cultural institutions in the province of Utrecht say they "fear for the survival of the province's finely-meshed arts and culture sector" in a letter to the Provincial Executive and Provincial Council. They are sounding the alarm about the consequences of the corona measures. The letter was drafted by over a hundred institutions: venues, both larger ones in Amersfoort and Utrecht and smaller ones in other municipalities, museums,... 

Divided loyalties, racism and a split house in HBO's The Plot Against America

I had the chance to attend the 500th anniversary - it took place at the beautiful Teatro La Fenice - of the first Jewish ghetto during my visit to Venice in 2016. One of the speakers was historian Simon Schama. During his lecture, I was given a brief history of Jewish suffering in Italy. According to... 

Hide the books, if you want people in the library. (Lessons from Manchester, episode 2)

A real estate agent once confided in me that a bookcase in the living room saves thousands of euros in the resale value of a house. In a negative sense. This fact always does well at parties, and book lovers (my network is full of them) grudge it. On a tour of Manchester Central Library, the head librarian proudly told us that the café... 

Netherlands Wind Ensemble launches second tour of The Unknown Chaplin an ode to Chaplin's artistry, with newly composed music

After its successful tour last November, the Nederlands Blazers Ensemble will tour again with The Unknown Chaplin. The second tour - from 3 March to 22 March - will take in venues in Ede, Helmond, Tilburg, Den Haag, Amersfoort, Enschede, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Six hilarious, humorous and melancholic silent films by the great universal genius Charlie... 

Promotion critical interview with Amersfoort alderman hampered by Facebook

In the ongoing series of interviews with leading figures from Amersfoort's cultural sector, I interviewed D66 alderman Fatma Koser Kaya. It turned into an animated conversation. Strangely enough, De Stadsbron, Amersfoort's local journalism site, is not allowed to promote the interview from Facebook, the editors announced yesterday. It is unclear why. Here is an excerpt, the whole story of course on De Stadsbron: 'I believe... 

'It is crucial that people who mature here - also as artists - can stay connected to Amersfoort'

For De Stadsbron, Amersfoort's journalistic background site, I chart the cultural sector of the Keistad. On that site now, an interview with Friederike Weisner, director of Theatre De Lieve Vrouw. 'According to Weisner, the lack of a university or college ensures that the need for knowledge is visible: 'You will always have to be innovative as a city. There ... 

Patrick Nederkoorn: 'We have everything in order and don't excel at anything.'

For De Stadsbron, I interviewed Patrick Nederkoorn, comedian but in a previous life also politician, about his city, Amersfoort: You had a decisive role in politics here for eight years. In your programme, you reckon with that a bit. You argue that you were very much on form, and sometimes sold content where later you didn't... at all. 

'Library has no respect for artists!' Sale of works from Art Loan against sore leg Amersfoort art world.

This weekend, gallery owner Henk Logman discovered to his horror that artworks from the Amersfoort Art Loan were being offered for sale on a Belgian auction site. On his facebook page, he reports: 'The extraordinary thing about the whole thing is that the now still living artists were not informed of this. I would at least have expected that to have happened.... 

Opinion researchers: Amersfoort, see artists more as business cards!

Amersfoort is investing in culture again. This is very good news after a period when cuts dominated. So now it becomes extra interesting what the city will do with the extra money. Some research is already under way. Last week, another study was added from an unexpected source. The main outcome: Amersfoort could be a bit prouder... 

Striking: Amersfoort subsidises sports event with culture money

Amersfoort has some catching up to do when it comes to culture. Festivals like Spoffin, for instance, have no money to pay real fees for performing artists. So they are there with the name recognition as a reward. The same is not true for tennis players, it turns out. Indeed, Amersfoort's alderman for sports decided to enrich this year's atp tennis tournament with a €50,000 subsidy to, for instance,... 

NS presents the first train thriller on WhatsApp. Authors Jowi Schmitz and Louis Stiller test the experience

'The first Dutch WhatsApp thriller' was launched at the end of January. For five days, a select group of screen readers could follow this 'real time' story. Writers Jowi Schmitz and Louis Stiller were among them, app'ing with each other about this new form of storytelling. Sunday Louis > Suddenly a whole pile of names in my whatsapp (including 'paps' and 'mums'). Jowi > I give them... 

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