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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... 

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... 

Making our own music and singing are essential to our sense of security

It is not only healthier but also more effective if, in our social institutions, we start making the transition from rigid control to learning processes and training sensitivity to the signals of the autonomic nervous system, the signals of safety and danger. It is relevant to embed this socially, for example in educational and care institutions.


Under the guise of 'what can still be done', Maas theatre and dance has developed a programme for children, young people, parents sitting at home who do feel like or need theatre in these unreal times. We came up with Maas TV, an online channel on our website where children, young people and adults can watch a daily registration of... 

What is the remplaçanten-cao and why is it so bad that the NPO applies it to the Eurovision Song Contest?

[update: they get even less, see post below] We received confusing news last weekend. The occasion was the festive announcement by the organisers of the Eurovision Song Contest that a special symphonic happening would take place at the final in Rotterdam. Invited were third-year and master students from Rotterdam Conservatoire, part of Codarts, as well as young professional musicians. For the performances... 

Brabant feud between orchestra and province comes at the expense of children, schools and small companies.

Cultural summit will take place Friday, February 1, 2019, at the North Brabant Provincial House. Reason: The 'Orkexit', or, the decision by the Philharmonie Zuid Nederland to cease all education activities in North Brabant with immediate effect. This not only deprives thousands of children of culture, but also puts a number of small youth theatre companies in dire financial straits. The Philharmonic, a merger orchestra, formed... 

Keith Haring, Untitled (velum), 1986. Installation 2017. Photo: Gert Jan van Rooij. Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

I call on the cultural sector of the Netherlands: put 80% of your marketing budget into cultural education.

In my work, I entice people to come into contact with art. And especially art with a big K. The art that is often marketed as 'difficult' or, in an attempt to get rid of its negative image, as 'vulnerable'. Liberal politicians would perhaps say art that 'doesn't act normal'. It is the kind of... 

How fuss in theatre can lead to intercultural dialogue

A dance performance for youth (6+) recently caused a stir. Pupils from groups 5 to 8 of the Islamic Aboe Daoedschool in Utrecht visited IJspaleis (6+) by dance theatre group plan d-. At a dance of two penguins in love, one of the teachers requested that the performance be stopped. This scene was not considered suitable for the pupils, the explanation said. It... 

Moving Futures festival seeks new audience for modern dance

'Many people find contemporary dance difficult. Especially performances by young makers who experiment and seek new ways. At the Moving Futures festival, everyone can discover how dance can touch you. We do this not only by showing good performances by young makers. We also offer activities around it, context programmes. By doing so, we give the audience tools to make a connection with... 

Difference lower and higher educated is unacceptable. Arts education can close the gap

If the shock of 9-11 in 2016 highlighted anything, it was the yawning gap between the higher and lower educated in our neoliberal society. White, less-educated and angry male America elected a racist and war hitter as president. We cannot help but conclude that democratic, liberal, highly educated and majority-educated America refused to see the blow coming. In the spring ... 

Dance teacher Lenneke Gentle: 'Dance is seen too much as a performing art.'

'What is the relevance of dance?' Since the conference The Relevance of Dance in March 2016, this question has been haunting my mind. That weekend, the main topic of discussion was the relevance of dance as a performing art to watch. An approach that left me unsatisfied, because my main interest myself is to know what the relevance of dance as an activity... 

Tomorrow's dance summit now on show in The Hague

Nederlands Dans Theater's summer course gives a glimpse of the future. At the top dancers of tomorrow, but also the choreographers: many of the company's dance makers created a first piece for this summer course. This year, the course also gives a look at the old stage of the half-demolished Lucent Danstheater in The Hague. You can catch a... 

LKCA meeting Kanteling

Cultural education on the precipice: 18 points of debate where one strategy is needed

Tilting is in. And that is good as long as tilting means taking a sharp turn and following the freshly chosen course with new vigour. Tilting is unwise if you are on the brink. Because then tilting soon becomes tumbling. Cultural education, I fear, has begun a tumble. Last year, it appeared that... 

Kunsten '92: Provinces struggle with cultural policy vision

Of Dutch people, the province can cut back even more on Culture. This week, Ipsos Synnovate presented a survey to that effect, and it was another slap in the face for the sector. Apparently, the image of art as an expensive kind of leftist hobby has not yet been eradicated by three years of optimistic NLPing by culture minister Jet Bussemaker's PR machine.... 

10 viral stories from Culture Press for 235,000 real readers

Always start with the good news. The Information Department of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science did a very good job in 2014. They sent one jubilant press release after another into the world. While there was actually hardly any good news to report. About culture. But because there are a lot of lazy journalists, good news often goes in a... 

Amsterdam art is doing great. Unless you are a (young) artist.

Two corpses. Despairing bystanders. A blood-red photo. The cover of the Exploration, released by the Amsterdam Arts Council, makes one fear the worst. A massacre has been committed. Even if it is a scenic photo of a performance by Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Or is it all different? Are only two dead, and the rest live on? Something about shows that on must go?.... 

In advance, 5 reasons why no one needs to apologise to Halbe Zijlstra.

According to the VVD, all artists and art lovers in the Netherlands should say 'sorry' to Halbe Zijlstra. Because they were so angry with him when he abolished 30 per cent of art subsidies without any underlying idea. After all, according to the Ministry of Culture, things were going fan-tas-tically with the arts in the Netherlands. Anyone who reads the press release the ministry issued yesterday on that... 

Another boost for the Netherlands: ministry understands usefulness of music education.

'The experts have written an inspiring guide, which demonstrates the importance of good music education and also makes clear which steps need to be taken to achieve this. The experts spoke to representatives of primary education, teacher training institutes and the cultural sector. The guide has broad support. Like the experts, I believe that good music education is a responsibility of... 

Bussemaker: 'Encouraging our culture to add value to society'

Of course it is ok, that cultural and creative summit we had here. Bussemaker could suddenly talk at a high level again and art suddenly appears to matter again. After all, the creative industry is also about art again. Even if it is just our old art, because at such a conference with those Asian countries, of course, it is usually about... 

Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

Joop Daalmeijer Marathon (closing): 'But who knows anything about it? They are all generalists sitting there.'

Wijbrand Schaap: 'The amateur arts. I experienced the cuts myself at the Utrecht Centre for the Arts in Utrecht. First, they were heavily cut back there back in 2001 under Leefbaar. They survived that, and now they were just recovering a bit...' Joop Daalmeijer: ' ...and now everything is going to the schools.' Wijbrand Schaap: 'There are... 

Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

'Cuts do lead to loss of quality' The great Arts Council interview (1): "Patronage is, of course, bullshit."

Joop Daalmeijer: 'I never authorise. I find that such nonsense. A journalist should just do his job properly.' Wijbrand Schaap: 'We agree on that then. We write up everything in full, but because conversations about everything tend to be endless, I want to hang it on the Culture Exploration. That's the most concrete piece and the most topical, and it... 

What does art do to your brain? Mark Mieras explains it in 4 sentences, more on Radio Futura on Thursday

Je moet echt een hardcore debatliefhebber zijn om vrijwillig naar een gesprek over educatie te willen luisteren. Toch wordt de uitzending van Radio Futura deze donderdag interessant, want het gaat over Radicale Educatie en hersenen. Hersenen zijn hot, dankzij Dick Swaab en inzichten uit brain based teaching.

Culture Council notes total destruction of amateur art. Minister worries.

Over 60 million has disappeared from the coffers of the Netherlands' amateur artists in recent years. That money from your daughter's dance class, the brass band and your son's hip-hop class has been spent by municipalities, which had to compensate for cuts elsewhere, and provinces that suddenly saw no point in amateurs. That the national government additionally took 200 million from professional arts institutions is added to that.

Research shows: music taste is a matter of appointment and habituation

That we have a scale the way we do, and that we perceive certain chords as beautiful, is because we have learned it. And what we have learned is the result of agreements. In music, as in fine art or theatre, there is no absolute ideal to which artists should aspire. No absolute beauty, no divine spark, no heaven to which we all long to return, just a set of agreements.

Why the National Ballet should stay and Melle Daamen should become chairman of the Culture Council.

Meanwhile, in NRC Handelsblad reacted somewhat panicked to the opinion of Melle Daamen, whom he calls an impatient entrepreneur: "You can imagine structurally subsidising two instead of four dance companies anymore. The other two could apply for grants for projects from the Performing Arts Fund, which should then get more funding."

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