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KING KRUMP: A breathtaking Shakespearean king's drama during the 60th presidential election in the United States.

Utrecht 8 May 2024 - In November, all voting Americans will go to the polls and choose their new president. In the weeks leading up to and during the election, the play King Krump can be seen in theatres across our country. King Krump is a breathtaking Shakespearean king's drama in a modern twist. Tug away from talk shows, 'America connoisseurs' and... 

Overview of additional costs per sector (Source Kunsten92)

Research: fair pay in arts sector will cost an extra 180 million by 2025

The research is there, and the figures are not uplifting. In the arts sector, underpaying especially freelancers and not honouring overtime is standing policy. If this is to be made up from now on, with the existing budget, small institutions and festivals in particular will fall over immediately. The study on this was presented yesterday to outgoing Culture Secretary Uslu. Principal Arts... 

NSC and BBB election programmes: get cultural money for region from national funds. 

There it is, the long-awaited election manifesto of the 'Who Says A, Must Say B' party New Social Contract. Until now, Pieter Omtzigt has not been known as an art lover. Nor are there any notable culture people on his candidate list, so the fact that it contains anything about culture at all is a bonus. It's 9 points, I'll highlight 2 of them: "To promote the creation of... 

Where does the Dutch cultural sector stand on 22 November? A first inventory

The Netherlands is a country of culture. Not an art country. Because the word 'art' appears in almost none of the election manifestos we have to choose from on 22 November. Only the VVD talks about 'art in depots'. It does talk about culture all the time. About whether we shouldn't once again start making a rock-hard distinction between art and culture,... 

'Give municipalities their own culture budget'. Interest groups put pressure on new election manifestos (and sort for BBB)

The creative sector is pushing for a radical change in the arts subsidy system. This is evident from the lobbying documents (position papers and suggestions) sent to political parties' election programme writers. The largest and most important of them, the theatre boards (VSCD) and Kunsten 92, want the national government to give municipalities a clear and specific culture budget ('earmarked') from now on. By doing so, they want... 

Heart's cry: Get cultural base in order in every municipality

Culture brings people together, and this often starts in one's own municipality. Unfortunately, in more and more municipalities, less and less money is available for basic cultural facilities, such as the library, amateur associations and cultural centres. This affects residents' well-being and living together. It also makes a municipality less attractive as a place of business. The council's heartfelt cry... 

For future municipal councils: take a look at how Drachten found its strengths

The House of Representatives elections are less than a year behind us. The start of the new cabinet a month. Local council elections are coming up. And in the meantime: the clash between municipalities and the state, as witnessed, for instance, in January 2022, sharp statements by VNG chairman Jan van Zanen. If nothing changes, freshly elected municipal councillors are going to have a tough time with the... 

Antonio Scurati wrote novel about Mussolini: 'Of my readers, 99 per cent consider the book anti-fascist. The other 1 per cent were already fascist and recognise themselves in it.'

Formation of the Fasci di combattimento (the Black Shirts) Milan, Piazza San Sepolcro, 23 March 1919 We look out on Piazza San Sepolcro. Barely a hundred people. All men who don't count. We are few and we are dead. They wait for me to speak, but I have nothing to say. The stage is empty, awash with eleven million corpses,... 

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... 

Nerd podcast #7: Wijbrand and Marijn on cultural politics and losing elections. Special Guest: Melody Deldjou Fard

The party may be the biggest loser in the parliamentary elections, but Melody Deldjou Fard is not sitting back. Now that is a bit the standard response of politicians when they face defeat, but Melody's enthusiasm is convincing. We invited her to the podcast, as she was a contributor to Culture Press before she turned... 

Inkspot battle won by Renée van den Kerkhof

Saturday, March 6, the annual Inkspotbattle took place at Concordia. The theme was "Elections (in Corona time)". 10 Dutch cartoonists participated. The only female participant, Renée van den Kerkhof, walked away with the prize. Online visitors could watch the participating cartoonists translate a topical subject into cartoons. An expert jury chose at the end of the... 

'Warm Right' keen to invest in full houses - Culture spokespersons Lower House in debate

'There is no other sector in the Netherlands that is as controlled and regulated as the cultural sector.' D66 MP Salima Belhaj sighed this towards the end of the debate organised by the assembled cultural sector lobby clubs on Monday 8 February. 'It takes an incredible amount of work, time and especially money. And the basis is distrust.' The most culture-friendly party of... 

Toothless culture debate offers few new insights

On Thursday morning 12 November, the culture spokespersons of Christen Unie, VVD, D'66 and Groen Links entered into a debate on culture. However, the debate organised by LACK (Landelijk Kennisinstituut Cultuureducatie en Amateurkunst) Kunsten '92, the Fund for Culture Participation and the Boekman Foundation did not become scintillating for a moment.

TivoliVredenburg presents programme on US election night - Historic election live on 3 November

On Tuesday 3 November 2020, America goes to the polls. TivoliVredenburg in
Utrecht presents a live programme around these exciting elections. From
the Great Hall to monitor exit polls, enter scientists, journalists and
campaigners take the stage and call in several Americans. The programme will be
'coronaproof' produced.

Burn letter from festivals: 'It's going wrong with the performing arts in the Netherlands'

A fire letter from the United Performing Arts Festivals. One of more than a hundred lobbying organisations in the arts, but a very important one. After all, the festivals are the place where audiences were introduced to arts and entertainment in its full breadth. That doesn't happen anywhere else. And beautiful: they stand up for all performing arts, because, as loyal readers of this site know: they are quite the hare, and become even more the hare with every half-hearted rescue.


In the second half of the 1980s, when Wim Deetman was still a cheese soufflé and many Utrechters of my age wore kletter vests with broken rifles, it was very easy to know what you were against. This was because of a few clear principles: anyone on the right was bad. Christians were stupid, hypocritical and scary. Anyone who rented real estate... 

Greg Nottrot is energised by the corona crisis: 'Let's enjoy the fact that there is finally room for experimentation again.'

'I did get startled at first by being so laconic under the lockdown. I thought: don't I care enough to step over it so lightly? I also fully understand that people are very sad that it's all off, but apparently I'm a bit more fatalistic about that.' Greg Nottrot, playwright and enigma maker,... 

'Deploy innovation power of arts sector for recovery to 'new normal'.' Culture Council asks minister for extra space for new plans.

'The spontaneous and creative initiatives and emergency solutions devised by creators and institutions during the current lockdown show that the sector excels in innovativeness.' According to the Culture Council, the solutions already being experimented with must be made available to everyone. The Netherlands' highest cultural advisory body considers this necessary if we ever want to move forward in the... 

Zeeland has already fallen. Why processing arts plan grant applications has become pointless, but may still need to go ahead.

Right now they are all still zooming or in an MS Teams meeting, the dozens of advisers and committee members appointed to assess the hundreds of grant applications for the new arts plan 2021-2024. But in all likelihood, they are no longer talking about the applications, but about how to deliver the news that the procedure is stalled. The province of Zeeland... 

That's how you give your city a real vision. (How Manchester became a leader in international arts in just a few years)

I have often resisted thinking of the Netherlands as a business. After all, a country cannot lay off people, or divest unprofitable sectors to make more profit. So anyone who speaks of the BV Nederland has not understood it. There are no competitors that you can fight out of the market while being entrepreneurial on those few square kilometres of polder land,... 

'Wikileaks has never been caught at a single fault' - Iris ter Schiphorst writes Assange: Fragmente einer Unzeit

'There is an information war going on right now, which shows how important data is. The Assange case is the most poignant example of this.' Dutch-German composer Iris Ter Schiphorst wrote a piece about Julian Assange, the now controversially declared founder of Wikileaks. She is on a mission with this: 'Although Wikileaks has never been caught at a single fault, Assange has been accused of... 

New audiences for subsidised theatre? The Netherlands is working against that.

Together with two 12-year-old kids, I go to a theatre performance. To a theatre performance labelled 'adult performance'. Tickets cost 25. Discount for students. Discount for CJP. No discount for children, excuse me, youngsters, because yes, those two bridge students are already 12. Is this performance made for children? No. It is made for the curious, open viewer, for... 

All power to the city! Culture Council's opinion dissected into 9 opportunities and 10 threats

When the Council for Culture released its long-awaited musical advice a month ago, its president Marijke van Hees was remarkably nervous. This was particularly evident in her choice to act as moderator at her own presentation. When there, at Amsterdam's Allard Pierson Museum, came (very mild) criticism of the advice, she shot to the defence. That became... 

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