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'Cabinet, reign on!', says Arts '92. How did it come to this?

Above all, we must continue with the favourable arts policy initiated by the fourth Rutte cabinet. That is what the arts umbrella organisation Kunsten ´92 says in a letter in response to the fall of the last cabinet under that name. This is a remarkable turn of events after 13 years in which most of the art world wanted nothing more than to get rid of the... 

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... 

The cultural sector can and must emerge stronger from this crisis. And that starts with political vision and ambition.

The Dutch cultural sector is in distress. Halbe Zijlstra's spending cuts ten years ago started a free fall that has still not stopped. The Social and Economic Council (SER) calculated that these cuts of 200 million not only caused impoverishment in cultural supply, but also wreaked havoc on the labour market. 20 thousand permanent jobs disappeared 

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.

With local rooting of subsidised art, you take the wind out of populism's sails

In recent days, tentative proposals for a new system to fund the arts in the Netherlands have appeared in various places. Tricky pieces, and so far not attesting to very much incisiveness. In Het Parool, a number of prominent figures, including Tinkebel and advertising man Kessels, think that we should think less in pigeonholes, and that, besides quality, we should also... 

Alexander Plooij argues for a different approach to lobbying the cultural sector: 'The artistic should be central, not creativity.'

'When the economic interests of involved parties outweigh the interests of the cultural sector, you end up getting movements like the ones we are seeing now in Brabant. Art makes itself more important than it is, and that sets off bad blood.' We have a conversation with Alexander Plooij, entrepreneur and once active in the cultural sector as a professional trumpet player, manager of music schools and... 

(Update: government still announces extra money.) Dear government, Dutch culture is not a question of supply and demand, but of what we are or are not.

Update Wednesday 15-4, 16:00: this afternoon, the government has decided to come over as yet with additional schemes for the cultural sector, which are now no longer taken out of the culture budget. Apparently, the massive pressure helped. We will let you know when more is known about it. Update Wednesday 15-4, 20:00: Drop in the ocean arrived, leaving the below message only.... 

If no one comes up with a Plan B... 

On 23 October, website wrote a piece on the future of the performing arts. A future that is black and gloomy when you, as a creator, count on growth, or even survival at all. In short: so much money is going away from the Performing Arts Fund, that from next year only between 50 and 60 applications can be honoured, in... 

No one in the art came up with a plan B. (Why the current chaos was caused by lobbyists)  

'I'm not going to make everyone happy with this.' These words were uttered by minister Ingrid van Engelshoven during the debate on her principles paper last Thursday. True words. Indeed, the shine of her ministership has now worn off. Van Engelshoven is, after Bussemaker, the second culture minister who had to implement Mark Rutte's culture policy, and had nothing to offer but a... 

Art is totally useless, and politicians need to make that clearer. (Why Mark Rutte should go out more often)

This afternoon, there will be a hearing in the Lower House on Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven's guiding principles note. That memorandum which everyone now realises is a fig leaf from her own pocket. Speakers have prepared their finest speeches, and some of it will surely go viral within the various cultural social media bubbles afterwards. I was getting a little despondent... 

Small artists tested for 'payback'. Culture Council wants a large 'revolving fund' for loans to the arts.

The art world needs to be more entrepreneurial. The VVD thinks so, D66 thinks so, in fact the entire Lower House thinks so. But how do you get that combined with the 'intrinsic value' that the last two culture ministers say it should also be about? The Council for Culture has now, in response to a question from minister Ingrid van Engelshoven in March last... 

Performing artists miss out on million in European grant due to 'administrative inability'

'Indecent and rude,' is how Miep van Diggelen, former chairman of the board of the Performing Arts Social Fund (SFPK), calls the actions of the board of that same fund. That board, or at least about five members of the seven-member board, decided - outside the official meeting - to withdraw a subsidy application they had initiated earlier, without having read it. The promising... 

The Best Listening Cultural Press PODCAST! Greg Nottrot visited Putin's dacha, where Halbe Zijlstra was not.

'How many realities can we handle? For me, that is the theme of 2018. Those ladies from North Korea who were cheering, for example. But it was also in Halbe Zijlstra who had lied about Putin's dacha.' Greg Nottrot, theatre maker from Utrecht, had set out for this year to create an end-of-year performance that would capture the zeitgeist well.... 

Music publicist Maarten Brandt: 'For one note from Mahler's Ninth, I would give the gift of Shostakovich's entire oeuvre'

Sounding Alchemy, is the name of the chunky volume recently published by music publicist Maarten Brandt (1953). It has 715 pages, including illustrations and an extensive index. In 98 articles, Brandt unfolds his views on music and music programming. He dedicated the beautifully designed book to his admired Marius Flothuis, programmer of the Concertgebouw Orchestra for many years. His heirs received a first copy during... 

Thierry Aartsen of the VVD is quite right. And no idea.

'Culture is about stimulating, fraternising, challenging. Then there is no difference between corso and ballet.' Says Thierry Aartsen on Friday 16 November in the Volkskrant. Thierry who? Thierry Aartsen, the one who will be speaking on culture at the VVD in the coming months. In the coming months? Yes, because VVD culture spokesmen are usually appointed for one or two debates, after which... 

Curious: arts sector support institutes turn against plans for new theatre and music sector institutes

There are quite a few petitions floating around these days. The most curious of all petitions was in the digital mailbox today. In it, the existing support institutes in the cultural sector urge the Lower House not to put money into new support institutes. In doing so, clubs such as the Landelijk Kennniscentrum Amateurkunst (LKCA), Cultuur+Ondernemen, and the Boekmanstichting put in a small but... 

Without memory, our theatre continues to innovate mindlessly, it turns out at the @theatrefestival

Dutch theatre is remembering less and less. This was evident last Friday during two meetings at ITA, the building that once housed the Stadsschouwburg. During Nieuwe Grond, part of the Dutch Theatre Festival, the topic was heritage. One meeting will possibly be remembered by the six attendees: the two guests plus presenter, and their three audience members. The other... 

Without extra money, diversity in our culture is unfeasible. The floor will be given to the minister on Sunday, 26 August

Good news from the cultural funds: 'diversity' is becoming a serious condition when deciding whether or not to get funding for your cultural thing. Of course, this will lead to discussion. To prevent people from falling back on the Jeroen Pauw argument (we want women on air, but there aren't enough good ones who want them too), the group suggests... 

Why Wierd Duk often does exactly what he fights himself.

Uproar. A widely recognised and by his own admission always attacked opinion maker with a slight preference for strong men in Russia and America has discovered that art is leftist and elitist. Indeed, Wierd Duk, Russia expert since he spent a few years running around Moscow for various media outlets, writes in the Telegraph that art is often left-wing kitsch[ref]N[ref][/ref]Wierd Duk has since revealed... 

Henri Swinkels deputy livability and culture province of North Brabant

Gedeputeerde Swinkels on opportunities for Brabant: 'Unlike in the national government, we already don't work in a 'disciplinary' way here. We don't put everything in boxes.'

The trigger for this story is that relatively recently, the Council for Culture published its sector foresight. The summary opens with the words that 'Culture moves'. A rather euphemistic statement in my view. In this case, it means that the making, spreading and experiencing of culture is constantly changing. The second very obvious observation of... 

Culture Press Podcast on Theatreflix: The name is ambitious, but it could be something wonderful.

Wijbrand Schaap speaks in the kitchen of The Cooperative (where it is remarkably busy), with Tony Minnema and Emile Ripke. They are the initiators and the names behind Theatreflix, a website on which, like Netflix with TV shows, theatre shows can be seen. For now, they have a base from their own work, as Tony Minnema himself has a fairly thriving business in... 

Nuance! VVD The Hague won't cut 50 million from culture budget for 'political abuse' after all

This post has been updated following a response from VVD The Hague. Yesterday I wrote: But so that was misunderstood. Today the VVD called. A transcript of the conversation can be found below: With Frans Schuyt fraction chairman The Hague VVD. I think two things have been mixed up. You have the programme in the budget, Culture and Library, of 102 million,... 

Culture Council wants review of system, but cautious 'Theatre Sector Opinion' is licence for arbitrariness by House of Representatives

Today, the Culture Council comes out with one of the weaker advices in its existence. The Netherlands' highest cultural advisory body showed vision, leadership and boldness earlier this season with the 'Verkenning' and the 'Sectoradvies Muziek'. The exploration called for a reversal of subsidy flows, with urban regions taking the initiative. In the advice for the music sector, it broke... 

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