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halbe zijlstra

Save and destroy: charge against squandering cultural heritage

A Saudi prince is paying $450 million for a mediocre painting by Leonardo da Vinci; a Dutch politician is pledging a crate of beer for a new composition. In a nutshell, these two extremes capture our current dealings with culture. Total contempt on the one hand and unimaginable overvaluation on the other are two sides of the same coin. We do not judge art for its... 

10 million back. Van Engelshoven means business.

Of course, this is really actually better news than what was already in the coalition agreement. The extra 10 million fought for last year for performing arts institutions that were good enough but fell below the saw line because of running out of money will get structural money added. Good news for a few clubs that would really be out of business otherwise, like Orkater. The good news... 

New Cabinet confirms with agreement culture line Rutte I and II

The Rutte III Cabinet is finally in place after long negotiations. It is a cabinet that will govern in financial prosperity, but that prosperity applies to a very limited extent to the Arts & Culture sector. Step by step, the cabinet will work towards an extra 80 million euros for the Culture sector from 2020, it says. But if this were to be enough... 

Fair Practice Code is beta version. (Why it will remain unsettled in the arts for a long time to come)

Art subsidy cuts have been passed on to the weakest shoulders. Minister Jet Bussemaker made no bones about it in one of her latest public appearances. 'I have often praised the resilience of the sector, and we should celebrate that,' she declared yesterday at the presentation of the Fair Practice Code, 'but I also saw that subsidised institutions... 

D66 votes against culture. Power games make distance from voter unbridgeable

Perplexity all round. How could D66 possibly vote against a minimal repair of the draconian cultural cuts of both Rutte cabinets? After all, only ten million is involved. That while party leader Alexander Pechtold, as culture spokesman, has been hammering on for an extra 10 million in every meeting for the past year. But exactly that happened last night. During the campaign, D66 went much further: from... 

Don't leave respect to the free market

The SER report published on Friday 21 April rubs it in nicely: the cultural sector is on the verge of collapse. It is even worse than a year ago. This shows that the patience of a PvdA culture minister over the past four years has not helped. Indeed: Halbe Zijlstra's multiplier of misery is doing its job entirely as expected.... 

No party really shows heart for art, so vote for a human being #TK2017

By now, we are a little surrounded by voting guides and electoral compasses. There is one for every area of policy. What to vote for if you have a beating heart for art? The Correspondent gave a nice little overview the other day. It showed that art is indeed a hobby of mainly left-wing parties, at least when it comes to subsidised art. Art... 

'Quite an uproar': a century of contempt for the arts

In 1975, jazz musician Misha Mengelberg and artist Wim T. Schippers organised Een behoorlijk kabaal (Quite a racket) at Amsterdam's Mickery Theatre. For a week, they explore the different meanings of a concert in 'inimitable musical theatre'. Jacqueline Oskamp chose it as the title of her recently published book describing Dutch music history of the past century. Sad conclusion: there is... 

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 ... 

napk petition

Petition! NAPK wants to go to the barricades for the performing arts

The NAPK (Dutch Association for the Performing Arts) is sounding the alarm bell for the performing arts. The association of employers in the performing arts is launching a petition today and submitting a second fire letter to the Lower House on 1 November. Earlier this year, NAPK already sent a letter to the Lower House. And that was then written about here. Now, in preparation for the Lower House debate on the culture budget, a second... 

Sell that artist, or: the eternally inhibiting modesty of the self-employed worker

There are very, very many artists and creatives who did not start out as entrepreneurs but need or want to get into business. Their number has only increased since 'the Halbe Zijlstra period'. I know them, I mentor some of them and last but not least, I am one myself. The perfect occasion to take some continuing education to me.... 

VVD: Cultural sector must do more for the same money. And hand in piggy bank.

OK, it is still more than former tolerant partner PVV, which managed to cram the entire draft election programme onto a single A4 sheet. But in the half-page that the VVD, the country's largest party, spends on culture, it is actually worse. Here the Wilders and Zijlstra-inspired rancorous line against anything that even smells of Dutch culture is still abundantly clear.... 

Our actors are burnt out, audiences have lost their way. Save the theatre!

This play is going to cost me a lot of friends, but it needs to get out. After all, the theatre industry is doing badly. And I can see more and more clearly where that is due to. And for once it's not Halbe Zijlstra. Or the VVD, or the population, or the Netherlands in general, or the zeitgeist. And it's not because of Netflix either... 

24 million for culture added! Or 80 euros! Or 0.0015 euro!

In these election times, it is just how you put it and calculate it. That 24 million extra for culture, which Pechtold triumphantly mentioned with the addition that 'the journey through the desert is over after 2016', has, for the time being, as much value as Rutte's illustrious 1,000 euros: first see, then believe. And since Pechtold gave no further explanation,... 

Vvd's Jeroen Hatenboer during paradise debate

VVD leader says sorry to art world during #paradise debate

'At the time, under the influence of the populists, we perhaps went too far in our attack on art subsidies.' So declared Jeroen Hatenboer, VVD member and culture alderman of the municipality of Enschede, during the annual Paradiso debate at the end of the Uitmarkt 2016. In the context of the current cabinet's sorry campaign, quite an interesting footnote, and entirely appropriate in the upcoming... 

Screenshot of Nieuwsuur Geert Wilders,

Oy. @geertwilderspvv sets Richard III as an example to the Netherlands

Finally, it was not quite literal, but he was clearly referring to it: Richard III. Geert Wilders, himself not too culturally savvy, quotes Shakespeare in his umpteenth plea to get the Netherlands out of the EU with pot-covered borders. In the second chamber. I saw it on Nieuwsuur, and you can watch it back. At 39′:49″ minutes into the broadcast he is in debate with his great friend, the VVD's Halbe Zijlstra.

As long as the government sets a bad example, citizens will give nothing

Marketing strategist Halbe Zijlstra has failed. His valiant attempt to use a 'Giving Act' boosting donations from small individuals to arts institutions has backfired. Since 2011, contributions made by ordinary households to cultural institutions fell from 32 euros, to 28 euros on average in 2014. This is according to the survey 'Cultural institutions in the Netherlands: Changes in giving behaviour, donations, fundraising and income between 2011 and 2014', which was presented in a small gathering on Friday 10 June.

Figures don't lie: Dutch venues are doing badly

It must have been down to my indestructible mood, and the deep need to finally deliver some good news about the cultural sector, but I was so wrong. Tuesday I reported that the performing arts were recovering after Halbe Zijlstra's draconian cuts, but that is so not the case. As much as the sector itself would like it to do well, the figures contradict it time and again.

Surely the Association of Theatre and Concert Hall Directors has taken us all for a ride again. With a real infographic still do. But, as it goes with infographics: you can put in all the bright colours and shouts, and even shout 'Bravo!' and 'Applause!'at the bottom, the numbers themselves don't lie, even if you present them slightly differently than last year.

Theatre Rotterdam is going to do it all over again

On Monday 14 March, Theatre Rotterdam will present its plans for the upcoming arts plan period. On Thursday 10 March, Bianca van der Schoot already told about it during a public meeting with a class of Utrecht theatre scholars. What became clear from her story is that she has little desire to start bringing world repertoire with the old Ro theatre share in Theatre Rotterdam. She has a lot of... 

It's time for a 'slave-free art' seal of approval #tegendebakker

Making art is too much fun and too unnecessary. People really like making art, and really want to show it off. So much so, that they are the only ones doing their contribution to an art event for free. While all other contributors are simply paid. Thus, the art world, including the subsidised one, is one of the places in the Netherlands where slavery is still common. It... 

De Vriend leaves Orchestra of the East, former chief Van Zweden new boss New York Philharmonic

It is not often that Norman Lebrecht, author of the globally widely read blog Slipped Disc, covers conductors of the Orchestra of the East two days in a row. First on the departure of principal conductor Jan Willem de Vriend, then on the appointment of former principal conductor Jaap van Zweden to the world-famous New York Philharmonic. Naturally, Lebrecht brought both... 

Musicians pay to save their orchestra. TV programme Maestro helps a little.

The Orchestra of the East is cutting its coat of arms, focusing primarily on Overijssel and has applied for collective redundancy. This - and a whole lot more - can be read in the new business plan. It is enough for the province to release a one-off €1.1 million and make 3.5 tonnes of annual subsidy available again from now on. The... 

Bussemaker's response to income alert on arts sector is totally wrong

The SER today confirmed what we already predicted in 2012: the income position of workers in the arts has been seriously weakened. Amid all the positive news about rising income and attendance figures, this is a harsh confrontation with the reality behind the numbers. Permanent staff have been replaced by freelancers to a much greater extent than in the rest of the business world. And. 

What to do with the VVD?

Those working in the cultural sector should not expect much from the VVD. Lately, however, the party has been trying to show a different face. Indeed, only recently, the new culture spokesperson of the right-wing liberals tabled a motion in which the VVD actually gave back 10 million of the more than 250 million the national government took from the arts.... 

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