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Commercial interest in test events hurts confidence. That test result is already in.

Rather unexpectedly, it was announced this week that cultural and entertainment venues will be test sites for reopening society next month. It came rather out of the blue, as everyone was still working on petitions and other pleas to reopen cultural buildings. After all, they have their corona protocols in place there better than the Albert Heijn on my corner.... 

You don't forget tap, but tap dancing does. Why it is bad that art is not mentioned

Everyone balks. Let's put that first. And a lot of people are badly affected. Hospitality, retail, schoolchildren and especially students: everything that is not necessary for survival balks. So does the arts. Not all art, of course, especially larger institutions are coming through the corona crisis reasonably well so far. Quiet and closed, but not bankrupt. We can't take that from... 

Eurosonic/Noorderslag and Scapino possibly saved. But at the expense of new art acquisitions. #tkculture

Creativity expresses itself in Dutch politics mainly in bookkeeping. On 29 June, just before the start of the three-month summer recess, the Lower House actually found money to save pop festival Noorderslag and dance company Scapino from collapse. That demise would become a reality in the new arts plan, which takes effect in 2021, as the Culture Council... 

Of course, when it comes to institutional racism, discrimination and exclusion, these are not feelings, as you claimed this week, but facts, Mr Rutte.

Dear Prime Minister Rutte, Dear Mark, We have met before. For you one meeting out of many, so you probably won't remember. After all, we have nothing in common, not in terms of political colour or skin colour, not in terms of our socio-economic class, not in terms of our nest, not our gender, height and possibly other distinguishing characteristics: many NOT... 

Looking back: Mark Rutte thinks only 30 people want to be at art. Why an archive is important.

Culture Press is 11 years old, and I wanted to celebrate with a fun look at the archives. And then I came across this one. From 2011. Just watch this minute video and know that it is not to be expected that a prime minister can change his views one hundred and eighty degrees in 9 years. This is what the lobby needs to consider. What does Mark say... 

Drop in the bucket arrived. 300 million extra for culture. (And Belgium cancels all festivals until 31 August, then the Netherlands cannot be left behind)

While the Belgian government has just announced the cancellation of all festivals until 31 August, Mark Rutte in the Netherlands pronounced two very difficult words: 'theatre' and 'museum'. This was followed in Hilversum by a worship service for the minister led by the high priest of our culture, Cornald Maas. While they sat at the non-existent make-up, the... 

Podcast in times of Corona (10) - 'Rutte's hands should be in a box' (The Secret Arm of Hilversum speaks)

Machteld Kooij sees at least three or four people she has trained pass by every night on the news or the big talk shows. She calls herself The Secret Weapon of Hilversum and now there is also a book: The Monster with the Golden Eyes. We all have to deal with it from time to time: stage fright. And Machteld Kooij has excellent tips ... 

After the budget debate, the performing arts sector will have to be even more patient. Until spring.

The culture sector will have to be patient for a while yet. Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven had no intention of changing any of her policies on Monday 18 November, during the discussion of the culture budget in the Standing Parliamentary Committee on Culture. Despite a fairly widely supported desire, especially from the opposition, to do something about the 8.6 million cut in the... 

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... 

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... 

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... 

'In five years' time, you won't hear anyone talking about black Pete' (podcast)

Sheila Sitalsing went to work as a journalist after studying economics. After the weekly Elsevier, she joined the Volkskrant, in which she now has a column three times a week on page 2. Sitalsing won the Heldring Prize for best Dutch columnist in 2013. She also appears with some regularity in the foam & ash section of the TV programme Buitenhof.... 

New Year's Eve lottery winner overturns culture cuts

A usually reliable source reports that the winner of the New Year's Eve lottery wants to dedicate a significant part of her prize to culture. In this way, she wants to undo the cuts made by Rutte I. Six million will go directly to the Dutch Travel Opera. Another four million is earmarked for a new integral performance of Wagner's Ring des Nibelungen. Also scheduled is a revival of Tristan und Isolde... 

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.... 

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.

agenda culture Council for Culture

Culture Council sounds alarm: 29.5 million needed to preserve arts sector

What is already going on on a small scale in Groningen, Enschede, Zaltbommel, Amersfoort, Gorinchem and Vlaardingen, is threatening to happen nationwide as well: cultural institutions falling over while politicians look on helplessly. According to the Council for Culture, the situation is alarming: 'Institutions are draining their own funds, cultural funds are maintaining schemes by drawing on reserves. We therefore make the urgent... 

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... 

Black day for independent journalism

I'm in shock: 12 dead in horrific attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. - Just before the attack, it tweeted its latest cartoon: a cartoon showing the leader of IS expressing a New Year's wish. Humour connects, humour fraternises, humour helps break taboos, humour puts painful life themes into perspective.... At least, that's what I've thought all my life, until in 2005 my worldview tilted.... 

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... 

Rutte and Bosma don't do vision or substance and bend culture debate to their will

Culture debate 2013: Rutte and PVV shake hands. It was about Caro Emerald. About Zwarte Piet. And the classic: subsidy on opera tickets. And briefly about carnival. And it made all the news. Geenstijl. Radio 1,2,3 and 4. What else was the debate about? Um... no idea.

Lower chamber talked about art. We followed the debate for you

We kept a liveblog. Nice and old-fashioned, from the days when every month there was uproar somewhere about the government's handling of art. Now there is peace in the tent, as the PVV sardonically points out, because 'The Left' is now the bearer of policies devised by the PVV. The PVV predicts a black future for 'The Left' once the PVV comes to power.

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