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screenshot of committee meeting on 11 November 2013

Before we forget everything: this is how the new Chamber president thinks about culture

"In the short term, the threat comes from black-racial activists and their leftist slaves. A very small group of activists with an obsession with skin colour have opened the frontal attack on the symbols of Western culture. They claim to speak for all of black Holland. This must eventually end in reparations because of slavery and job quotas against whites, like in South Africa.... 

Michiel1972, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

'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... 

Logo of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science

The power of creativity - culture at the heart of society

Making culture more accessible, fairer remuneration for cultural and creative professionals, and making more use of creative brainpower in major social issues. These are key principles of cultural policy in the coming years. The Council of Ministers has approved the Long-term Letter on Culture by State Secretary Uslu (Culture and Media). In this letter, titled 'The power of creativity', the state secretary sets out how she will... 

The government is digging in where precisely cooperation with society is needed. 

I suspect that the decision to keep the museums, concert halls and theatres closed, while sports and Bijenkorf can open, was not born out of cultural hatred. A year ago, I would have doubted it. Now it is clear that those of you from the OMT do not actually want relief at all, but want to curb the biggest threat of civil disobedience. Sportsmen and middle-class people are more likely to throw... 

170 million added structurally. The cultural sector can breathe a sigh of relief. Our wish list

Rutte 4 says sorry to Rutte 1, 2 and 3. We cannot explain the new coalition agreement very differently. Almost all the crown jewels of 11 years of neoliberal policies have been abandoned. That the budget for the cultural and creative sector is now (including marginal repairs during Rutte 3) back to 2010 levels is almost unbelievable. That... 

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.

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... 

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... 

(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.... 

OCW finds reporting 'premature': 'No extra Corona money to rescue cultural sector' Ministry of OCW must solve crisis within existing budget.

The Culture Council will soon be commissioned to produce a plan for the cultural sector to survive the one-and-a-half-meter society. The commitment of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is, to solve this within the existing financial frameworks. This is what sources at the top of that ministry have reported.

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... 

New arts plan cabinet-Rutte III: 25 million less arts supply. (But more happy artists)

How harrowing the payment of artists, musicians and theatre actors, screenwriters and all those other 'creators' is, became clear again in recent weeks. In newspaper Trouw, a musician - finally - came out of the closet of poor working conditions. Against the prevailing mores, she revealed how much she earned. What transpired: top national institutions like the Concertgebouw allow musicians to perform for free, orchestral musicians... 


It started with Halbe Zijlstra shouting on TV that no one in the arts could be sure of his life. Then came Mark Rutte with his claim that there are 15 people sitting in the front row in 30 venues in The Hague every night. And then [wp_eStore_fancy2:product_id:1:end]

One hundred and thirty thousand visitors for the Cultural Press Office in 2011. The bar for 2012 is high.

That frightens us quite a bit ourselves. We knew that the Cultural Press Agency was doing pretty well, but we didn't really think a reach of more than 100,000 people was possible. After all, we had done nothing in the way of marketing. Just posting content and not giving away free tickets. And only once something with a bare female breast in it. Enfin.... 

Rutteleaks 4 on orchestras: 'Mergers Brabants Orkest and Limburg Symphony Orchestra, Gelders Orkest and Orkest v.h. Oosten, Residentie Orkest and RphO'

Of course we are being horribly abused. By the coughing chain-smoker with his trench coat in that Hague car park. Is there a bigger plan behind it. Which again we know nothing about, but which will become clear on 23 May. So be it. Until then, we can do nothing but slavishly write down what the coughing oracle coughs at us. Well: We already knew that... 

Rutteleaks 3: we now know how barren it will look in the coming years: decimate culture and libraries, spare regional broadcasters

We had done the necessary research work ourselves, and then it turned out that something had also been sent to the House of Representatives, which contained many more figures. We asked for those figures and were shocked. After 2012, when the current arts plan expires and after a year of inaction and wait and see for the whole sector a... 

"RutteLeaks": Prime minister and state secretary don't know their own figures: income requirements for arts institutions already met in 2007 and most subsidy already going to successful institutions

We already thought something was wrong when Mark Rutte, in his much applauded show of strength in Buitenhof, spoke of 'all those empty halls with 10 people in the front row'. Ok, he hadn't been there himself for years, but according to his State Secretary Halbe Zijlstra, at least in The Hague, the emptiness was glaring, Rutte knew.... 

What exactly does Mark Rutte say about the arts? It fits in 1 minute and it's not quite right.

We are politically neutral and even in the subsidy debate we try to maintain that. After all, every coin has a flip side and it is not the media's job to always and forever take sides. But now this. Mark Rutte was interviewed by Clairy Polak in Buitenhof on Sunday, 16 January 2011, and they talked for a minute about... 

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