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How can local culture reach a high level against the odds?

A major musical theatre performance, an adapted classical play, an opera and a painting festival. The small municipality of Noordwijk - like that other coastal municipality of Bergen - offers an abundance of culture. All four events rely heavily on talent, subsidies and donations, volunteers, pragmatic thrift. And good weather. Noordwijk aan Zee has been a more than average municipality for centuries. Famous Dutchmen... 

THIS IS A CALL TO THE MINISTER OF CULTURE: Support our arts! My plea for a collective fund for all the arts

It is high time for collective action, now that arts organisations have closed and activities are at a standstill. Plea for a support fund for culture, to which governments, funds and companies contribute in unison. We all notice it: live cultural offerings are at a standstill due to the coronavirus. Much has been written and talked about the importance and value of culture in recent weeks. That... 

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... 

New York Dance Theatre of Harlem

In New York with two choreographers from the Netherlands. 'So refreshing and unlike anything we have done the last few years.'

Between the buildings, streaks of sunlight invade the endless streets. Yellow taxis accentuate the colourful, vibrant street scene that looks like candy canes. On either side, countless floors and windows rise skyward. On one of those floors on 42nd Street, the Dance Theatre of Harlem is rehearsing the final scenes of Balamouk, a new creation by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa. Who also... 

That's why Iris Hannema is the best travel writer in the Netherlands: 'Anyone who has not made a good fool of himself on a trip has not really been somewhere.'

'Iris Hannema writes like a guy,' I wrote a few years ago in a review of her The Bittersweet Paradise (2016). You wouldn't get away with that now. Actually, I meant to say: Iris Hannema writes solid, image-rich, independent ánd critical texts that you rarely come across in female as well as male travel journalists. Why that is, I will tell you later. Get lost' Typical... 

Why I love that the Holland Festival is programming Stockhausen's 'Aus Licht'

Towards the end of the year, we are inundated with lists. The best CDs, the best books, the performances you shouldn't have missed, etcetera. In this sea of choices from reviewers and other opinion makers, one post stands out, from opera critic Olivier Keegel. He started a veritable petition to prevent Karlheinz Stockhausen's 'Aus Licht' from being performed in June 2019,... 

Ed Spanjaard is the ideal new leader of the Orchestra of the East

After it was announced in January this year that Jan Willem de Vriend was leaving at the end of the 2016/2017 season, the Orchestra of the East announced that it was in no hurry to find a successor. One would start working with "renowned guest conductors". Just over six months later, a few months before the departure of interim director Bart van Meijl, a successor was still presented. That this successor, Ed Spanjaard, is given the title of 'permanent conductor' seems mainly a semantic issue.

Crisis at The Symphony Orchestra only gets worse thanks to fact-free politics

HET Symfonieorkest's financial problems have not gone unnoticed. Regional newspaper Tubantia reported last Monday that PvdA MP Jacques Monasch had minister Jet Bussemaker (also PvdA) summoned to the Lower House. In that report, Monasch passes with seven-mile boots advice, applications and decisions that have already been made or are yet to come, and immediately reports that a symphony orchestra will continue to be... 

Artists, say NonNeinNEE to ridiculous questions!

Why a fun house festival still haunts my mind weeks after the fact. Let me tell you: OuiJaYes I was looking forward to it. Fancy space. Freedom. So it made perfect sense that I went to Jazz in de Kamer Leiden at the end of March. I could choose from various itineraries with groups and musicians like Artvark, Jeroen van Vliet, Ruben Hein, Ntjam Rosie. I chose... 

Overijssel is sweeping away culture. But like everywhere else, it is not an election issue

82% cut in Overijssel's culture budget No, the VVD did not become the largest party in Overijssel in the last provincial elections, the PvdA attracted 1.6% more voters, but if there is a province where Halbe Zijlstra's nationally initiated policy had an effect, it was that province. Residents soon noticed this, but research by consultancy firm 

Cultural sector suffers from collective inferiority complex

"Of course I don't have to get rich from it..." It's pretty much the most frequently heard comment when you hang out with artists and creatives a lot. "Why not actually?" I then ask. Startled, they look at me. Appalled that you dare to question this universally held truth. In reply, something extraordinarily vague like "Well, just.... money isn't the most important thing, is it?" comes in.

Amsterdam art is doing great. Unless you are a (young) artist.

Two corpses. Despairing bystanders. A blood-red photo. The cover of the Exploration, released by the Amsterdam Arts Council, makes one fear the worst. A massacre has been committed. Even if it is a scenic photo of a performance by Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Or is it all different? Are only two dead, and the rest live on? Something about shows that on must go?.... 

Photo: Wijbrand Schaap

'Cuts do lead to loss of quality' The great Arts Council interview (1): "Patronage is, of course, bullshit."

Joop Daalmeijer: 'I never authorise. I find that such nonsense. A journalist should just do his job properly.' Wijbrand Schaap: 'We agree on that then. We write up everything in full, but because conversations about everything tend to be endless, I want to hang it on the Culture Exploration. That's the most concrete piece and the most topical, and it... 

'Print' especially popular with performing arts. Cultural marketing research shows trends in marketing & communication.

Research by Cultuurmarketing among over 650 marketers in the cultural sector shows that increasing visitor numbers is the key marketing objective for the coming year. With the annual survey, Cultuurmarketing charts current developments in the field. Increasing visitor numbers is most important marketing objective Increasing visitor numbers is the most important objective for 40% of the organisations for... 

The future is not fixed. 7 solutions to the arts crisis.

By Melle Daamen 'What do you want then?' was a question I received quite often in response to my articles last year in NRC, in which I expressed my concerns about the state of the arts in the Netherlands and especially its future. I argued for a fundamental debate from within the arts sector itself, focusing on the future, including... 

A mirror from the bench: 12 much-needed lessons for cultural marketers

Since the Amsterdam Uitmarkt is no longer run by the Uitburo but by a separate foundation, things have become a tad more commercial. The folder-fair-with-bands that has become the national opening of the cultural season over the past decades has to. The government has found art scary for a while now, usual suspects are pulling out as sponsors, and malaise is hitting... 

4 reasons why the arts are going to lose a lot more. Municipal culture congress wrongly optimistic

It was ball in Rotterdam on Thursday, 30 January. At the Municipal Culture Congress, a few hundred officials, local politicians and arts organisations gathered to talk about where they could help each other. It was supposed to be a positive day. There had been long enough complaining and arguing: look ahead, hopeful into the future. Even if the worst is yet to come.

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.

Halbe Zijlstra: 'nothing to do with local arts policy'

Halbe Zijlstra is proud of his policy, and keen to come and tell it in front of the entire cultural sector. So on Sunday 26 August, he appeared on stage during the annual 'Paradiso Debate' to reiterate how well things had gone with the 200 million cut in the arts sector. He praised the resilience of the affected art world, and would be happy to do the same again.

Culture in the Christmas package, Orientalis stops and all of Nijmegen-West without a library

Delightful news from the world of Christmas packages. 1/3 of interviewees said they did want to find a cultural experience in the Christmas package, as they visited a cultural actvity less often than they would like: 43% because of the crisis and 35% because of lack of time. Respondents said they would go more often if they got a discount. The proposed merger of... 

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