Dutch Performing Arts to receive more funding from Government

Minister for Education, Culture & Science Ingrid Van Engelshoven

It has been announced that the Dutch Cabinet has awarded the performing arts a further €15m to be distributed among companies that had already received a positive assessment but for which earlier funds were inadequate. A further €2m will be invested in culture in the regions.

At the beginning of August the fund distributed €21m per year in grants for the next four the next years. Seventy-eight grants were allocated of which thirty-three applicants who received a structural subsidy from the fund for the first time. The fund was €15.8m short to honor all positively assessed groups or individuals, at the expense of 71 institutions. Some have already announced that they will be unable to survive.

The announcement follows an urgent letter that was sent at the end of August to the members of the Lower House and to Minister Ingrid Van Engelshoven (OCW) from more than 1000 artists, performers and companies.

As a result of inequality outside the western conurbations – the Randstad – €2m special extra funds have been allocated for low-culture regions in Friesland, Drenthe, Flevoland, Zeeland and Limburg.

 Most of the 71 who will now receive a subsidy are also located in the Randstad. Among them many respected cultural organizations and performers – Orkater, Wende, Laura van Dolron, Hotel Modern, Maatschappij Discoridia, Jazz Orchestra of the Congresgebouw, Amsterdam Klezmer Band and Dood Paard (which had announced that it would disband). It’s also good news for collectives with young, talented makers who had just made their name in recent years, such as Club Gewalt, Nineties Productions, Urland and Black Sheep Can Fly. Twenty-three of the seventy-one beneficiaries are located outside the Randstad. They include Theater Production House Zeelandia (Zeeland Nazomerfestival) and theater groups Suburbia and Vis à Vis in Almere, BOT in Arnhem, Theatergezelschap PeerGroup in Donderen and Matzer Producties in Den Bosch. Smaller set-ups like Arnhem’s  Kompanie Kistemaker, Youth Theater Group Garage TDI in Assen and the Maastricht development platform Het Geluid also receive funds. The money will be allocated according to a points system. The fund applies a ranking of the order in which institutions would still receive money but regional companies remain in the minority mainly because fewer applications are made. For example Limburg, with three applications to the Performing Arts Fund NL, from a total of 202 applications from all over The Netherlands.  

Information gleaned from nrc.nl