Here you can find relevant news items from The Netherlands, as well as direct links to the sources.
Date: June 24, 2011
Source: Website Royal Netherlands Embassy
News item: Statement on the proposed budget cuts in the Dutch cultural sector
Text: The global economic crisis has impacted many countries, including the Netherlands. That is why the Dutch government has initiated an ambitious program of budget cuts in order to strengthen the economy and make it more dynamic. These cuts will affect everyone and every sector. But eventually, they will make the Dutch economy financially stronger and more resilient.
Against this background, the Dutch government has announced budget cuts for the cultural sector. The government believes that the cultural sector in the Netherlands has become too dependent on government subsidies. That is not healthy and must change.
Subsidies are not an entitlement. Maintaining the status-quo is not an option. The objective is to make arts and culture stronger, and prepare the sector for the future. That is why the government wants to reform the system of subsidies for arts and culture in the Netherlands.
Society as a whole should become more involved. The budget cuts, which are quite severe, are necessary. Rather than reducing funds for everyone, the Dutch government forces itself and the sector to make motivated choices.
This will also require an entrepreneurial approach, raising more private money, taking into account that after all, arts and culture are made for the public to enjoy it.
The cultural sector in the Netherlands is currently about 18 bln Euro in size. National subsidies amount to around 900 mln Euro. The government is proposing to cut that amount to around 700 mln Euro (that still amounts to around 44 Euro per citizen). The proposed cuts only affect subsidies at the national level; provinces and cities also subsidize the cultural sector in the Netherlands.
Date: June 21, 2011
Source: SICA website
News item: Culture Secretary presents policy plan
Intro: The Dutch State Secretary for Culture Mr Zijlstra has revealed his plans on how to realize a nearly 25% cut in spending on culture. According to the State Secretary, nationally-important arts and cultural institutions, museums and libraries will be largely unaffected, but this is only a part of the story. "The budget cuts as proposed by the government are an attack on the cultural future of the Netherlands", says Martijn Sanders, former CEO of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and still active in the cultural field as cultural entrepreneur, advisor and art collector, in the Dutch newspaper Trouw on 14 June. With his policy plan Meer dan kwaliteit, een nieuwe visie op cultuurbeleid (More than quality, a new vision on cultural policy), the State Secretary for Culture aims to reduce the dependence of the art field on state funding and increase the role of private sponsors and sources…. (click link to read more)
Date: June 18, 2011
News item: Dutch coup d’état in art and culture
Intro: Last week in a memorandum titled “More than Quality,” the State Secretary for Culture, acting on behalf of the Dutch government (a minority government of liberals and Christian Democrats, whose hold on power relies on the support of Geert Wilders’s anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV)) announced his new “vision” for the field of culture, which represents nothing less than a violent and sweeping political manoeuvre aimed at the very notion of culture and art, its role in society, and its place within the democratic sphere. With the exception of but a handful of “top international institutions” that will be spared, the entire field of internationally focused and future-oriented artistic experimentation, innovation, education, and development, which has distinguished the Netherlands and given it a leading international position in the field for many decades, is to be demolished practically overnight. Instead of preserving the values of experimentation, risk, and vision, the memorandum leaves us with rhetoric about “strengthening the responsibility and resilience of citizens” and letting “the market” take its “natural” course.
Date: June 2, 2011
Source: Kunstbeeld Magazine online
News item: Guest blogger Tamar Stelling visited New York at the end of May 2011 and visited a wide number of galleries in the Chelsea district. Click the link for an impression. Text in Dutch only.
Date: May 31, 2011
Source: Dutch DFA website
News item: Dutch DFA publishes new profile video on Droog Design
Intro: In the beginning of the nineties, a group of young dutch designers was presented in Milaan under the name of DROOG. Their designs were immediately recognized as something new. Anti-glamour, sober yet funny, and all telling a story or commenting on society. For a while, DROOG design even became synonymous with dutch design. Founders of this collective are Gijs Bakker and Renny Ramakers. Many of the early DROOG designs found their way to galleries and museums all over the world. They became icons, sometimes crossing the line between art and design. One of the very first to acquire them was the museum of modern art in New York…. (click link to read more and watch the 6 minute video)
Date: May 19, 2011
News item: Design.nl reports on Creative Amsterdam 2011
Intro: For three days last week Dutch architects, designers, artist and other creatives based all over the world came together for the very first edition of Creative Amsterdam. The event covered design, fashion and creative agencies amongst others, with talks by such names as Rem D. Koolhaas (United Nude), Monika Mulder (ex-IKEA) and Remko de Jong (Favela Painting). Day one kick-started at Pakhuis de Zwijger with an opening speech from Carolien Gehrels (Economic Affairs, Art and Culture of the City of Amsterdam) who focussed on the internationalism of design today, saying that “sometimes talent is better recognized outside of the Netherlands.” … (click link to read more)
Date: May 1, 2011
Source: Radio Netherlands Worldwide
News item: Dutch power in Detroit
Intro: Detroit has been down on its luck for some time now. The US city is being ravaged by vacancy and decay. However, Dutch architects have come to the rescue of the once illustrious Motor City. The Americans are enthusiastic about the Dutch assistance, but also critical: “The Dutch always want to fix things.” Dutchman Guido Marsille is standing on the roof of an old wooden house in Detroit. The 44-year-old architect from Rotterdam looks about him with a big smile on his face: "Isn’t it just fantastically beautiful here?” *. (click link to read more)
Date: April 8, 2011
News item: Press release – Dutch Pavilion at Venice Biennale
Intro: Guus Beumer will be presenting artists Joke Robaard, Johannes Schwartz and Barbara Visser, designer Maureen Mooren, architects Herman Verkerk and Paul Kuipers (EventArchitectuur), author Sanneke van Hassel and composer Yannis Kyriakides in the Dutch Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. At his invitation, they are all working on a collaborative project, entitled Opera Aperta / Loose Work. * (click link to read more)