A national fund for culture had originally allocated 80 percent of the funding to Randstad projects
Translated by Thomas Ansell
Following uproar after a ‘national culture funding platform’ (Fonds Podiumkunsten) awarded 80 percent of its funding to projects in the Randstad, the Dutch government has announced 15 million euros of support for regional art and culture projects, reports the Omrop Fryslân.
The Dutch cabinet made the new announcement on Prinsjesdag (Budget/King’s Speech day), causing delight for various regional theatre, art, and music groups. PeerGrouP, for example, which puts on theatrical performances in unexpected places, originally received ‘positive advice’ for their plans for the coming four years- but this didn’t actually result in any funding.
“We got ‘positive advice’, just like almost all the other cultural institutions in the Netherlands, from museums to festivals, from production houses to theatrical organisations. But no money!”, says Dirk Bruinsma of PeerGrouP. “In the North, only one application received funding, the East got nothing, and no organisation in Zeeland either.”
The Cultural sector wasn’t going to take the affront laying down, and so sprang into collective action and were successful. “I was really happy with the King’s Speech, and naturally also the decision by the Ministry of Culture to support regional organisations in this time”, says Bruinsma, “In lots of ways, the cultural sector needs a refurbishment. It’s really great that both the King and minister said ‘we shall support this sector in the coming years, too’.”
For 15 years, PeerGrouP have been supported through the Fonds Podiumkunsten and the Province of Friesland. Up until recently they brought in about 400,000 euros per year: “which means we can put on about 4 shows”, says Bruinsma.