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Netherlands/ 8.1 Support to artists and other creative workers  

8.1.2 Special artists funds

The public cultural funds play a key role in executing the national cultural policy by distributing structural or project-based subsidies. In 2012, the public cultural funds renewed the Conduct Code for Culture Funds. The code was formulated to ensure a transparent, efficient and precise working process in all the funds.

Public cultural funds in the field of arts and culture:

  • The Performing Arts Fund NL [Fonds voor de Podiumkunsten] supports professional music, music theatre, dance, theatre and festivals in the Netherlands. It awards four-year support agreements, two-year programmes and project-based grants for composers and performance artists. The number of multi-annual subsidy applications has increased considerably over the last few years, while the budget available has decreased by 40%, to a total of 43 million EUR for the period 2013-2016. In 2013, 82 performing arts institutions received structural funding. The fund pays special attention to internationalisation, cultural diversity and entrepreneurship amongst artists, companies, festivals and venues. The stimulation of innovation in the chain of creation, production, distribution and programming is one of the fund's priority tasks. Quality has always been the most important indicator for the granting of subsidies. Since central government now focuses on cultural entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurial accomplishments of the institutions and artists are important indicators for the granting of subsidies (click here for the English website). 
  • The Cultural Participation Fund [Fonds voor Cultuurparticipatie] supports innovative initiatives that create cultural participation among all Dutch citizens. The fund aims to build a bridge between Dutch society and culture and to increase and encourage cultural participation. It has developed three programmes to encourage participation in culture and receives an amount of money from the government for each one. For the period 2013-2016, the following programmes and budgets are available: (1) Quality cultural education: 14 million EUR; (2) Amateur arts innovation: 3.5 million EUR; and (3) Talent and event development: 3 million EUR (click here for the English website).
  • The Mondriaan Fund [Mondriaan Fonds] aims to stimulate the development and visibility of the visual arts and cultural heritage in the Netherlands. It provides financial support in areas where a profitable market does not (yet) exist. The fund aims to encourage innovation and excellence in these fields by supporting outstanding artists, cultural heritage and arts organisations and projects, both in the Netherlands and abroad.  Many of the Mondriaan Fund's grants are aimed at encouraging cooperation between organisations, artists, mediators, clients and / or other private or public parties. It grants funding for various target groups and areas including visual artists, institutions, mediators of clients in the visual arts and / or cultural heritage fields. Furthermore, it organises development programmes for promotion and innovation in the visual arts, such as the Prix de Rome and the Private Art Buyers Scheme [Kunstkoop]. Through the latter, people can buy art on credit at over 100 galleries spread across the Netherlands. The artwork can then be paid for in monthly instalments. The Mondriaan Fund is also responsible for Dutch entries for the Venice Biennale. It is the result of a merger between the Mondriaan Foundation and the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, or BKVB (click here for the English website).
  • The Creative Industries Fund NL [Stimuleringsfonds] started operating in 2013 on behalf of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economic Affairs and Education, Culture and Science. The fund awards project-based grants in order to: (1) foster substantive quality in urban, landscape, product and graphic design, architecture, fashion and E-culture; (2) to foster innovation and cross-sector approaches; and (3) to professionalise entrepreneurship. An important concern is the improvement of the links between designers / makers and clients / manufacturers. The fund has three basic granting programmes, covering architecture, product design and E-culture (in a broad sense). It also awards grants for multi-disciplinary activities, and grants in collaboration with the Media Foundation through the Game Fund and the TAX Video Clip Fund. The Creative Industries Fund NL also co-finances projects in cooperation with the Mondriaan Fund. In 2013 the Fund had a total budget of approximately 15 million EUR (click here for the English website).
  • The Netherlands Film Fund [Nederlands Filmfonds] is responsible for supporting film production in the Netherlands. It focuses on the quality and diversity of feature films, documentaries, shorts, animation and experimental films. Its operations cover participation in development, production and distribution. Furthermore, the fund supports film activities such as film festivals, co-production markets and individual training for film professionals. It is also responsible for promoting a good climate for the national film industry. By giving priority to scriptwriters and film-makers, the fund intends to ensure the quality of Dutch films. It has three programmes for the support, development and distribution of film projects: (1) New Screen NL is the programme for talent development, experimental films and short (animation) films; (2) Screen NL supports full-length movies and documentaries; and (3) Screen NL Plus focuses on the distribution of films and on reaching a large and broad audience. In 2013, the fund had a total budget of approximately 27.3 million EUR (click here for the English website).
  • The Dutch Foundation for Literature [Nederlands Letterenfonds] supports writers and translators and promotes Dutch literature abroad. It invests in the quality and diversity of literature through grants for writers, translators, publishers and festivals, and contributes to the production and distribution of Dutch and Frisian literature in the Netherlands and abroad. Some examples of grants awarded by the fund are scholarships, translation grants for foreign publishers, grants for book illustrations and grants for literary events. In 2013, the fund had a total budget of approximately 10 million EUR (click here for the English website).

Public media funds

There are three public funds regarding media affairs: the Dutch Cultural Media Fund [Mediafonds], the Co-production Fund National Public Broadcasting [Co-productiefonds Binnenlandse Omroep] and the Press Stimulation Fund [Stimuleringsfonds voor de Journalistiek]. These funds are not included in the Basic National Infrastructure, but are managed using different policy and cash flows (for more information see chapter 7.3).The government intends to end the Media Fund on 1 January 2017, saving 16 million EUR. The tasks of the fund will be taken over by the Dutch Public Broadcasting (NPO).

Chapter published: 06-02-2019

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