Netherlands/ 8.2 Cultural consumption and participation
8.2.2 Policies and programmes
One of the government's policy aims is to broaden cultural participation, especially among the young and socially disadvantaged. Resulting initiatives include:
- Cultural Youth Passport [Cultureel Jongeren Paspoort, CJP]: in order to promote public participation in cultural life, the government introduced the Cultural Youth Passport. The idea is that lower entrance costs will stimulate public participation in the arts. People under the age of 27 receive discounts on entrance fees for theatres, cinemas museums and concerts, on DVD's, magazines, clothing, travel and health insurance. A CJP costs 15 euros a year;
- City Pass [Stadspas]: holders of a City Pass receive a discount on admission fees. This pass is issued to people with modest means, i.e. those on social security and pensioners who otherwise are in danger of being isolated. The City Pass is free;
- Museum Pass: holders are given free admission to the vast majority of museums in the Netherlands. Special exhibitions are not included. A Museum Pass for adults costs 35 euros a year, for young people: 17.50 euros;
- Free events: since 1977, the final weekend in August has marked the beginning of the new cultural season, opening with the Uitmarkt in Amsterdam. This large scale event - with free admission - was launched to attract audiences for the coming cultural season and is especially important for the performing arts. Other cities hold similar, albeit smaller events such as the Architecture Weekend, Museum Weekend and the Monument Day. Entrance to all cultural institutions is free of charge during these events. Inspired by the Berlin Museum Night, the Amsterdam museums decided in 2000 to organise a similar annual event on the first Saturday in November. On that night, buses and trams from the municipal museum of public transportation are used to carry visitors from one museum to another;
- Free admission for youth: as of 2009, museums (ca. 500) grant children under 12 years of age free admission; this issue is part of the 10 point cultural participation plan Minister of Culture Ronald Plasterk introduced in his policy memorandum Art for Life's Sake [Kunst van leven, 2007] (for other points in the 10 point cultural participation plan, see chapter 4.2.4, chapter 4.2.7, chapter 8.3.1 and chapter 8.4.1).
- Culture and School programme [Cultuur en School]: this is a project to stimulate culture and arts education (see also chapter 8.3.1). The purpose of the programme, which varies from city to city and school to school, is to acquaint young students with a variety of art forms as well as engaging them in varying levels of individual participation, e.g. active participation e.g. watching a theatre play and reflective participation (writing their thoughts about the theatre play). In the context of the programme Arts & Cultur, vouchers were introduced in schools. These vouchers can be used by the students in the highest classes to attend performances at the theatre or in a concert hall or to see a film in the cinema. From 1 August 2006, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science made an extra euros 1.2 million available for cultural education. A maximum of 120 projects, submitted by cultural institutions and schools in partnership with one another, will be eligible for subsidy. As of the school year 2008/2009, all 9 000 000 students in secondary education, of all classes, will receive a culture card [cultuurkaart], which will have a web based credit of 15 euros. Teachers in schools decide whether this amount can be spent individually or collective. The culture card replaces the Arts & Culture voucher. 15.5 million euros will be available to this project, on a yearly basis; with thepossibility of extra funds for intensifying the project, up to 4.3 million a year. The culture card is part of the 10 point cultural participation plan of Minister of Culture Ronald Plasterk, which he introduced in his policy memorandum Art for Life's Sake [Kunst van leven, 2007]. Several points in this plan refer directly to arts education; part of the plan can be seen as the continuation to the Culture and School programme. Arts education will be one of the 3 programmatic themes of a new fund: Programme Fund for Cultural Participation [Programmafonds Cultuurparticpatie] (for other points in the 10 point cultural participation plan, see chapter 4.2.4, chapter 4.2.7, chapter 8.3.1 and chapter 8.4.1).
- Cultural Outreach Action Plan [Actieplan Cultuurbereik]: in order to make the arts and culture available to as many people as possible, State Secretary Van der Ploeg launched a new policy programme to achieve 5 targets: (1) improve programming; (2) create more space for cultural diversity; (3) invest in young people to enable them to participate in a diversified cultural life actively; (4) obtain better visibility of cultural assets and; (5) create optimal conditions for culture-based urban and rural planning. A crucial element of the plan is the mixed government financing, based on a matching-system. Governments of the 30 larger municipalities and the 12 provinces are invited to apply for a 50% grant from the central government to create and co-finance a programme which guarantees the realisation of one or more of the five specific targets set by the Cultural Outreach Action Plan. The municipalities and provinces receive and evaluate applications made by arts and cultural institutions in their city or region. The first round of the Action Plan, which started in 2001, came to an end in 2004; the effects were evaluated in 2005. Meanwhile State Secretary Van der Laan took over the Action Plan in her 2003 policy document, mainly to reinforce her ambition to promote urban and regional dynamism. The second round of the Action Plan started in 2005 and will last until 2009. The organisational set up of the Plan has been simplified. Municipalities and provinces have to account for their expenses only once, in 2008 (instead of every year). More important perhaps is that municipalities and provinces are free to choose their own programmes and targets, as long as these are compatible with the general goal of the Plan "to enhance cultural knowledge of the citizens through stimulating visits to artistic and cultural venues and fostering (amateur) art practices". An annual budget of some 28 million euros is available for the second period of the Action Plan. The Action Plan will be succeeded by a 10 point cultural participation programme: part of this programme will lead to the new Programme Fund for Cultural Participation [Programmafonds Cultuurparticipatie] which Minister of Culture Ronald Plasterk introduced in his policy memorandum Art for Life's Sake [Kunst van leven, 2007]. The main mission of this Fund is to increase public participation in culture and broaden this basis (for other points in the 10 point cultural participation plan, see chapter 4.2.4, chapter 4.2.7, chapter 8.3.1 and chapter 8.4.1)
Chapter published: 24-01-2011