Print this Page
Print this Page

Ownership of the Museum Pass trebled between 2005 and 2014 boosting museum attendance.

Show all Profile-News...

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:

  • Culture Card [Cultuurkaart]. In 2008, the Culture Card was introduced in order to stimulate cultural participation among secondary school students, as part of the newly introduced course Cultural and Artistic Education [Culturele en Kunstzinnige Vorming, CKV]. It offers the same discounts as the Cultural Youth Passport. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science makes a sum of money available for each student. The former Minister of Culture Jet Bussemaker has decided to earmark EUR 4.7 million on a yearly basis, in order to maintain the Culture Card for at least ten years. This means that a basic sum of at least EUR 5 will be available for each student. Schools participate voluntarily and must contribute EUR 10 per student themselves. Schools that make this investment are exempt from paying the actual Culture Pass fee. More than 400 000 students in intermediate vocational education (MBO) (88 per cent) have signed up for the new MBO Card. With this card, students receive a discount on tickets for museums , musicals, theaters and festivals, since January 1st , 2016.
  • City Pass [Stadspas]. Several municipalities in the Netherlands provide some kind of City Pass. Holders of a City Pass receive a discount on admission fees. This free pass is issued to people with a low income, i.e. those on social security and pensioners who are otherwise in danger of being isolated.
  • Museum Pass holders receive free admission to more than 400 museums in the Netherlands (special exhibitions are not included). A Museum Pass for adults costs EUR 59,90 a year (EUR 32,45 for under-19s). The distribution of the Museum Pass has increased tremendously over the past few years. In 2005, 315 000 people possessed a Museum Pass; by 2017, that number had risen to 1.35 million. In total, they visited a museum 8.7 million times, an increase of 2.8 percent compared to 2016.
  • Free events. Since 1977, the final weekend in August has marked the beginning of the new cultural season, which opens with the Uitmarkt in Amsterdam. This large-scale event – with free admission – was launched to attract audiences for the upcoming cultural season, and it is especially important for the performing arts. Other cities participate in similar, albeit smaller events such as Museum Weekend and the Open Monuments Day. Entrance to all cultural institutions is free of charge during these events.
  • The Cultural Participation Fund has been operating since 2009 as a public cultural fund subsidised by central government. It was founded to stimulate  cultural participation with programmes concerning cultural education, amateur art and talent development (see chapter 8.1.1 for more information).
  • The Elderly and Culture: In June 2013, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport signed the covenant entitled The Elderly and Culture. This covenant, initiated by several funds and institutes, concerns cultural participation and the amateur arts. The involved parties implemented a four- year programme entitled Long Live Art, which is meant to encourage cultural institutions to organise events and activities better suited to elderly people, so that they can continue their artistic and cultural development.
  • Addressing the growing number of illiterate people: together with the Ministries of Social Affairs and Health, Welfare & Sport, former Minister of Culture Bussemaker made EU 18 million per year available in the period 2016-2018 to address language education and promote reading. With the programme Counting in Language, the government urges people to read more or function as language buddy of illiterate people to help break down the language barriers of nearly 1.3 million Dutch citizens.

Chapter published: 12-02-2019

Your Comments on this Chapter?