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

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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:

  • Passport [Cultureel Jongeren Paspoort, CJP].In order to promote public participation in cultural life, the government has introduced the Cultural Youth Passport. The idea is that lower entrance fees will stimulate public participation in the arts. People under the age of 30 receive discounts on entrance fees for theatres, cinemas, museums and concerts, and on DVDs, magazines, clothing, travel and health insurance. A CJP costs 15 EUR a year.
  • Culture Card[Cultuurkaart]. In 2008, the Culture Card was introduced in order to stimulate cultural participation among secondary school students. 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 present Minister of Culture Jet Bussemaker has decided to earmark 4.7 million EUR 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 five EUR will be available for each student. Schools participate voluntarily and must contribute ten EUR per student themselves. Schools that make this investment are exempt from paying the actual Culture Pass fee.
  • 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. The 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. The City Pass is free.
  • Museum Passholders receive free admission to more than 400 museums in the Netherlands (special exhibitions are not included). A Museum Pass for adults costs 49.95 EUR a year. The distribution of the Museum Pass has increased tremendously over the past few years. In 2005, 315 000 people possessed a Museum Pass; by 2014, that number had risen to 1.1 million. In total, they visited 7.5 million times a museum, an increase of 10%, compared to 2013.
  • 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 will implement 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, Minister Bussemaker (OCW), Minister Asscher (Social Affairs) and State Secretary Van Rijn (VWS) draw for addressing language education and reading promotion 18 EUR million per year in the period 2016-2018, in 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 the nearly 1.3 million Dutch. A good command of language is the key to be able to participate in society. Libraries have a pivotal role in writing and reading activities for young and old. Also, businesses and institutions are turned to, in order to address language problems in the workplace.

Chapter published: 19-03-2017

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