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Netherlands/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.5 Basic out-of-school arts and cultural education

Approximately two million children, young people and adults in the Netherlands occasionally or regularly take art classes, courses or workshops as a leisure activity (IJdens, 2015). Out-of-school arts education is provided by professional arts and cultural institutions (e.g. museums, theatre-companies, etc.), by local arts education centres and music schools, and by many private, independent arts teachers and artists. Part of these out-of-school suppliers also engage in arts and heritage education projects and programmes for and with schools (see paragraph 8.3.2).

Recently, many municipalities cut the budgets for non-formal arts education for adults at subsidised arts education centres and music schools. As a result, many centres and schools were forced to reduce their offers while some had to close their doors altogether or went bankrupt. The impact of these developments has been subject to debate. The first issue is the impact on participation in voluntary arts, including out-of-school arts education. In 2009, the market share of subsidised suppliers of arts lessons, courses and workshops has been estimated at no more than 20 percent. This was confirmed twice in the LKCA Voluntary Arts Monitor, in 2013 and 2015 (IJdens, 2016). The demand for courses is for the largest part (50 percent) covered by private arts teachers and artists, and for approximately 30 percent by other suppliers including amateur arts associations. A further decrease of subsidised supply may push even more customers to private arts teachers and artists, to amateur arts associations like choirs and theatre-groups and to informal voluntary arts initiatives. The second issue, connected to the first, refers to the affordability of arts lessons for low-income groups. The third issue is quality standards and diversity of supply. There is fear (but not proof) that the quality and diversity (e.g. lessons in playing less popular instruments) will decrease.

Cultuurconnectie is the Dutch national association for subsidised employers in non-formal arts education and for Volksuniversiteiten [Institute for Adult Education]. It brings together local arts education centres, music schools and provincial support institutes for arts and culture. Cultuurconnectie has 160 members, covering 90 percent of the relevant organisations. There is no separate association for private arts teachers and artists giving workshops and courses for amateurs. However, there is a private platform that has registered quite many independent arts education suppliers: All Art Professionals.

Chapter published: 12-02-2019

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