COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Libraries, cultural education, amateur arts, performing arts and museums will be especially affected in expected cuts to municipality budgets.

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Netherlands/ 8.4 Amateur arts, cultural associations and civil initiatives  

8.4.1 Amateur arts and folk culture

Characterisation of the amateur arts sector

Amateur arts are an important form of social and cultural activity and constitute an enormous sector in the Netherlands. The National Centre of Expertise for Cultural Education and Amateur Arts, or LKCA [Landelijk Kennisinstituut Cultuureducatie en Amateurkunst] monitors the development of the sector (see Table 7).

Table 7:     Percentage of the Dutch population aged six years and older practising amateur arts in 2013, according to discipline, in percentages

 

Visual arts

Music

Dance

Theatre

Writing

Media

Total

48

44

23

9

15

29

6-11

47

55

47

18

12

24

12-19

49

56

32

20

13

27

20-34

42

45

26

10

14

32

35-49

50

38

20

6

17

36

50-64

50

38

15

6

18

37

65+

50

40

12

4

15

13

Source: Heimans et al. 2013.

In general participation figures are going down. It is generally assumed that amateur artists increasingly use the internet for training and spend their free time otherwise. A more personalised training package is preferred above joining an organised group lesson. In fact, nowadays 33% of amateur artists learn their practice from tutorials on the internet and 18% follow online lessons or workshops. About 54% of all amateur artists spent more than 50 minutes per week on their art. In spite of decreasing figures, most practitioners get lessons from teachers in art centres, or private tutors. The municipalities are the most important parties facilitating the practice of amateur arts. As of 2010, a special Week for the Amateur Arts (WAK) is organised on a yearly basis. In 2013, 63 municipalities participated in this event, and over 80 000 people visited the activities. The activities varied from performances and exhibitions to information days in the music schools and art centres. Within the total population 47% of the women practice amateur arts, versus 35% of the men.

Policies

Cultural education and participation have been key objectives in Dutch cultural policy for a long time. Amateur arts can be seen as a part of this. For the period 2013-2016, "cultural participation and education" is identified as one of the four priority areas in the policy plan (see chapter 4.1). Since 2009, the Cultural Participation Fund has had an important task in implementing this participation policy. The fund supports a number of national organisations and events involving amateur arts. Furthermore, it implements a number of complementary programmes, for example to encourage children to play music and to promote cooperation between professionals and amateurs (see chapter 8.1.2).

Municipalities are the most important subsidy source for amateur arts. Most municipalities and provinces intend to cut their culture budgets considerably in the coming years. In 2011, 49% of the municipalities had already implemented budget cuts on culture. In the following years this proportion could rise to 70%. Libraries, cultural education, amateur arts, performing arts and museums will be especially affected. Minister of Culture Jet Bussemaker aims to improve the connection between the three levels of government regarding cultural education and amateur arts.


Chapitre publié: 19-03-2017

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