Approximately two million children, young people and adults in the Netherlands occasionally or regularly take art classes, courses or workshops as a leisure activity. Out-of-school arts education is provided by professional arts and cultural institutions (e.g. museums, theatre companies, etc.), local arts education centres and music schools, and 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.
The last decade, many municipalities have cut the budgets for non-formal arts education at subsidised arts education centres and music schools. As a result, centres and schools were forced to reduce their offers while many 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. Subsides suppliers of arts lessons, courses and workshops cover less than 20 percent of the market. More than 60 percent is covered by private arts teachers and artists. This percentage is rising, because the decrease of subsidised supply increases the demand for private arts teachers and artists and for joining amateur art associations (e.g. choirs and theatre groups) and 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 that the quality and diversity (e.g. lessons in playing less popular instruments) will decrease. The fourth issue deals with the labour market position of the private arts teachers and artists. Many of these teachers have low income and are forced to cut back on insurance and pensions. As the number of private arts teachers is increasing, the matter becomes more urgent. Many art teachers continue to be self-employed, as there are hardly any subsidised arts education centres that offer permanent contracts. Lastly, the fifth issue – related to the fourth – is the sustainability of the infrastructure for non-formal arts education.Cultuurconnectie (Culture connection) is the Dutch national association for subsidised employers in non-formal arts education and for Volksuniversiteiten (institutes for adult education). It brings together local arts education centres, music schools and provincial support institutes for arts and culture. In 2019, Cultuurconnectie has 145 members. The member base of Cultuurconnectie slimmed down increasingly in the past few decades. There is no separate association for private arts teachers and artists giving workshops and courses for amateurs. However, there are private platforms that have registered many independent arts education suppliers, for example All Art Professionals.
 Neele, Arno, Zöe Zernitz and Teunis IJdens. 2017. Voluntary Arts in the Netherlands 2017: Practitioners and Facilities. Utrecht: LKCA.
 IJdens, Teun. 2016. Voluntary Arts in the Netherlands 2015: Practitioners and Facilities. Utrecht: LKCA. Neele, Arno, Zöe Zernitz and Teunis IJdens. 2017. Voluntary Arts in the Netherlands 2017: Practitioners and Facilities. Utrecht: LKCA.