Apart from friends associations, citizens are not yet organised as advocacy groups for the arts and culture. Leading friends associations, however, try to influence the political arena on single issues. The Rembrandt Association, for instance, counts 12 000 members who support the acquisition of new pieces of art to enrich museum collections, and who at the same time act as defenders of the Dutch public collection of sculpture, paintings and applied arts.
Many NGOs are active in the cultural sector. Next to private art funds and private lottery organisations, larger banks like ABN AMRO and Rabobank purchase art on a regular basis for their private collections. The Dutch Municipal Bank (BNG) funds all kinds of projects, including an annual award for the municipality with the best policy on cultural heritage. It also tries to stimulate talent by rewarding young poets, musicians and other artists.
Artists are mainly organised in a labour union, the Kunstenbond (Artist’s Union), which lobbies for labour conditions, collective bargaining and copyright interests. All subsidised companies and institutions are united in the advocacy association for the arts and cultural heritage, Kunsten ‘92.
Furthermore, most sectors have a professional membership organization, aiming to represent the interests of all institutions within their specific sectors. In recent years, these organizations have taken a stronger lobbying position. The key players in this field are:
- Museums Association (Museums)
- VNPF (Association for Dutch stages and festivals dedicated to popular music)
- VSCD (Association of boards of theatres and concert halls)
- NAPK (Dutch association for producers in performing arts)
- NVBF (Dutch exhibitors associations for cinema’s, arthouses and movie houses)
- VOB (Association for public libraries)
- Cultuurconnectie (Membership organisation for institutions for cultural education and amateur arts)
- Netherlands Gallery Association (Membership organisation for Dutch galleries for contemporary art)
- Federation Dutch Creative Industries (Uniting membership organizations of amongst others (interior) architects, designers and photographers)