The Prince Claus Fund, set up in 1996 by the late Royal Highness Prince Claus, operates on an intercontinental scale and aims at increasing cultural awareness and promoting the exchange between culture and development, focusing especially on developing countries. The fund grants subsidies and gives awards to mainly non-European artists and intellectuals. It also creates a platform for debate and stimulates creative processes and artistic productions.
As a platform for intercultural exchange, the Prince Claus Fund collaborates with individuals and organisations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. The goal is to realise activities and publications that reflect a contemporary approach to the themes of culture and development. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Nationale Postcode Loterij (Dutch Postcode Lottery) support the Prince Claus Fund.
Intercultural dialogue has always been an important issue in the Netherlands. The policy focus on multiculturalism in the 1990s, and on integration in the first decade of this century, has triggered a long-term debate on cultural identity and cultural diversity. After 2010, this focus was eclipsed in the policy spectrum, being rephrased in the cultural field as a sensitising concept: something to be kept in mind when decisions are to be made in planning programmes, recruiting personnel or filling vacant positions on governance boards. For this purpose, the cultural sector developed the Diversity & Inclusion Code in 2011 with support of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The code of conduct is a practical tool: a framework and a specific guide, to assist organisations in formulating ambitions and objectives in the area of cultural (ethnic) diversity. The code aims to embed diversity in cultural organisations permanently. It focuses on the following four aspects of cultural organisations: programming, public reach, partners and staff/management policy (4 p’s).
When receiving the recommendations by the Council for Culture on the 2017-2020 national basic infrastructure in May 2016, Minister Bussemaker emphasised the importance of theCode Cultural Diversity. The Minister concluded that there were still many opportunities for cultural institutions to reach a wider audience and to better connect to a cross-section of the population. Cultural organisations that are subsidised by the central government are stimulated to implement the Code. In 2018, the directors of the six public cultural funds published a joint letter stating that they would actively stimulate diversity when spending their money.
The Noordwijk overleg (Noordwijk consolation) consists of a group of theatre companies that gather every once in a while. In 2017, they started working on a multi-year plan to accelerate the goals of the Cultural Diversity Code. Currently, twenty-two theatres implemented the guidelines of the Noordwijk consultation. A special programme (Stimuleringsprogramma theater inclusief) was developed by members and partners of the Noordwijk consultation in collaboration with external experts, which focuses on vision, policy, learning capacity and accountability in the theatre sector. The Noordwijk consolation also created the Diversity Scanin 2018 to measure the 4 p’s of the Code and the diversity climate of the organisation.
There are several public initiatives to improve social inclusion in the Dutch society by means of culture. Examples are:
- New Dutch Connections supports Dutch citizens, and in particular
refugees, to become
participants in the multicultural and religious society. They aim to create a society in which
foreigners feel at home by means of art, theatre and training. “With its activities, NDC brings people, organisations and institutions together who otherwise would have never (in all probability) met.”
- Refugee Company’s mission is “to speed up integration by supporting people with a refugee background in social and economic independency.” They try to speed up integration through, among others, artistic and cultural activities. Examples are art exhibitions in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and photography museum Foam.
- STUDIO i was established by the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and the Van Abbemuseum. The organisation characterises itself as “a cultural platform that wants to share inspiring ideas and inclusive initiatives, organise events for museum workers and offer training programmes around diversity, inclusion and equity.”
Diversity of cultural boards and staff
In 2018, the research institute APE Public Economics published a report on diversity in the Dutch cultural sector, focusing on the composition of boards and staff of cultural institutions:
- In 2016 and 2017, approximately one third of the board members of cultural institutions had a Western migration background (compared to 11 percent in 2008) and 7.8 percent had a non-Western migration background (compared to 5.5 percent in 2008).
- In 2017, 30 percent of the employees of cultural institutions had a Western migration background (compared to 14 percent in 2008) and 8 percent had a non-Western migration background (compared to 8 percent in 2008).
- In 2017, 8 percent of the advisors in cultural commissions, councils and funds had a Western migration background and 14 percent had a non-Western migration background.
For the results regarding the number of women as
cultural board members, employees and advisors, see chapter 2.5.5.
 Mesters, Gabbi and Cecile Brommer. 2018. “Van ‘Pas toe, óf leg uit’ naar ‘Pas toe, én leg uit’.” Boekman 115: 14-17.
 In 2017, the amount of non-Western and Western migration backgrounds within the Dutch working population is both 10 percent.