Appeal for additional budget for the art sector

Design by Atelier Yuri Veerman

November 2020

Appeal for more funding
for the arts sector
in the Netherlands






Niet onder de Zaaglijn

Together with 13 art institutions in the Netherlands, a campaign has been launched. www.nietonderdezaaglijn.nl

In September 2020, the Dutch Mondriaan Fund awarded grants to 38 art institutions in connection to the multi-year scheme for contemporary art. However, 14 institutions with a positive recommendation from the committee of experts ended up with no grant because the Mondriaan Fund’s budget was not sufficient. We are one of those 14 institutions and call on you to make your voice heard and to declare your solidarity with our appeal to the Minister of Culture to permanently increase the budget for art institutions. In this way, the base institutions of the art sector in the Netherlands can continue to do their important work and keep on strengthening the sector, from the bottom up. This requires an additional €950,000 per year.

Career of artists

Sanne Wallis de Vries, a celebrated dutch actress, referred in her recent plea for the preservation of small theatres (17/10/20, FD) to a statement by Freek de Jonge: “No career has ever started in the Ziggo Dome”. This is of course also true in the visual arts: no artist shows his or her work right away in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. To get there, artists need opportunities in small and medium-sized institutions first. Therefore we offer them time, space, experimentation, support and introductions to a diverse audience. In addition. the small and medium-sized institutions offer educational programs and bring audiences of all ages into contact with contemporary art. Our work provides fertile ground for the visual arts sector. Artists who started with us have become nominees and winners of prestigious art prizes such as Prix de Rome or representatives of the Netherlands at international art fairs and biennials. They are artists who, with their inquisitive attitude, make us think about who we are as humans and about the society in which we (want to) live. This they do with crushing, sharp or poetic images and projects. And they started their careers and their projects with us, the smaller institutions.

Strong art sector

We do our work with love and conviction. For years, our organisations have been supported by professionals and volunteers who, despite the insecure and marginalised positions in which they often find themselves, dedicate themselves with heart and soul to the arts. The reason that we continue to work so hard is that we are convinced of the importance of art for society. Because art voices the now and laments the human condition, it also offers comfort and hopes to hear the sounds of the future.

We are proud but also worried. We call on the Minister of Culture to prevent further impoverishment of the art sector not only just now but also in the future. It is important for the Dutch art sector as a whole to honour the positively assessed institutions because nurturing the base results in a positive, strong and important Dutch art sector.

Urgent appeal

That is why we are making an urgent appeal to you: Let your voice be heard! Share this message #nietonderdezaaglijn, and make sure that on 23 November, when the House of Representatives is to meet the Minister of Culture, Mrs Ingrid van Engelhoven, about budgetary agreements, the House and the minister have has no choice other than to agree to the necessary additional funding!

Thank you for spreading the plea.
We are counting on you too!
Kind regards,

Theo Tegelaers, TAAK (Amsterdam), Youri Appelo, Expoplu (Nijmegen), Josine Sibum Siderius, Kunsthuis SYB (Beetsterzwaag), Klaartje Esch, Kunstpodium T (Tilburg), Marleen van Wijngaarden, MURALS Inc. (Rotterdam), Tanja Karreman, Nieuw Dakota (Amsterdam), Liesbeth Visee, Nieuwe Vide (Haarlem), Riet van Gerven, Stichting SEA (Tilburg) & Æther Haga (The Hague), Corridor Project Space (Amsterdam), Stichting Reverb Rotterdam, The Balcony (The Hague), Uniarte (Willemstad, Curaçao) and VRIZA (Amsterdam).


Website: www.nietonderdezaaglijn.nl