The Cultural Survey

Raad Voor Cultuur,
01 November 2014, Netherlands

The cultural sector has shown its strength in the past years. Despite the economic crisis and considerable spending cuts, the cultural sector still remains steady. Nearly half of the Dutch population actively spends part of their leisure time participating in artistic and heritage activities, as amateurs or volunteers. The Netherlands scores above the European average regarding visits to performing arts and museums. We have internationally renowned orchestras and museums; architects, visual artists and theatre directors find success abroad; Dutch design is globally well-represented. The amount of art on offer is still large, diverse and accessible. Creators are innovating and institutions are more efficient than ever. There is a high degree of self-sufficiency and resilience; the sector is dynamic. However, this offers no assurances for the future. Expectations are that from 2014 onwards the government will spend half a billion euros less on art and culture compared to 2011.  Revenues from other sources are certainly not able to compensate for this financial drain on the sector yet. Institutions have been closed, productions put on hold, people laid off. There is a risk of new cuts on the municipal level. The commercial side of the cultural sector is also facing great challenges. Rules and relationships are changing, technologies are supplanting old customs, and artists and audiences are approaching each other in new ways.