Culture policy review

  • policy & politics

In mid-December, Gunay Uslu, State Secretary of Culture and Media sent out the study Culture of and for Everyone. This (mandatory) policy review covers the time period 2001 through 2020 and deals with the component of cultural participation. We mention below a limited number of points from the study.

State cultural funds and regional distribution

The national cultural funds function well, according to the review committee. "The national basic cultural infrastructure is an instrument for distribution. For example, for a number of categories of institutions, geographical distribution is guaranteed by the conditions within the scheme. However, it does not take away from the fact that there is a large concentration of facilities of certain sectors, for example of performing arts, in Amsterdam."

Since 2018, an attempt has been made to further strengthen the infrastructure with a number of urban regions as regional cultural hubs. Currently, a large number of municipalities are not yet part of an urban region. The term "urban region" has been called problematic, because the point is precisely that there are also cultural offerings in less urban areas.

BKV funds

The decentralization allowance for Visual Arts and Design (DU BKV) is a specific allowance that until 2008 was paid to twelve provinces and fourteen municipalities. Later this was extended to 35 municipalities.

The DU-BKV has three objectives:
1. Provide space for talent.
2. Improve the relationship between production and presentation, between offerings and audiences.
3. Strengthen the strength/professionalization of the sector.

The DU-BKV was evaluated by Berenschot in 2018. This evaluation showed that it is difficult to determine the effectiveness per municipality. Inquiries with municipalities revealed that they find that most instruments contribute to one or more objectives, especially presentation institutions. Municipalities indicate that the DU-BKV is of value both substantively and financially and can be continued unchanged. The DU-BKV is seen as a booster for other financiers, as a stimulus for renewal of the sector and as a flywheel for municipal policy on visual art & design.

It is considered plausible that the DU-BKV is an effective policy instrument that contributes to the stated objectives. The evaluation does not examine efficiency but it does look at matching, which is almost 800 percent. Most municipalities spend much more than the DU-BKV allowance, but a few spend less. Collectively, by far the most is spent on visual art museums. The remaining funds go to various instruments, with an increase in spending on presentation institutions, studios and incubators, at the expense of acquisition and management budgets for art collections.

Download the entire survey here

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