Provinces complain about distribution of cultural subsidy: ‘Not fair to the region’

In an open letter in the Volkskrant, the delegates from Friesland, Groningen, Drenthe, Flevoland, Overijssel, Gelderland, Limburg, Noord-Brabant and Zeeland write that the criteria used by the FPK in giving subsidy recommendations, including visiting figures, innovation and diversity, are “argued from a Randstad context”.

“We do not begrudge the Randstad the means they have been given”, explained the Zeeland representative Anita Pijpelink in the CCeit Radio 1 Journaal. “But in the regions where I expect more people to settle – look at what corona does to people – there must be high-quality culture. We don’t think this is fair”

Firmly rooted

Artists in Flevoland, Zeeland, Overijssel and Gelderland do not receive any budget from the Fund at all. The other provinces receive between 2 and 8 percent of the budget for their cultural offerings

“We are losing unique art genres and indispensable groups, which are firmly rooted in our environment and have built a strong bond with a loyal audience”, write the delegates. “All inhabitants of the Netherlands are entitled to a good cultural offer from their own region.”

The provinces want the distribution of subsidies to be re-examined and call on Minister Van Engelshoven and the House of Representatives to do so. According to the delegates there should also be more money available for distribution: the FPK should do this round with almost 16 million euros less.

The fund does not wish to respond to the open letter from the delegates, but refers to an explanation of the multi-year production subsidies. This states that more performing arts institutions have now been included in the Basic Cultural Infrastructure (BIS), which means that the geographical distribution is better guaranteed than before. The FPK also states that many city companies that receive subsidies travel throughout the country with their performances.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science says that Van Engelshoven is talking to the fund this afternoon. According to the spokesman, the meeting had already been scheduled. One of the basic principles of the policy is regional distribution and the minister wants the fund to explain the distribution