Where the money comes from?

Erik Backer

In Netherlands the main difference is that in the in the grants the cities have a lot of responsibility for their companies that are located in buildings. That is why we receive the money from the city of Amsterdam although we do have sometimes a nationwide importance when there is a special festival going on or whatever. It is the task of the city to take care of this infrastructure with all these buildings where things are happening. But if you are a company, a ballet company or a theatre company or an orchestra then it is different. Then you are supposed to be there not only for a city but for the whole the Netherlands. So a lot of these artistic companies receive their grants from the national government and on the provincial level it is much lower. It is hardly there sometimes.

Over the years the subsidy in all aspects has gone up a lots. I mean people were well subsidized in Netherlands. This has changed completely over the last couple of years. It is much more stricter and there are much more questions. Are you able to earn a lot of money yourselves? How many audiences do you attract? So there it is much stricter now in order to receive money as there is less. And also in Amsterdam there was a big shakeout. It is much harder for new initiatives to get into this subsidy world.

We are a big institute with 400,000 visitors a year what is a lot. We had 1 million as a subsidy last year. And it went down to 850 that was a 15% cut which is a lot. For our neighbors to city theatre it was also 15%. And then you are talking about 600,000 euros so it is really diminishing in Netherlands. But the structure stays the same and if you are operating at the local level receive your money locally. That has not changed

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Erik Backer

Erik Backer

Executive director of Melkweg in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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