maaike lauwaert

Effects for visual arts

The effects of the budget cuts for the visual arts are huge and will have serious repercusions for innovation, experimentation and talent development.

Amongst other things, the Secretary of State has decided:
· to halve the budget of the Mondriaan fund;
· to drastically reduce the number of presentation institutions in the BIS from 11 to 6. The institutions which are no longer in the BIS cannot go to the Mondriaan fund either, and therefore have no chance of survival;
· to no longer provide any subsidy for art magazines;
· to put a complete stop to the government subsidy for functions which are now carried out by biennial Manifesta, SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain, the sectoral institute Premsela, Virtual Platform, the Netherlands Media Art Institute;
· to put a stop to financing post-academic education for artists in the Ateliers, Rijksakademie voor beeldende kunsten (Royal Academy for Visual Arts), European Ceramic Work Centre and the Jan van Eyck Academie;
· to only support the continued development of 50 visual artists who have proved themselves as top talents in the next four years;
· to halve the individual basic stipends and working grants for artists, and to COMPLETELY stop the present subsidies which serve to provide an income.

The direct and immediate effects of these measures for the PUBLIC which wants to see and experience contemporary art are catastrophic:
· The makers, producers and artists form the basis of the cultural infrastructure. After all, with no artists, there is no art. No subsidies or insufficient subsidies for artists to focus professionally and full time on creating work means that there will be no innovative work.
· No post-academic education means there will be no growth of new artists who excel and can represent the Netherlands abroad. Removing this function will immediately lead to a reduction in the provision of Dutch presentation institutions, so that the Netherlands will lose its competitive position. This will result in the total impoverishment of the art market in the Netherlands and to a weaker position of the Dutch galleries on the international art market.
· A minimal number of presentation institutions means that the new art will not find its way to the public and will remain locked up in studios and warehouses. The Dutch and international public in the Netherlands will not be able to see any innovative art.
· Removing an institution such as SKOR means that the presence of art in public spaces – democratic and by definition “anti-elitist”, because it is accessible to everyone free of charge – will decline.
· Closing an institution such as NIMk means that a valuable, partly digital heritage – video art and film art and media art – will become fragmented and will no longer be accessible to the public.