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Some thoughts on the role of autonomy in the arts and its role in discourses on the value of the arts

Introduction The cutbacks of the previous government in the Netherlands caused a shock in the art sector. Not only because of the scale, but also because of the ease with which these cuts were accepted. The only protests came from the sector itself, the rest of the population thought it was fine. Apparently the public support for art is much smaller than expected. The reaction from a new government, with a social-democrat as a minister for the arts, was therefore to stress more the social value of art. But the social value of art is not that easy to interpret and make explicit. We are...

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The lesson of the Trump victory for the art world

November 13, 2016 Trump for president. Who would have thought so. More people than you think. The dichotomy in the US is stronger than we wanted to acknowledge. Alie Hochschild wrote a wonderful book about it:. Strangers in Their own country a divide between the high and low educated, between haves and have-nots, between those who benefit from globalization and those who suffer. Between those who live in constant uncertainty about their future and those who will prosper. Those who can get along with all the changes and those who feel passed over in their own country. And now the parallel...

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The art of funding the arts

October 22 2016 The combination of art and money is and remains interesting. In earlier times, an artist had  a client and was paid per job,  if he was employed by a rich man, a patron, he produced works in paid employment. The best art works produced this way we can still see every day in museums and are heard in concert halls and churches. It was not until the 19thth century that the romantic image of the artist arose who mainly had to follow his own expression, regardless of job or employer. The autonomous artist was born. That expanded the possibilities of art enormously and also brought...

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The challenge for crowdfunding in the cultural sector

Thursday, February 11 I was one of the panelists at the crowdfunding cafe Crowdfundinghub. A lot of discussion about the possibilities of crowdfunding in the cultural and creative sector. Afterwards I want to share a few thoughts. Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing form of financing in the Netherlands. Doubling every year until now the amount of money in crowdfunding deals is approximately 128 million in 2015. Is that also true for the cultural and creative sector? Not quite: in 2015 the amount spent has increased to 9.5 million on 856 projects, an average of about € 11,000 per project. That...

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Art for Innovation

Blog 22 juni 2015   I The Start Big words: art and innovation. How can we connect them? Trying to define them is going to get us in trouble. So let’s broadly assume: this is about all kinds of art-forms and what they can contribute to all kinds of innovation in companies and other organisations. The setting: May 2015 in the Hague, the Netherlands. Some 30 people assemble to follow the track Art for Innovation at the Pin-C-conference. Where Pin-C stands for participatory innovation Conference. Other tracks concentrated on the role of design for different innovation domains. So here we are:...

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The Value of Connecting Arts and Business

Blog 26 april 2015   Recently there is the discussion on the authentic or intrinsic value of the arts and how this is instrumentalised or compromised when put into a business setting. So let’s see some examples of how this works. Someone from a big insurance company says: “if I want a dialogue with my customers about insurance, it will be short. Insurance is a boring subject.  But if I can talk with them about art the dialogue will become longer and more alive.  So if I want to attract a higher educated part of the population, then associating myself with art is an excellent opportunity....

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