Arts Council calls for: Reverse cutbacks for major arts institutions

Arts Council calls for: Reverse cutbacks for major arts institutions

Amsterdam must reverse the cuts that seven of the city’s arts institutions will face in the coming years as quickly as possible. The Amsterdam Arts Council said this in an advisory to the municipality. According to the Council, the cuts are unfair and disproportionate.

The Royal Concert – Hans Rogen

The seven institutions (Amsterdam Museum, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, ITA, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, National Opera & Ballet, Meervaart and Bijlmer Parktheater) are the only ones in Amsterdam to have received support from the municipality. Other arts organizations must apply for this first.

In October last year, it became clear that the budget of those seven existing organizations would shrink by three million: from 63 to 60 million per year in the period 2025-2026. Cultural consultant Toria Meliani (GroenLinks) wants to release these three million to give opportunity to new makers and to ensure that the artistic offer is better distributed throughout the city.

to divide

“You need art and culture in close proximity to each other,” Miliani said shortly after presenting her plans in Park Politics magazine. “In Neu-West Zuidust, a big city like Breda, there is only one theatre. In certain areas of the city there are many cultural facilities.”

But it also means that the Big Seven institutions have to make do with three million fewer. How should they solve this? No, says the Arts Council, which is calling on politicians to find a way to reverse the three million cut.


The council is aware that Miliani wants to raise more money for other arts initiatives in the city, but believes this should not come at the expense of larger institutions, which may also have to deal with cuts from the new government in The Hague. Therefore, in its advice, the Arts Council assumes 63 million euros, the budget before the announced cuts.

“The seven institutions will face a disproportionately large reduction in their support,” the council said. “These often relate to organizations engaged in long-term planning. Much of the programming has already been decided for the 2024/2025 and 2025/2026 seasons.”

More money for Bijlmer and Özdorp

But even taking this higher budget into account, some existing organizations have to get by with less money. For example, the council recommends a “modest reduction” in support to the National Ballet, the ITA, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Council support may remain the same for the Amsterdam Museum and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.

All for the benefit of Bijlmer Parktheater (South-East) and Meervaart (Nieuw-West). According to the advisory body, money is needed for this purpose. According to the Arts Council, it is important that theaters grow with their region, so they can eventually become “urban theatres.”

Turia Meliani is expected to respond to the advice within about a month. After the summer, the distribution of support will be the subject of discussion in the municipal council.

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