The Netherlands arts and culture sector will begin to feel the effect of smaller budgets next year, as €100m-worth of local authority spending cuts come into effect, the NRC reported at the weekend.
While government cuts are due to take place in 2013, local councils have already paved the way by slashing spending on arts and culture projects from 2012, the paper says.
The Hague city council, for example, is cutting €35m from its arts budget while Almere is reducing spending by €7m. In Apeldoorn and Arnhem, culture and the arts will get €3m less to spend. Noord-Brabant province is cutting €15m from its budget for the arts and libraries
Nevertheless, in around one third of local authority areas, mainly those with left-wing councils, spending on the arts is virtually untouched, the NRC states. These include Groningen, Nijmegen and Utrecht.
In Breda and Enschede, where the councils have a broader political base, arts budgets have also been left intact, the paper says. Amsterdam is planning to cut spending by €10m from 2013.
In Limburg province, however, where Geert Wilder’s populist PVV is part of the ruling coalition, culture and the arts have escaped the axe next year. However, €4m will be chopped from the budget in 2013.
Wilders has made much political capital out of cutting spending on what he calls ‘left-wing hobbies’.
The government is cutting its arts and culture budget by 25% in 2013. In addition, 28 museums which will continue to get government funding have been told to raise at least 17.5% of their budgets from private sources.
According to the Volkskrant, the performing and visual arts will be hardest hit by the national cuts.
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