The Dutch arts and culture sector is dominated by freelancers on low incomes and pressure for jobs is further reducing earnings, according to a new report.
The government’s SER advisory group and the Arts Council drew up the report for culture minister Jet Bussemaker and found that total spending on the arts and culture has been slashed by over €500m since 2013.
Some 20,000 permanent jobs have gone – a 12% drop – compared with a 2.5% decline across the labour market as a whole. There are now 143,000 permanent jobs in the arts, and 106,000 freelancers. Jobs in theatres, libraries and concert halls are largely done by volunteers.
The report found that half of those working in the arts and cultural sectors earn less than €30,000 a year.
SER chairwoman Mariëtte Hamer said in the Volkskrant the results of the research are worrying. ‘It is important that people in a very diverse cultural sector, such as translators, music teachers and artists earn a decent income. ‘
The minister, who has set aside an extra €2m in an effort to ease the worst problems, has asked the Arts Council to keep an eye on wages. ‘Some institutions are paying less. But they should also look critically at their programme and give fewer performances and concerts,’ Bussemaker is quoted as saying by broadcaster Nos.
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