Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you will find more information about DutchCulture and the services we provide.

DutchCulture

What is DutchCulture?

DutchCulture is the network and knowledge organisation for international cultural cooperation. We are the point of contact for the cultural sector in the Netherlands and Dutch diplomatic posts abroad.

DutchCulture wants to help all those who harbour international ambitions, from individual artists to renowned organisations, and who work in the cultural field, so that they can get at least one step closer to the international stage.

We are commissioned by the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and Foreign Affairs (BZ), and the European Commission.

What does DutchCulture do?

We coordinate the implementation of Dutch international cultural policy, with a primary focus on 17 countries. For an overview of priority countries and countries selected for a tailor-made approach, see here.

We are the point of contact for the Dutch and international cultural sector and the Dutch diplomatic posts abroad. Our aim is to help them exploit opportunities more effectively and join forces to ensure successful collaborations with international partners.

We promote Dutch culture outside the Netherlands so that the importance and scope of international efforts are made manifest.

We are a barometer of cultural, social, political and economic developments both in Europe and beyond, and highlight their impact on the Netherlands’ international cultural cooperation and policy.

What areas does DutchCulture operate in?

DutchCulture collaborates with the Dutch cultural sector, which involves working together with everybody from individual artists to cultural organisations, as well as Dutch diplomatic posts outside the country. We also collaborate with non-Dutch operators who wish to carry out projects with Dutch artists and cultural organisations. 

DutchCulture does not operate on behalf of a specific branch of Dutch culture; the focus lies on collaboration across sectors, and the exchange of knowledge with the educational and scientific sectors. 

DutchCulture is a member of several international networks, such as IETM, On the Move, IFACCA and EUNIC. EUNIC is the umbrella organisation of European national institutes for culture, in which DutchCulture represents the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and works together with the other national cultural institutes of Europe.

For more about DutchCulture, please visit this page.

Is DutchCulture an investment fund?

DutchCulture is not an investment fund; it is a network and knowledge organisation for international cultural cooperation. DutchCulture relies on information, expertise and contacts to support the international activities and ambitions of the Dutch cultural sector. To that end, DutchCulture works together with governments, the cultural sector, and Dutch diplomatic posts outside the country.

We are commissioned by the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and Foreign Affairs (BZ), and the European Commission.

DutchCulture can show you where international financing opportunities lie. For more on this, go to: dutchculture.nl/en/funding. If you’d like to find out quickly if your project is eligible for European funding, consult our EU guide (in Dutch only). 

DutchCulture does administer a matching fund of € 200,000 per year, which is intended for Shared Cultural Heritage projects. Applications are accepted from all disciplines. 

The Minister of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has set up various national cultural funds. DutchCulture implements the Netherlands’ international cultural policy together with the national cultural funds, Dutch diplomatic posts outside the country, and the cultural sector. The cultural funds (see this overview in Dutch only) all administer funding arrangements for internationalisation.

Is DutchCulture an international institution?

DutchCulture is a member of several international networks, such as IETM, On the Move, IFACCA and EUNIC. EUNIC is the umbrella organisation of European national institutes for culture, in which DutchCulture represents the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and works together with the other national cultural institutes of Europe.

For more about DutchCulture, please visit this page.

Why does DutchCulture only have advisors for 17 countries?

DutchCulture advises on and for the countries prioritised in international cultural policy. These are the priority countries and countries selected for a tailor-made approach, and Objective 2 countries. 

For an overview of priority countries and countries selected for a tailor-made approach, see here. Click top left for the drop-down menu of information pages about each individual country. The list of our country advisors can be found here.

If you want to work together with a different country, contact our Mobility Info Point.

How does DutchCulture collaborate with embassies?

DutchCulture helps staff at Dutch diplomatic posts abroad to match what Dutch culture has to offer with local demand. Together with Dutch diplomatic posts outside the country, DutchCulture implements the Netherlands’ international cultural policy, fulfilling a coordinating role. We also organise working visits and public and restricted meetings for employees of Dutch diplomatic posts in those countries that are prioritised in international cultural policy.  

Embassies and consulates can contact us for information and advice, often tailored to the requestor’s needs and provided via our Mapping NL overview. We also keep Dutch diplomatic posts abroad informed of the latest developments in international cultural cooperation via our news messages. For an overview of our channels, see here.

 

How can DutchCulture assist me?

What can DutchCulture do for me?

DutchCulture uses its network, information and expertise to bring you a step closer to the international stage. You are welcome to attend one of our meetings, to which admission is free. You can also contact our advisors directly for tailored advice. We are always glad to offer guidance to individual artists and cultural organisations planning international projects when they have questions regarding mobility and collaboration. For more, contact the Mobility Info Point.

We also assist Dutch diplomatic representatives in the implementation of cultural plans in their countries. For more, contact our country advisors.

Please note: DutchCulture neither provides financing nor applies for financing for cultural projects. You can read more about DutchCulture here.

Can DutchCulture help me with the financing of my international culture project, or help me make contacts?

DutchCulture is not an investment fund; it is a network and knowledge organisation for international cultural cooperation. DutchCulture relies on information, expertise and contacts to support the international activities and ambitions of the Dutch cultural sector. To this end, DutchCulture works together with governments, the cultural sector and the diplomatic network, both in the Netherlands and beyond. Our clients are the Ministries of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and Foreign Affairs (BZ), and the European Commission.

Our Creative Europe Desk NL can guide you in your application to the MEDIA (AV sector) and Culture schemes of the Creative Europe programme. You can also contact us for advice and support in drawing up a funding application with the Europe for Citizens programme. For more information about European financing, see this page (in Dutch only). You can find out if your project is eligible for other forms of European funding by following the steps in our online EU funding guide (in Dutch only).

We also administer a small matching fund for shared cultural heritage. We support projects by Dutch organisations that contribute to the visibility of shared heritage in the Netherlands or one of the shared heritage partner countries. For more information about the conditions of the matching fund, see here. More information about funding in general can be found here.

You can use the application form to request a consultation tailored to your needs. This consultation does not address funding, but mobility and contacts that can help you further.

Can DutchCulture help me find an artist residency outside the Netherlands?

We are always glad to help you in your search for a suitable residency, potential financial support and international contacts. Those interested can make an appointment directly for a personal consultation. Alternatively, you can contact our Mobility Info Point

DutchCulture provides an overview of and background information on more than 1,500 artist-in-residencies around the world, where artists can temporarily stay and work, through the website www.transartists.org. The website also contains participants’ experiences, an informative checklist, and an overview of relevant national and international funds. 

In addition, see the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide NL (pdf) for an overview of the support which might be available for travel and accommodation costs.

Can DutchCulture help me with Visa applications and questions about laws, regulations, taxes and cultural mobility?

DutchCulture’s Mobility Info Point informs and advises the Dutch diplomatic network and cultural sector on mobility issues. It exchanges information about best practices and common obstacles in international cultural traffic, among others with regard to the international network for cultural mobility On the Move.

We use the experiences of other artists and cultural organisations, as well as government information, to provide you with advice if you have international ambitions or are working with foreign artists or performers. Often, your project details are enough for us to determine what you need to arrange with which authorities or bodies to carry out your project in accordance with international laws and regulations. 

We cannot influence the processing of visa applications or requests to other authorities. In addition, we do not check tax returns or application forms. If you need help in any of these areas, we recommend you contact the relevant authorities, a tax advisor or an immigration lawyer. 

See our pages for more information on laws and regulations.

How can I contact a cultural attaché?

If you want to get in touch with a cultural attaché at a diplomatic post outside the Netherlands, our country advisers can help you obtain the most recent contact details. Alternatively, see the central government’s website at www.netherlandsandyou.nl.

What is Shared Cultural Heritage?

Shared Cultural Heritage is heritage that the Netherlands shares with other countries, and which originated from an intertwined history. Within international cultural policy, special attention is paid to this heritage in ten countries: Indonesia, the United States of America, Suriname, South Africa, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Japan, Russia and Australia.

To find out more on how DutchCulture contributes to the preservation of this heritage, see this introduction, or contact our advisor Veysel Yuce. We can financially support Shared Cultural Heritage projects via our matching fund. The conditions can be consulted here. Within this programme, we always cooperate with other countries, so the official language is English and the programme is officially titled Shared Cultural Heritage. Examples of Shared Heritage projects can be found in the news overview at sharedheritage.dutchculture.nl.

What does the Creative Europe Desk do?

Creative Europe Desk NL | DutchCulture is the service and information point for the Creative Europe programme in the Netherlands. You can contact the Creative Europe Desk NL for:
- information about the rules, procedures and deadlines of the various schemes for the cultural and audio-visual sector;
- advice and supervision when applying for funding;
- help or mediation in searching for specific information or cooperation partners from other European countries;
- information about other European funds and additional funding.

The Creative Europe Desk NL collects input from the sector so that it can accurately inform the European Commission and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science about the interests of the Dutch audio-visual and cultural sector. For more information and Dutch summaries of the funding schemes, see www.creativeeuropedesk.nl.

 

Which online tools does DutchCulture have to help me internationally?

Does DutchCulture have any online tools to help my international culture project?

DutchCulture has developed a number of online and offline tools to make it easier for you to work internationally. See the list of these tools and publications below.

 Funding tools
- Cultural Mobility Funding Guide NL (last update: 2017, pdf) - Guide to Dutch financing for international projects and financial support to travel outside the Netherlands.
- European Funding Guide (latest update: 2018, Dutch only) - A quick guide to find out if your project is eligible for European funding.
- Funding opportunities for individual artists (last update: 2017) - Overview of international funds for individual artists, with an emphasis on financing travel and residency. 

Mappings & Databases
- Buitengaats (in Dutch only) - Overview of Dutch cultural exports.
- TransArtists, your artist-in-residence guide - More than 1,500 artist-in-residencies in over 90 countries. You can search per art discipline and country.
- Shared Cultural Heritage - Overview of projects, publications, organisations and experts in the field of shared cultural heritage.
- Mapping NL (currently being updated) - Overview of the Dutch cultural infrastructure that can help you find suitable partners for your projects.
- Mapping China (2016) - Overview of the Chinese cultural infrastructure, per discipline. 
- Mapping Turkey (2011, currently being updated) - Overview of the Turkish cultural infrastructure, per discipline. 
- Mapping Brazil (2015) - Overview of the Brazilian cultural infrastructure, per discipline.
- Design Pataka! (2016, pdf) - Overview of the flourishing design industry in India, 2010 to 2016. 
- Online VR Directory (2018, pdf) - Overview of the VR/AR/XR industry in Europe.

Publications
- Multi-annual strategies of most of the 17 priority countries of the Dutch international cultural policy (2017-2020).
- Fair Practice Code (2017) – a better labour position for artists. 
- Cultural policy analysis: From Danish polder model to French decentralisation (2017). 
- Cultural exchange between the Netherlands and Indonesia: Triptych "Building on ..." from shared past to future collaboration (2017, Dutch only).
- Global cultural footprint of Amsterdam (2016) – an overview of international activities from Amsterdam makers.
- TransArtists checklist: how to prepare, apply and find funding for your residency experience (last updated in 2016).

What is Buitengaats?

Buitengaats is a unique database which provides an overview of Dutch cultural exports. The data, which is collected by DutchCulture, concerns Dutch cultural activities outside the Netherlands in all art disciplines. The database is currently being professionalised: data is being updated, and search options are being improved. If you want to know whether your activity is already listed, you can find it in the agenda.

Every year, we draw up an overview of cultural activities per country and per sector. All the overviews of the past years can be found here (in dutch only). Buitengaats data is also used for the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of international cultural policy

If you want to know more about Buitengaats, or wish to supply data about Dutch cultural activities outside the Netherlands for the database, please contact our Buitengaats team at buitengaats@dutchculture.nl.

 

How does DutchCulture provide assistance? How does the assistance of DutchCulture work in practice?

Are there any costs associated with DutchCulture’s services?

No – DutchCulture’s services are provided free of charge. DutchCulture is a foundation, and receives a four-year subsidy (2017 to 2020) from both the Ministry of Education Culture and Science and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We receive a contribution from the European Commission for our European activities.

Can I contact DutchCulture if I have Dutch ancestors?

No, because DutchCulture does not collect data in this area. The CBG (Centrum voor Familiegeschiedenis - Centre for Family History) can help in this respect.

How can I make an appointment?

We are always glad to share our information, advice and contacts with you, either online or at meetings and consultations in our office. Find out how to get in touch here.

For the contact details of all our advisors, see this page.

How can I stay in the know?

The agenda page contains an overview of upcoming meetings. The news page contains posts associated with DutchCulture.

In addition, we have a permanent presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, where news about international cultural cooperation is updated daily, or you can follow one of our advisors on these channels.

On the DutchCulture registration page, you can indicate that you would like to receive news and invitations to meetings.

 

Background information

What exactly do we mean by the cultural sector?

By “the cultural sector”, we mean all artistic disciplines, cultural heritage and to some extent the creative industry (architecture, design, and digital culture).

What is the Dutch cultural policy?

The aim of Dutch cultural policy is to provide access to high-quality culture for as many people in the Netherlands as possible, which is why the central government supports institutions of national and international significance. The basic national infrastructure consists of cultural institutions and cultural funds that receive funding from the central government. These organisations and more can be found on our Mapping NL overview.

The principles of the 2018 to 2021 cultural policy can be found in the letter from Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister of Education, Culture and Science (in Dutch only). Those interested in the background of Dutch cultural policy can read this publication.

What is the Dutch international cultural policy?

The Netherlands’ international cultural policy contributes to the quality and international visibility of the Dutch cultural sector. At the same time, the policy furthers the objectives of Dutch foreign policy, and is used for cultural diplomacy. It is a joint policy of the Ministers of Education, Culture and Science, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. There are three key objectives for the period 2017 to 2020. You can read more about this here.

The government maintains an infrastructure of institutions that stimulate and facilitate exchange, presentation and cooperation, such as embassies, funds and supporting institutions. Within this infrastructure, DutchCulture has a coordinating, advisory and informative role. We only carry out coordination for priority countries and countries selected for a tailor-made approach.

Our campaigns and our Buitengaats database (an annual overview of Dutch cultural exports - Dutch only) make international events visible. We also use this data to monitor international cultural policy.