Little Fox by Edward van de Vendel and Marije Tolman

Photo: Little Fox by Edward van de Vendel and Marije Tolman

In the spotlight: 8 Dutch children’s books to be released in the U.S.A. next year

12 December 2019
Dutch children's literature gets a break through on the competitive American market, and it is due to international cultural collaboration.
Never Grow Up!

Throughout 2019 a joint programme by Dutch Performing Arts, the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York, Eye International, Netherlands Film Fund, Cinekid, Dutch Foundation for Literature and DutchCulture has brought Dutch youth arts to the United States. The aim was to increase the visibility of Dutch youth arts and stimulate cultural exchange and partnerships with renowned US-based presenters and organisations. Under the name Never Grow Up! numerous activities took place on showcases, festivals and stages, and through the PR work of Michelle Tabnick the programme received great recognition throughout the United States.

After almost a year the programme is featured in 206 pieces of media coverage, which received an estimated 1,34 M views and which have been shared 5,67 K times on social media. Can we also measure the impact of the programme for the Dutch cultural scene? Looking at the plans for 2020, we see the tangible results of this collaborative long-term focus on Dutch youth arts in the U.S.A. for the different disciplines involved.

Trailer of the Never Grow Up! programme, consisting of movie trailers, performing arts and literature (at 2.33). Made by Consulate General in New York.

The first clear impact of the programme came through the performing arts, after 8 groups presented their work at the IPAY showcase in Philadelphia in January 2019, and over 50 performances were booked by renowned stages in the U.S.A. The close collaboration between the Kennedy center in Washington and Dutch Performing Arts resulted in a warm partnership with big plans for 2020. For film, the impact of the programme became visible as it rained prizes for Dutch youth films on the Chicago Film Festival. There was also a Dutch selection of children’s short films in the New York Children’s Film Festival – On Tour collection, which travelled around the country.

Only three percent of published literature in the U.S.A. is translated from a foreign language

For literature, a longer breath is often needed to see the result of an international investment. Especially in the United States, translated literature has a hard time flourishing. Once you realise that only 3% of published literature in the U.S.A. is translated from a foreign language, and mainly from Spanish, you can understand how difficult it is for Dutch authors to make their mark. In this context, the announcement of the publication of eight Dutch children’s books in the U.S.A. in 2020 is a truly great result, that illustrates the impact of the long-term joint focus on Dutch youth arts. The impact will continue to grow, as the American publisher Arthur A. Levine, which introduced Harry Potter to the U.S.A., started a new collaboration with renowned Dutch publisher Querido, under the name Levine – Querido.

Bigger Than a Dream by Jef Aerts and Marit Törnqvist
An overview of what’s coming up

On the website of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York we continue to publish activities of the Never Grow Up! programme as it continues in 2020. Keep an eye on the website for updates.




In the spotlight

Are you a Dutch or Netherlands-based artist performing abroad in the (near) future and would you like to be in the spotlight? Send us an email with detailed information and two horizontal high res images. The editing team will make a selection and get back to you.

Check out the complete overview of Dutch cultural activities in the United States in our database. If you are a cultural professional who wants to go to the United States, feel free to contact our United States advisor Renske Ebbers.