Artist in Residence

Scene from 'We'll do it ourselves' (2015) by Wunderbaum. Photo: Anke Teunissen

Mobility Info Point

The Mobility Info Point can advise you when you have plans to go abroad or when you are working with foreign artists, performers and intermediaries.

The Mobility Info Point at DutchCulture can advise you when you have plans to go abroad, when you are working with foreign artists, performers and intermediaries here in the Netherlands, or when you yourself are a foreign artist or performer working here.

On request, we give information and advice to the Dutch diplomatic network. We also conduct research on best practices and frequently occurring obstacles in international cultural transactions. The Info Point participates on behalf of DutchCulture in the international network for cultural mobility On The Move.

International projects are often a complex mix of working with well-known and lesser-known partners and a variety of financial challenges. You may also have to deal with the rules and regulations of other countries. We strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the financial possibilities, the relevant networks and the experiences of your colleagues in the Netherlands and abroad.

On this page you will find information about the Dutch rules and regulations, the Dutch cultural infrastructure, and financial possibilities for covering travel, accommodation and production expenses in the Netherlands and abroad.


Government Rules and Regulations in the Netherlands

Are you an artist planning to have an exhibition in the Netherlands? A dancer temporarily working with a Dutch dance company? Have you been invited to do research at a Dutch institute? No matter whether you are working on your own, with a Dutch partner or are part of a larger project, international cultural projects are always subject to rules and regulations. On these pages we cover the most important topics.


Visas and Staying in the Netherlands
Before you get started in the Netherlands, it is important to make sure that you have permission to stay and work here. The conditions under which this is permitted differ considerably, as do the specific rules and regulations for countries and regions with which the Netherlands has agreements. At the link above you will find information about visas, countries that are exceptions, and your administrative obligations.


Working in the Netherlands
Everyone from outside the Netherlands or from outside the EU who has been invited to work in the Netherlands or comes to work here independently must comply with the Dutch and European work regulations. Here you will find links to the relevant government agencies and permits.


Social security
When you come from abroad and are employed in the Netherlands, you are obliged to pay into the Dutch national insurance schemes. And when you have work and income in the Netherlands, this can have consequences for your national insurance contributions in your homeland. This page gives links to the most important government agencies.


Are you employed here? Do you send invoices for your services, sell your work or receive payment for it here? Everyone who receives income or does business in the Netherlands has an obligation to the Dutch tax authorities and/or to the tax authorities in their homeland. Filling out tax forms can be complicated because of the bilateral agreements between countries and because of the different rules and regulations in each country. This page provides links to relevant sources of information on the websites of the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and other organisations.


The Dutch Cultural Infrastructure

Underneath the success of Dutch artists, performers, and other creatives lies a vast infrastructure of educational, vocational, research, knowledge and funding institutions that are vital for the well-being of arts and culture in the Netherlands. Search for ‘Mapping NL’ in the DutchCulture database and learn about the places and entities that play a vital role in nurturing the Dutch cultural and artistic landscape. Mapping NL does not comprise an in depth research on the broad spectrum of culture and the entire range of institutions, but rather an introduction and concise road map for finding your way in cultural cooperation.


Financial opportunities

DutchCulture is an information and knowledge institute and does not provide mobility-related funding for artists and creative professionals. However, you can keep an eye on our Funding page where we publish the latest open calls and other funding opportunities for international cultural cofrom partner institutions. Finally, you can download our Cultural Mobility Funding Guide for an overview of public and private funding for international artistic endeavours, fellowships, visitors programmes and artist residencies in the Netherlands.


Contact Mobility Info Point

For more information and tailored advice, you always give us a call (T +3120 616 4225) or send us an e-mail.


Culture Talks - Connecting Creatives

DutchCulture organiseert Culture Talks met cultuurprofessionals uit binnen- en buitenland.

DutchCulture organiseert regelmatig Culture Talks. Culture Talks zijn inspiratiesessies, workshops of lezingen waarin cultuurprofessionals uit binnen- en buitenland met een internationale blik hun kennis en ervaring delen met geïnteresseerden.

We nodigen sprekers uit die internationale experts zijn op het gebied van cultuur, media en erfgoed. Dit kunnen kunstenaars, curatoren, trendwatchers, beleidsmakers, wetenschappers, journalisten en makers zijn. Vaak maken de sprekers onderdeel uit van een breder programma van DutchCulture, zoals  van onze internationale bezoekersprogramma’s. Tijdens de Culture Talks is er altijd ruimte voor vragen, uitwisseling en kennismaking. De Culture Talks vinden plaats op het kantoor van DutchCulture, of bij een van onze vele partners in heel Nederland.

Culture Talks zijn altijd gratis toegankelijk. Hou onze agenda in de gaten voor de volgende Culture Talk! Wil je zelf een Culture Talk met een van onze gasten inpassen in je programma? Neem dan contact op met

In 2017 organiseerden we de volgende Culture Talks:

19 december - programmamakers Mizuho Ishii en Yumiko Fujimoto (JP) en beeldend kunstenaar Seyit Battal Kurt  (NL) over artist-in-residencies in Japan

26 oktober - Wies Ubags (NL), correspondent Latijns-Amerika over Brazilië en haar slavernijverleden

12 oktober  – internationale gasten over Liveable Historical Cities

3 oktober - internationale experts over Fair Practice in de kunsten  

21 september - IPHAN (BR) over cultural landscapes

15 september - Marie Le Sourd (FR) van On the Move over internationale culturele mobiliteit

23 juni - Tom Ruller (USA), de directeur van de New York Archives

21 juni - Matthew Covey (USA), expert op het gebied van kunstenaarsmobiliteit naar de VS

16 juni - Zahira Asmal (SA) over hoe Kaapstad een werkelijk inclusieve stad kan worden met al haar culturen, geschiedenissen en identiteiten

7 april - Aukaanse Marron delegatie uit Suriname 

15 februari - Zuid-Afrikaanse delegatie over narratieven in Zuid-Afrikaanse musea


French writer Julia Deck on her Amsterdam experience

DutchCulture interviewed Julia Deck about her experience as a writer in residence in Amsterdam

In August, Julia Deck spent a month in the writers’ residency on the Spui in Amsterdam. Last year her first book, Viviane Élisabeth Fauville (France: Éditions Minuit, 2012), was published in the Netherlands by Vleugels. Due to its Dutch success, Deck is the first of three French writers invited by the Dutch Foundation for Literature to stay in Amsterdam this fall. 

Is it necessary for writers to work abroad?
Well, it would be too much to say that it is necessary, but it helps a lot. If you don’t have any new experiences in your life as a writer, then how are your books going to evolve? They’re not going to. New experiences can be travelling or whatever, but for me, the best is to travel with a project, and residencies are ideal for that.  

Please, tell us about your experiences with other (international) residencies. 
After my first novel was published, I got a grant from the French government to spend one month in Genoa in Italy because my project was related to industrial ports. It was pretty much the same setup as here in Amsterdam: I had an apartment to myself for a month. Later I went to the Villa Marguerite Yourcenar in the North of France, where three writers from three different countries live together for a month. After that I went to Yaddo in upstate New York, where about thirty artists stay at the same time, but it’s not only writers, also visual artists, composers, filmmakers. That was interesting because everybody works in their studio during the day, then in the evening you have dinner together and there are often presentations of the artists’ work. And last year, I went to the Château de Lavigny in Switzerland, which is for writers and translators. I had applied because my new novel Sigma is situated in Switzerland, and I needed to do some research.

What do you gain from being in a residency?
For one thing, you get a lot done because you're not distracted by anything else. But it doesn't necessarily come down to the number of pages you write. Sometimes I write a lot but it turns out those pages aren't so good. What is important is that it gives you a new perspective on your project. It helps put your ideas in place. Sometimes a casual conversation with another writer can be crucial to developing a character. I met people with whom I became very close friends at residencies. It’s funny because you don’t necessarily stay there very long but the connections you make can be quite strong. 

How do you prepare yourself for a residency? 
The idea for me is not to prepare, unless I have a specific project related to the place where I’m going, as was the case in Switzerland. I suppose it depends on whether I'm at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a project. At the start I’m completely open to outside influences, but towards the end I need to be more focused and I just write all the time. When I arrived in Amsterdam, I’d just finished a book, so I was more inclined to just see what happens. 

What is your daily structure in the residency here in Amsterdam? 
Usually, when I get up in the morning I go directly to the computer, because that’s the time my mind is clearest, so that's when I write, or organise notes, which usually leads to writing. Then I go out early afternoon. In Amsterdam, I cycled a lot because that's obviously the best way to discover the city. That way I empty my mind a little bit, and after having done that for a couple of hours, I sit down at a cafe to have something to eat. That's the moment when ideas start flowing naturally, so I take out my notebook or computer and work some more there. 

Is it different from your normal routine?
Oh yes, it's a lot more pleasant! My normal routine consists of sitting at a desk all day. But that's also when I’m at the end of a project. When I’m looking for ideas, I get out as much as I can, even when I'm at home in Paris, I go to see films or exhibitions and try to make connections with the ideas I've got. So that's a pleasant phase too, even at home.

What strikes you here in Amsterdam?
Whether it's actually true or not, I do feel the quality of life is better here than in Paris. The centre of Amsterdam is very crowded but you can get away very quickly on the bike, and then there's everything you need but it’s not overwhelming. I’m very sensitive to architecture. In Paris, the buildings are higher, the streets narrower, and the horizon much more closed. Here I enjoy having the water near and seeing so much sky. 

What do you see actually when you look out of the window here? 
Well, the apartment has a view to the Spui, which is very crowded, but it's quite high above the cafes, the trams, and everything that is happening there, so I can enjoy it as a spectator, which is what a writer likes most, I suppose. And there is a lot of light, it's a very pleasant place.  

How is it different from what you normally see?
For one thing, when I sit at my computer in the residency, I have six windows to look from, whereas in my office in Paris, which I share with quite a few other people, there is one tiny window and I’m not even near it, so I have no view and only artificial light. This is definitely much better. Although I can imagine that in the long run, it could also be a little bit distracting. The upside to having a dark office is that you concentrate on the computer all the time. 

What was your previous relation to the Netherlands? 
I was in Amsterdam for a few days in 2009. It feels very different here now, and several people have told me that the city has changed a lot in the last few years. More tourists, more crowds, fewer Dutch people can afford to live in the centre. But the first time I was also staying in a very different area, near Oosterpark, so this is all very new to me. Then I was in The Hague in 2016 for the Crossing Borders festival, where I was invited to talk about my book that had just been published in Dutch translation. What I remember most from The Hague is the Mauritshuis, I must say. 

What where your expectations of spending time in this residency? 
I expected that it was going to be a lot calmer than at home, and I was both looking forward to that and a little nervous because it can be quite strange going from one extreme to the other. Depending on what kind of phase you are going through, being away from home can be great or can cause a lot of anxiety. But the stay in Amsterdam turned out to be very peaceful. Of course, it's very different from residencies where you are staying with other artists, but I met quite a few people connected to the book trade, and it was just the amount of socialising that I needed then. 

How does the experience of being in Amsterdam translate in your work?
Unfortunately I can't say too much about that because I'm at the beginning of a project and I'm always very superstitious about telling people about it at this stage. But I can tell you this: I had an idea about something I wanted to work on before I left. However, there was absolutely no structure, and being away has helped me figure that out. Things have sort of naturally fallen into place. They have found an order that seems both clear and manageable. So Amsterdam has really helped me put my ideas together, and I would like the city to appear somewhere in the next novel. In my previous books, there was always one essential chapter that took place in a city other than where the rest of the plot was unfolding. So that could be the Amsterdam chapter!

In 2017-2018, the Foundation for Dutch Literature focuses intensively on promoting Dutch literature in France. Under the title Les Phares du Nord the foundation endeavours to achieve an extensive growth of Dutch translations in French and to make Dutch authors more visible in France. This campaign is part of the cultural season Oh! Pays-Bas. The Dutch counterpart of Les Phares du Nord is L’automne sera français. It provides for an intercultural meeting with French literature in Amsterdam. All three writers staying in the residency are interviewed by literary critic Margot Dijkgraaf at the Athenaeum Spui bookshop: next up is Atiq Rahimi on the 1st of October and for the 19th of November the encounter with Olivier Rolin is scheduled.

Would you like more about the cultural cooperation with France? Contact our advisor Lisa Grob

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