Amsterdam’s new “We Are Public” addresses arts-funding gap

Posted on: October 30, 2014

In Thursday’s (10/30) International New York Times, Nina Siegal writes that following government cuts of 25 percent to the arts in the Netherlands in early 2014, Amsterdam artist-entrepreneurs have launched an initiative called “We Are Public,” in which subscribers sign up for access to “30 performances or other cultural events in Amsterdam for €15, or $19, a month…. Fifty percent of the membership fees … go directly to the participating cultural groups.… By Sept. 1, We Are Public had 2,850 subscribers and had signed up 45 cultural institutions, including the Concertgebouw concert hall, De Appel art center, the Foam photography museum, and theater companies … We Are Public is giving a boost … when traditional sources of support have dwindled.… Some of the organizations with smaller cuts merely had to tighten belts to cope, but at least two dozen groups were depleted of funds and had to shut down almost overnight…. Budget cuts have led arts institutions to change their fundraising strategies, try to increase revenue through ticket sales and other activities, and seek new models for cultivating interest in their offerings.” We Are Public hopes to have 10,000 members by the end of 2015 and expand to other Dutch cities.

Posted October 30, 2014