Dutch cultural export in 2014 at a glance

Dutch cultural export in 2014 at a glance

DutchCulture presents the annual overview of the international cultural presence of artists and cultural organisations from the Netherlands.

The Buitengaats | Offshore map is an annual visual presentation of the international dissemination of art and culture from the Netherlands. We have made the map of 2014 together with the designers from Catalogtree in Arnhem.

DutchCulture has registered the international activities of Dutch artists, creatives and organisations in Offshore (Buitengaats) since 1999. What has caught our eye for 2014?

Most important destination: the United States
In 2014, we registered 12,978 activities in Offshore. That is a little less than in the two previous years (13,319 in 2013 and 13,534 in 2012). Music was the sector with the most international performances, with a remarkable increase in the pop/dance genre. And that immediately explains the new number one on the countries chart: the United States. Thanks in part to the tremendous popularity of Dutch DJs, the US elbowed out Germany as most important destination. The United Kingdom, Belgium and France complete the top five.

Practical concerns: the influence of cutbacks
One of the questions we were asked most often in 2014 was: Can you determine what the influence of the cutbacks is on the international activities of Dutch artists and institutes with the help of Offshore?

Fewer activities? Not everywhere
The number of activities in Offshore has been fairly stable for years. A decrease in activities, even for the second year in a row, says little about the extent to which organisations have lowered their international ambitions. The fact is, however, that the number of activities has decreased in almost every discipline, with one big exception: pop/dance, a sector that is less dependent on government subsidies than more traditional disciplines. What is more surprising is a slight increase for dance and photography, where good networks and a favourable reputation seem to strengthen one another.

Fewer artists and organisations?
In times of economising, do fewer artists and organisations go abroad? Compared to 2013, the number of artists and organisations decreased slightly in 2014, but the difference is very small: 3764 in 2014 and 3776 in 2013. Each year we see new ‘frequent travellers’ cropping up, artists and organisations with many international presentations in their discipline. For that matter, we also regularly see names returning, especially with theatre, dance and the visual arts. The contribution of the companies comprising the basic cultural infrastructure of the Netherlands to the total number of international activities has strikingly decreased, however, from 6.7% in 2013 to 4.4% in 2014.

Firmly intertwined with the rest of the world
On the basis of the quantitative data presently available, not only in Offshore, but also for instance at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science and the Performing Arts Fund NL, it is not yet actually possible to give a good answer to the question about the influence of the cutbacks. What we especially see is that artists and organisations from the Netherlands consider the international field a self-evident work terrain. A terrain that they do not quickly give up when the setup and scope of government regulations at home undergo drastic changes. This small country is firmly intertwined with the rest of the world and the cultural sector is no (longer an) exception to that.

What the figures do not show, however, is how institutes and makers have adjusted their strategies to a new reality and the extent to which a shift is taking place in the offering within and between the disciplines. And what consequences this might have for the international visibility of Dutch art and culture in the longer term.

Download the DutchCulture Buitengaats | Offshore map 2014 (PDF)

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