What do the election programs say about art and culture?

You will meet few people in Rotterdam politics who do not consider art and culture important. All parties in our statement agree that an accessible and strong cultural offer in the city is crucial, but there are divided opinions about what that offer should be and what it should aim to achieve. And of course about what it must cost.

After the crisis

D66, Groenlinks, PvdA, PvdD and Volt stand up for it recovery and the growth of Rotterdam’s cultural sector. For leisure activities, personal development, connection in the community and making Rotterdam more attractive. If it costs more municipal money, they open the wallet with love: “Culture is an investment”, said party leader Ruud van der Velden (PvdD) in cultural debate, “no expense.” He wants a structural increase in the culture budget, perhaps up to 25 percent. D66 wants the tourist tax to go to the culture budget by default. Groenlinks wants a Rotterdam film fund to be set up.

According to PvdD, Groenlinks, D66, Socialisten010, Bij1 and especially PvdA, a strengthening of the sector should also mean that the lives of creators become more secure. The poor working conditions, sparse freelance assignments and a ten-second atmosphere have not only ensured that there is not a gram of fat on the bones of culture creators, but also contribute to an unsafe working environment. For example, a replaceable force is less likely to reveal the boss’s behavior, then gave René Geerlings the list leaders along on the aforesaid evening in Arminius. The PvdA argues for an independent tariff of at least 35 euros per hour for municipal tasks. They want that together with D66 percentage scheme visual art1 reintroduction, whereby a fixed part of the municipal construction budget must go to the purchase or commissioning of art.

All of the above parties want to bear the cost of performing Code of Fair Practiceat bl.a reasonable compensation must guarantee, continue to cover structurally. D66 wants to test compliance with the code for this.

Diversity and inclusion

Despite all the efforts, manifestos, codes and consultations of recent years, the sector is still far from finished, according to Bij1, Denk, D66, PvdA, Groenlinks and PvdD. accessible enough. In order to make the offer and the public more diverse, it is necessary to take the donors as a starting point, they write. Diversity remains or becomes a ‘priority’, but it rarely becomes more concrete than the goals already in the electoral programs.

However, these parties have found that it is easier to apply for grants, and they want to help decision-makers with that. Presented in 2021 Manifest Culture / Inclusive is fully embraced by Bij1 and PvdA. They want a broader adoption of the document. Denk believes that diversity and expanding the audience should be at the heart of any assessment. Christenunie especially wants the money to go to amateur art and project support. 50plus wants a wider range during office hours.

That housing shortage for artists and creators, for D66, PvdA, Bij1 and 50plus, this means that the social properties must be able to be used more of them, instead of being sold to the highest bidder.

Liveable, D66, Bij1, PvdA, CU, SP, Denk, Groenlinks and PvdD want it cultural offerings in the neighborhoods is amplified. For example, the PvdA wants a physical space for culture in all parts of the city, whether it is in a library, town hall or school, and SP talks about small theaters spread across the city.

The new Bij1 party sees, to put it mildly, most room for improvement: the party is in favor of a complete revision of cultural policy. According to them, the art that is now subsidized is not a good reflection of society, especially white and western. To also give the now-ignored decision-makers a chance, the party wants a new, bottom-up distribution of the money. Conditions on audience numbers and revenue must be released, museums must become free and ethnic-profiling public research must be scrapped. Like the rest of the industry, museums be decolonized as a condition of grant. Robbed art must be returned, and the perspective of former colonies must be brought to the fore.

too awake

At the other end of the spectrum, it all sounds like a nightmare for Liveable Rotterdam. According to them, the cultural life in Rotterdam is ‘much too awake’ and should be available again for the ‘ordinary Rotterdammer’. According to them, awarding grants should have absolutely nothing to do with diversity, but should be based entirely on quality – two things that seem to contradict each other. The focus must be shifted from the center to the neighborhoods and if more money becomes available, they must go to Diergaarde Blijdorp. Councilor Thomas Roskam gets a creep when Coolsingel decides if and which culture is important, he said in the culture debate. He would rather see the neighborhoods themselves go over it, via referendum or a larger role for district councils.

VVD and CDA are also not very enthusiastic about expanding budgets. VVD ‘takes culture seriously’, but also primarily to improve the business climate, for example. To get some more space in the budget, VVD wants to get rid of the money laundering, as it is called Boijmans. The party wants the city to start a lobby in The Hague to make Boijmans one Rijksmuseum to make. They are supported by the Christian League.

CDA councilor Christine Zandberg in Arminius had to think about the question of whether the CDA will also make more money available for culture. “Well … no is too sour, but it’s too easy to say yes.”

D66, PvdA and Volt want an urban museum that tells the story of Rotterdam. The extension and housing of the Museum Rotterdam have been proposed. The Think variant is a migration museum: “Immigration has given the city its current character,” the party writes, something they believe all city residents should pay more attention to.


Rotterdam as a dance city, especially D66, Volt and Leefbaar (!) Is music to your ears. Volt makes campaign films about the small hours and D66 argues for a major revision of the night policy. They want more types of night permits and ten new 24-hour locations. Together with Groenlinks, these parties want to designate specific locations to make a night mecca, such as the M4H area.

Liveable Rotterdam also wants more entertainment areas for ‘the Rotterdam party animals.’ The students must also be better able to put the flowers out in their own city, the party writes. In a wider range of nightclubs and party cafes, but especially at a resurrection dance parade.

Flexibility and adaptation are mainly lacking in current policy, according to Leefbaar, VVD and Bij1. Almost everyone emphasizes that local residents should not be victims of nightlife. Socialisten010 wants to get rid of the ‘patronization’ of the clubs and Denk also feels a bit of chaos: “We live in a 24/7 society.”

VVD does not want more shisha lounges in Rotterdam because they would be a hotbed of crime. The liberal colleagues in D66 make it a point to want to combat the ‘stigma’ of water pipe lounges. According to them, serious incidents are ‘not normative for the whole industry’ and they argue for better enforcement of all ‘sluggish entrepreneurs’.


Party party D66 wants Rotterdam to become the event city of the Netherlands. The CDA wants to bring two giga events, such as the start of the Tour de France, to the city every ten years. Leefbaar, Volt and Socialisten010 are happy with the fact that festivals are arranged in parks. VVD, Groenlinks, SP, CDA, PvdD, Christenunie, 50plus and Bij1 do not like it. Parks should always be public, they believe, and they do not deserve to be plowed regularly. D66 will take the pressure off the parks by designating other sites and linking them to broader permits. PvdA and Denk say that they especially want to think carefully about how and when.

Liveable Rotterdam is the only party in our inventory that is against a fireworks ban.

Series: What to choose?

Vers Beton summarizes the many selection programs in the series ‘What is there to choose from’. In this way, readers can at once find out what the plans of the political parties are in terms of themes such as housing, economy, climate, mobility and coexistence.

We look at election programs or attitudes from Leefbaar Rotterdam, VVD, D66, GroenLinks, CDA, PvdA, Partiet for Dyrene, 50PLUS, ChristenUnie, SP, Denk, Socialisten010, Volt and Bij1.

Vers Beton believes that it is important that all Rotterdammers can be well-informed, which is why this series of articles is not behind a hard payment wall. You can support us and read unlimited by becoming a member.

See also what you can choose from on other themes!

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