creative industries fund nl
A recap of the Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco meet-ups

A recap of the Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco meet-ups

22 February 2018

The Fund organized a series of meet-ups centred around the current Open Calls Russia, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco. Four speakers from each of the four countries shared their insights relating to metropolitan issues. They gave examples of the ways in which local initiatives are approaching these issues from a cultural and design perspective. There were opportunities for the audience to ask questions and exchange knowledge with Fund staff, the speakers and cultural attachés.
We look back at the sessions here and provide a link to the Frequently Asked Questions about the Open Calls, which close on 7 March.

During the Russia meet-up, Vera Leonova, deputy dean at the Graduate School of Urbanism in Moscow, provided an overview of Russian urban development in the last decade. She sketched a picture of rapid urbanization in a country where three-quarters of the population live in urban areas. She showed how appearance and daily life is determined by the modernist approach of Soviet Russia and the subsequent euphoria of free-market principles. Vera demonstrated how these initiatives – originated for instance by residents, designers and cultural organizations – deal with these challenges. And how bottom-up practices compare with the top-down way of working. The questions from the audience made it clear that a collaboration with Russia demands good preparation for working in a complex context that requires the necessary flexibility.

Meet-up Russia with Vera Leonova, Deputy Dean Vysokovsky Graduate School of Urbanism, Moscow. Photo: Khalid Amakran

Serhan Ada, associate professor in Cultural Policy & Management at the Bilgi University Istanbul, began his lecture with a map of Turkey. The aim was to emphasize that, besides Istanbul, Turkey has other cities where interesting developments are taking place in the area of culture. In Istanbul, the creation of a local cultural policy began when the city wanted to stand as a candidate for European Capital of Culture 2010. Local cultural policy is still being developed. For instance, the city was recently selected to be UNESCO's City of Design and more and more bottom-up initiatives are being generated to involve citizens and other stakeholders in the development of the city. After Istanbul, Serhan Ada talked about the city of Izmir and how it has become an attractive city for designers, makers and cultural institutions. By combining significant local investments in culture with the developments for the city's major port, Izmir has managed to put culture on the map. The third example was the city of Mardin, where in recent years an increasing number of interdisciplinary projects have been initiated that focus on the contemporary significance of the city's material and immaterial heritage.

Meet-up Turkey with Serhan Ada, associate professor Bilgi University Istanbul, Cultural Policy & Management. Photo: Khalid Amakran

May Al-Ibrashy, founder of the Built Environment Collective-Megawra, introduced the third session about Egypt. One of the topics in her lecture dealt with the various ways in which the inhabitants of Cairo, these days a militarized city, are trying to claim the city for themselves. Examples of graffiti, mapping projects and sports events demonstrated how these initiatives aim to appropriate the city. In Egypt, too, a turbulent mix of social, spatial and economic factors lies at the root of urban issues; housing, migration, brain drain and economic instability. May emphasized that in Egypt there is an immense potential of knowledge, vision and experience to draw on for a collaboration. Working together with Egyptian partners is very important for getting meaningful projects up and running. It does ask for an open attitude and not a mind or project that is set on 'helping'. Working in Egypt also means that you need to work with legal complexities, such as every-changing legislation and restrictive regulations for NGOs. Working out how the collaboration between Dutch and Egyptian partners is to be arranged, in terms of content and finances, is also essential.

Meet-up Egypt with May Al-lbrashy, oprichter Build Environment Collective - Megawra, Caïro. Photo: Khalid Amakran

Amina Mourid and Hicham Bouzid from Think Tanger provided a concise historical overview of Morocco's rich urban development: from long before Western intervention and the time of the various dynasties to the influence of the post-colonial era. They then zoomed in on current social and urban development in the North Moroccan port city of Tanger. Think Tanger is a platform that plays an active role in involving various stakeholders in thinking about new forms of urban development. They do this by means of artistic and cultural productions, sharing knowledge and generating ideas within various coalitions. After an introduction about the specific situation in Tanger, Bouzid and Mourid elaborated on current planning for the region around the city. In the coming years, three ville nouvelles are being realized, linked to the development of a number of free-trade zones. Bouzid and Mourid explained that it is difficult for citizens to get a picture of the various area developments. As an example, everyone in Tanger was surprised in the spring of 2017 when it was announced that a smart city is being realized on the east side of the city with investments from China. These developments often lack a social, sustainable and inclusive perspective and as a result, the local population feels only limited involvement in urban development. The platform aims to change this situation by involving the inhabitants, politicians and other stakeholders in its activities.

Meet-up Morocco with Amina Mourid en Hicham Bouzid van Think Tanger. Photo: Khalid Amakran
frequently asked questions

Is it your intention to submit a project plan for the Open Call Russia, Turkey, Egypt and/or Morocco? Many of the questions asked during the four meetings can be found here with the answers.

Photo: Khalid Amakran

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77 applications received for 1 and 2-year Activities Programme 2021-2022

15 October 2020

The Fund has processed 77 applications within the grant programme 1 and 2-year Activities Programme 2021-2022. 17 organizations have taken the opportunity to submit two proposals simultaneously: one for a 2-year programme of activities and one for a 1-year programme of activities. All proposals will be evaluated shortly by the same committee.
The advisory committee members 1 and 2-year Activities Programme are:
Nathanja van Dijk (chair), director Kunsthal
Pieter van Boheemen, reseacher Rathenau Institute
Ella Buzo, programmer digital culture Tetem
Ama van Dantzig, co-founder Dr. Monk, social innovation office
Anne Dessing, architect Studio Anne Dessing
Daan Petri, architect Hootsmans architecture office
Annelies Thoelen, head programme Z33, Hasselt
Thomas Castro, curator/conservator grafic design Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

A significant sum has been requested, in total € 12.3 million, € 8.3 million for a 2-year activity programme and € 4 million for a 1-year programme. The subsidy ceiling for 2-year programmes is € 2,000,000. The subsidy ceiling for 1-year programmes is € 1,300,000. In view of the available budgets, the advisory committee will have to make astute choices.

The average amount requested for a 1-year programme of activities is around € 80,000, while for a 2-year programme of activities it is on average € 150,000 per year. It is expected that approximately 17 institutions will be supported for 1 year and 7 institutions for 2 years.

selection announcement
The meetings of the advisory committee will take place in late October. On 6 November 2020, the institutions will be informed about the intended decision of the Fund's Board. The decisions will follow in the first week of December 2020.

1 and 2-year subsidy
With the 1 and 2-year Activities Programme grant programme, the Creative Industries Fund NL is providing subsidies to cultural institutions that would like to implement a 1 or 2-year programme that contributes to the advancement of excellent quality, development and professionalization of the contemporary creative industries within the Kingdom. Programmes for 2-year support must be of national significance. Programmes for 1-year support must at least be of regional significance.

next rounds
In 2021, there will be a new round for 1-year activities programmes that take place within the calendar year 2022. In 2022, there will once again be a round where both 1-year and 2-year support for activities programmes can be applied for.

Get a Grant – a short, powerful application

14 October 2020

Are you an artist or designer starting up your own practice? Perhaps the funds can help you on your way with a financial boost for talent development. 'Check the websites and know that there are friendly people working there who want to contribute their thoughts. Nothing to be afraid of,' says art teacher and radio curator Femke Dekker during the Get a Grant Event, organized last Thursday by the Creative Industries Fund NL and Mondriaan Fund via Teams. Some 140 participants joined this digital variant of Get a Grant. For the last five years, it has been a recurring event full of tips & tricks about applying for financing from a fund as a starting artist or designer. Moderated by Dekker, artists, designers and fund staff once again talked about opportunities for starters.
'Take the time to find your own voice. What is your position as a maker? Hone your plans, by discussing them with others as well. But most of all: write in giant letters on the wall what your own main goal is, your greatest passion, your plan. And keep that in mind when you make an application.' This was the advice from performance artist Mylan Hoezen. He graduated from the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen, and in 2019 he received a Stipendium for Emerging Artists from the Mondriaan Fund.

'Write in giant letters on the wall what your greatest passion is'

'Everyone has their own method,' he says. 'Before I completed the forms, I filled notebooks with my writing, all the while looking back at the capitals on the wall – my dot on the horizon. My tip is this: get started with your profession and don't put off submitting an application indefinitely. At that time, I also worked in a bar to earn my money, at all kinds of weird times. It was pretty 'messy', but waiting for the right moment makes no sense, because it won't come. The great advantage of a contribution is that it gives you time to focus on your work and development; it takes your professional practice further.'

immense variation: from installation, painting and fashion to digital design
Niels Engel, project officer at the Mondriaan Fund, and grants officer Sharvin Ramjan at the Creative Industries Fund NL, say that the two funds complement each other (and sometimes overlap to some extent) when it comes to a contribution for talent development. For pronounced crossovers, the funds jointly have a staff member for Interdisciplinary Projects.

'We like to keep an open mind and employ a broad definition of artists,' says Engel. 'Starters in the first four years of their practice can apply to us, in all possible disciplines, from painting or performance to audiovisual installations. Nor is it exclusively reserved for people with an art academy background. Artists who followed a design education can apply as well. And also starters without this specific educational background. What's important is that you are able to clearly demonstrate a professional artistic position and practice, and a professional profile.' Niels Engel tells us that you can apply to the Mondriaan Fund all year round for the Stipendium for Emerging Artists. He has noticed an increase in the number of applications since the coronavirus crisis. 'This year, in October, there are already 200. Approximately 40% are successful and receive a grant.'

Sharvin Ramjan has this to say: 'The difference with the Mondriaan Fund is that the Creative Industries Fund NL is specially intended for designers in the first four years of their professional practice. Within this group there is an enormous variety, ranging from fashion, product design and architecture to the application of new technology in digital culture. Every year we have one Talent Development application round, and the deadline is usually in March. Of the 200 or so applications we receive, some 60 go into a second round and between 30 and 40 are awarded grants. Applicants without a diploma from design or art studies can go to the Scout Nights.'

avoid stumbling blocks: endless texts and exaggerated themes
Applying is one thing; obtaining an award succeeds in a fifth to half of cases, and sometimes seems to be an art in itself. For moderator Femke Dekker, this raises the question: which stumbling blocks should you avoid as an applicant?

Ramjan: 'Dos and don'ts? I wouldn't want to name them, because a special application always rises above the patterns of dos and don'ts. Talent development is intended for exploring new avenues, so you shouldn't be putting on blinkers.'

Engel: 'Committees are wary of receiving motivations or explanations from artists that seem to go on for ever. It's better to write something short and powerful. If you're already struggling to make your point, how can a committee understand clearly? And it's best not to dream up major themes if you don't relate to them at all in your work. It's not a prerequisite to talk about sustainability, for example. The work can just as easily be about matter. Don't feel obliged to use big words; a committee will soon see through that.

text and image in one package – compare yourself and be precise
But the point is, as a thinker in images how do you find a short and powerful formulation? Designer Kalle Wolters talks about his method: working together. Since obtaining his bachelor's degree in Illustration & Animation from the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen, he and seven others are part of the collective Studio Knetterijs. In 2018, Knetterijs received a Talent Development grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL for the special publications the collective produces: magazines that turn into posters or from which postcards and also audio works appear. Wolters has this to say: 'Clarify your thoughts, your motivation and your plans by discussing them with others and letting each other read them. This was necessary within our collective to sharpen everyone's role and to name the common identity. But if you work alone as an artist or designer, it is just as important to compare yourself, for example to a colleague who may have been awarded a grant before. Someone who's not too close to you, because if someone like that understands what you're saying, it will come across to the committee as well.'

Question from the audience: what about documentation material? Can you refer to a website or provide a link to videos? Niels Engel of the Mondriaan Fund is clear about this: the smartest thing is to upload everything you want to show together with your application, so that all the committee members are provided with your information in one package and do not need to gather information. The same applies to the Creative Industries Fund NL, where you are asked to upload a portfolio in addition to the motivation for your application.

When asked whether examples of good applications are available, moderator Femke Dekker refers to the websites of both funds. No private documents are shared there, but many examples of awarded grants are highlighted. 'These are inspiring and instructive – have a look at who the people are and seek contact if they appeal to you or you know someone. Colleagues are often willing to help each other. Dare to ask: the funds, but also among yourselves.'


30 projects selected in Design round 4 – 2020

14 October 2020

In the fourth Design round, 30 proposals were awarded grants. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, the Minister made additional funds available. Part of this money has been used by the Fund for the Design grant programme. This allowed all the positively evaluated applications to receive grants. Coordinator Eva Roolker reflects on the round.
general impression
Crafts are at the heart of many selected projects. Jewellery designer Eva van Kempen, for instance, is developing an online, open-source platform to collect and share knowledge about filigree, now that the last Dutch filigree master, Cor Kuijf, is about to retire. By means of this platform, the craft can be preserved and innovated for future generations of jewellery designers and goldsmiths. Craft and technology go hand in hand in the projects of Jannetje Jeanine and Studio Adaptive Skins, which focus respectively on scientific glass-blowing and the development of knitted fabrics using innovative yarns and filaments, a thermoplastic used in 3D printing.
'Outsiderwear', Stichting M-ODE

An eye-catching project in the context of diversity and inclusion is 'Outsiderwear' by Stichting M-ODE. Talented outsider artists with, for example, a mental disability, a psychiatric disorder or a background of homelessness are linked in this project to emerging or established fashion designers, labels and artists. In this way, M-ODE wants to bring together two completely separate circuits – the regular creative industry and the outsider art world –, offer opportunities to makers who are distanced from the employment market, and stimulate more fashion labels and designers to enter into such a collaboration.

'Discourse of a Viral Boundary' is an example of one of the selected projects that is responding well to current events. Artist and designer Pei-Ying Lin and social designer Yi-Fei Chen observe that the knowledge about a virus such as COVID-19 and dealing with it is developing rapidly. According to Lin and Chen, many people cannot keep up with this rapid change at an emotional level. That is why they are investigating whether the objects we use to create a boundary between ourselves and a virus – such as face masks, screens and disinfectants – can also be utilized for the development of consciousness and to accelerate changes in mentality.

Click here for all the projects selected in Design round 4 – 2020

'House of Broken Hearts', Aisha Madu en Studio Pupil

The available budget in this third round was € 525,044; the original budget of € 240,000 was supplemented with € 250,000 from additional funds made available by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, there was underspending in the previous round, as a result of which € 35,044 was added to the available budget for this round. Ultimately 30 of the 71 subsidy applications processed received grants. This brings the percentage of applications receiving grants to 42%.


Creative Industries Fund NL present at Dutch Design Week in virtual form

7 October 2020

In an exceptional year, it promises to be an exceptional Dutch Design Week, one in which it will be quiet in Eindhoven, in stark contrast to all the previous editions. We all know why. Instead of at Sectie-C, in the many studios, or the Klokgebouw, this year's activity is taking place online. Fortunately, the Fund was prepared for this and we can present two online exhibitions during Dutch Design Week.
Talent Tours
By way of short video portraits, 'Talent Tours' provides insight into the thinking and practice of 39 emerging design talents, each of whom is concerned with topical social themes. What are their motives, their doubts and ambitions, and what values do they put first in their work? By offering these design talents, through a talent development grant, the free space for a year to optimally develop themselves artistically and professionally, they can create a meaningful position for themselves in the professional field and in society. Take, for instance, social designer and bio-artist Kuang-Yi Ku, who outlines oppressive future scenarios in which he confronts the public with the question of what is still acceptable when it comes to the influence of medical science on our lives. Or Marwan Magroun, who made a photo series and film in which he wants to refute the stigma that rests on fathers with a migrant background. And Milou Voorwinden, whose research into 3D weaving will hopefully contribute to the move towards sustainability that is so badly needed in the fashion industry.

Chronic Health
We are presenting our other online exhibition 'Chronic Health – Happily ever after?' as part of the Embassy of Health. In 15 projects, in collaboration with Waag, Philips, Máxima MC and U Create, we demonstrate the power of design research in finding answers to questions that have become more urgent than ever in recent months: What do we actually find important for our quality of life? Is it survival, at the cost of everything else we care about? In addition to all the protocols, is there enough room for what visibly does us good? And what about when you look at the bigger picture: the functioning of society, and the liveability of the planet? In the projects being presented, designers work together with healthcare professionals with a forward-looking perspective on a healthy society. For example, design studio Panton, in collaboration with a number of hospitals, developed the 'Medical metro line' that provides insight into treatment processes for all care providers and patients involved. Gabriel Fontana unravelled the competitive and normative sides of team sport with 'Multiform', and presents a more social variant. While Studio Samira Boon, together with the VU and Waag Society, is investigating how the bacterial layer that grows on the surface of the fermented beverage kombucha can be used to create a durable, breathable interior.

practical information
Like the Dutch Design Week, the online exhibitions open on 17 October 2020 and can be seen via the website of the Dutch Design Week and the World Design Embassies. If you happen to be in Eindhoven before that time, take a look at the 39 video portraits in Talent Tours in MU, or if you can't wait, on our Platform Talent website.

The Fund's extra coronavirus measures from 30 September

1 October 2020

Due to tightened coronavirus measures announced by the Cabinet on 28 September, the Fund Office will be closed for all in-person meetings from Wednesday 30 September. This will apply until at least 20 October. The application process for all current grant programmes and open calls continues as usual. If you have questions about your application, a project or event, and possible consequences as a result of COVID-19, you can read the answers to the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 here. You can also find the answers to current frequently asked questions, plus some practical tips for your grant application.
'Safety first,' says director Syb Groeneveld. 'That is why we're moving our daily work practice completely into the digital domain, ranging from committee meetings to the telephone exchange, because we will of course continue to be available. It is the only possibility we have to make a positive contribution in the coming period to reducing the chance of further spread of the virus'.

For this reason, all our public activities at the DDW have also been cancelled or a suitable online alternative for certain activities is being sought. More information will follow in the coming period.

On the Kunsten92 website, an overview (in Dutch) has been made of measures relating to the cultural and creative sector.

An overview of all measures can be found (in Dutch) on the website of the Government.

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