25 projects selected during fourth edition scout nights

During the scout nights, which took place this spring in five locations across the country, 59 young makers pitched their work to qualify for a grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL. From all the pitches, 25 projects were selected to advance to the second phase of the Talent Development Grant Scheme.

26 April 2023

During this fourth edition, scouts Philip van Vorstenbosch (Zwolle), Wouter Pocornie (Amsterdam), Shirin Mirachor (Rotterdam), Dina Ziad (Utrecht) and Glenda Pattipeilohy (Eindhoven) each selected up to 15 makers who were given the chance to present. A jury was also assembled for each pitch location, with experts who together cover a wide field of expertise.

As in previous years, applicants are versatile creators. They do not relate to just one discipline, but utilize different media to make and share work with audiences. The selected makers convinced the jury with the quality of their work, environmental awareness and positioning, development capability, and the potential distinctiveness of their work within the creative industry. The jury is enthusiastic about the clear artistic signature of the selected makers and the link they make to the themes in terms of content.

There appears to be a great need for research into ‘roots’ and identity.

Dina Ziad, scout in Utrecht: ‘The quality of the pitches was high, and there were many strong personalities with their own stories. It was striking that there appears to be a great need for research into “roots” and identity. This is a trend you see a lot at the moment in general – perhaps especially within my network – but I noticed a strong need to be seen and heard. In a number of pitches, makers literally spoke of “we are here too”. That does affect me. We saw the themes of identity and biculturalism come up several times

Photo: Derek Zomer
Photos: Derek Zomer

The scout nights have been organized since 2019 and take place within the framework of the Talent Development Grant Scheme. These pitch moments are aimed at designers and makers who have not completed degree studies in design or architecture. In this way, the Fund enables designers and makers from different social, economic and cultural backgrounds to professionalize their design practice and develop it further artistically.

The fact that scout nights are of great value to makers was evident at many of the sessions, incluidng the one in Utrecht. Dina Ziad: ‘Over the past few years, I have noticed that self-taught makers really benefit from a network of makers and commissioning clients, presentation spaces and curators/programme makers in order to develop further. Many self-taught makers and people with an mbo educational background have a less organized network than alumni of, say, the HKU. During the scout night in Utrecht, two makers connected with each other. They currently have a joint exhibition at Atay Atelier – the venue for the pitch night. New connections have been made and I really like to see that happening.’

Photos: Lizzy Zaanen
Photos: Lizzy Zaanen
Photo: Lizzy Zaanen

The makers selected during the scout nights each receive € 1,000 to draw up a development plan that will take them into the second phase of the Talent Development Grant Scheme. In this second phase the development plans will be assessed by the grant scheme’s advisory committee, together with the plans from makers selected in the first phase as part of the Talent Development Grant Scheme. The final selection of makers who will receive a talent development grant of € 25,000 from the Fund will be announced this summer.

Photo above: Lizzy Zaanen