Third edition scout nights shows great potential

During four scout nights in March, 40 young makers pitched their work to qualify for a grant from the Creative Industries Fund NL. Twenty-five of them were selected for the next round: each one of them makers with great potential and the ambition to let a different sound be heard in the cultural sector and beyond.

Last month, the Fund organized scout nights as part of the Talent Development Grant Scheme for the third year in a row. As in previous editions, the scout nights were brimming with diversity, creativity and dreams. Five scouts managed to reach a large number of makers who have largely developed their own skills in their profession.

The scouts were each linked to a different city: Saïd Belhadj in Utrecht, Jess Oberlin in Eindhoven, Shirin Mirachor in Rotterdam, Wouter Pocornie in Amsterdam and Philip van Vorstenbosch in Zwolle. The scout night planned in Eindhoven was merged with the one in Utrecht due to a limited number of applications. A scout night was organized in Zwolle for the first time.

Philip van Vorstenbosch on scout nights: ‘It’s a really cool process! Makers who discover themselves in a new way and also feel they are being taken seriously. This was also evident on the scout night, where the makers clearly felt tension. It’s a good sign, because it shows that the makers take their product and their process incredibly seriously, and then to make yourself so vulnerable is really wonderful to see. I saw fashion makers, jewellery designers, visual designers, clothing graffiti artists and more. A great diversity of creativity and a group of people who are only too eager to continue with this passion. Brilliant how we were able to connect to this!'

A person gives a presentation with accompanying display to a panel of judges
Scout Night Rotterdam. Photo: Sandra Zegarra Patow
Scout Night Rotterdam. Photos: Sandra Zegarra Patow
Scout Night Utrecht. Photos: Charlotte Plas

By means of the scout nights, the Fund wants to reach a group of makers who are much less visible in the cultural sector. These makers in particular let a different sound be heard than the established order, and know how to bring other kinds of topical themes to the attention with their work.

The participants were nervous but also inspired by each other.

Wouter Pocornie, scout in Amsterdam: ‘In addition to a role in the recruitment and selection of emerging talents, I was also involved in programming the afternoon/evening itself. We opted for a DIY-like location in Amsterdam Zuidoost. For the programme and the jury, I put forward young people from my network. This setting had a positive impact in several ways. The participants were nervous but also inspired by each other, by the surroundings and by the musical accompaniment and catering provided by young, self-taught, creative locals. For these young people, it was in itself also inspiring to experience indirectly that the world of funds is not just an anonymous, faraway happening. And, hopefully, the Fund has been inspired to run a programme more often with a hands-on approach in a tucked-away place, within a community that rarely connects with the Fund. I have received a lot of positive feedback from colleagues, the participants from all over the city and the local youth who were part of the programme.’

Scout Night Amsterdam. Photo: Wouter Pocornie
Scout Night Amsterdam. Photo: Wouter Pocornie

follow-up procedure
The development plans of the 25 selected makers will be assessed in the second round by the advisory committee of the Talent Development Grant Scheme, together with the plans of makers selected in the first round as part of the regular procedure. The final selection of makers who will receive a talent development grant of € 24,000 from the Fund will be announced in early August 2022.