National culture funds on working visit to Caribbean region

In the first week of April, a working visit was made to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom by the joint national culture funds. The Restoration Fund was also part of the delegation. On behalf of the Fund, head of grant programmes Joris van Ballegooijen participated in the trip and conducted interviews with potential applicants.

26 April 2023

In 2022, the six national culture funds together with the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund Caribbean Region conducted a pilot, with the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund acting as a liaison point for the community on the islands and the funds. The aim of the pilot was to raise awareness of the funds in the Caribbean region. What the funds have to offer the creative and cultural sector on the islands is actually relatively unknown. Most of the Creative Industries Fund NL’s grant schemes, for example, are also open to applications from makers and institutions from the Caribbean part of the Kingdom. But in practice, the number of applications lags behind in relative terms.

Network lunch and Meet & Greet, Curaçao

introduction and exploration
The working visit was therefore all about getting acquainted and exploring. On Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba, activities such as meet & greet events with the funds were organized for this purpose. Interest in the sessions was extremely high. One-to-one meetings were later held with potential applicants. Several initiatives were also visited such as the Kaya Kaya festival in Willemstad and cultural initiative Stichting Rancho in Oranjestad on Aruba. Also very special was the visit to the Fund-supported project Farm to Crafts by Cleo de Brabander on Curaçao, and the Terramar museum on Bonaire, where the Fund supported a VR project from the Open Call Research Act & Reflect.

Terramar museum, Bonaire
Visiting the Otrobanda neighborhood with the team from Kaya Kaya, Curaçao
Stichting Rancho, Aruba
Farm to Crafts, Curaçao

From the perspective of the Fund, it is interesting to see how the youngest generation of makers is currently manifesting and organizing itself on the islands. The ambitions and drive of these makers is high, while the circumstances are not always easy due to the scale and lack of a strong discourse. It is the ambition of the Fund to focus on better outreach to this group of makers in the coming years.

Photos: Ka Yan Tang