This year’s municipal spending on arts and culture in the Netherlands is anticipated to total nearly 1.7 billion euros, 3.7 percent down from 2012. The per capita amount is reduced from 103 to 98 euros.
By reducing net spending on arts and culture, municipalities will save 63 million euros this year. In 2011 and 2012, Dutch municipal authorities also cut back on arts and culture, though less rigidly. In the period 2004-2010, spending on arts and culture had increased annually.
Two thirds of Dutch municipalities reduce spending on arts and culture in 2013, in one third spending on arts and culture increased or remained the same. Municipalities are – to a large extent – free to decide how much they spend because there is no statutory obligation. Hence, the cutbacks are not based on a national austerity policy, but rather the result of decisions made by individual municipalities.
Per capita spending highest in large municipalities
Generally, per capita spending on arts and culture tends to be higher in large municipalities. The four major Dutch cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, where 13 percent of the Dutch population live, account for 28 percent of net spending on arts and culture. Per capita spending in these municipalities amounts to approximately 207 euros, i.e. more than twice the nationwide average.
Spending on arts and culture relatively high in smallest municipalities
With an average of nearly 100 euros per resident, the smallest municipalities spend a relatively high amount on arts and culture, because four of the six municipalities with fewer than 5,000 residents belong to the West Frisian Islands. These municipalities have many cultural facilities to accommodate tourism.