High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

International Activities of Dutch Artists Return to Pre-Covid Levels
© DutchCulture/Erin Chang
© DutchCulture/Erin Chang © DutchCulture/Erin Chang

International Activities of Dutch Artists Return to Pre-Covid Levels

In 2022, nearly 3,000 Dutch artists and organisations took part in over 14,400 cultural activities in 113 countries. With almost twice as many activities as in the two previous years during the corona pandemic, international cultural participation recovered. DutchCulture, the network and knowledge organisation for international cultural cooperation, identifies important trends.

The DutchCulture Database tracks the work of Dutch artists and cultural organisations worldwide. The database aims to look at the overall trends in how Dutch artists move internationally. This helps us understand the Netherlands' cultural impact around the globe. Each year, we produce a Database Mapping. This mapping looks at the activities of artists over the last year and analyses the key directions of cultural activities.

In 2022, we saw a strong start to recovery after two years of travel and gathering restrictions. Activity levels have risen and artists once again can travel internationally at near 'normal' levels, although world events continue to affect international collaborations. This year we explore the theme of how Dutch artists are finding their 'new orbit' in a transforming international cultural field, amongst the changes and challenges of the past few years.

In 2022, we tracked 14,409 cultural activities by Dutch artists and cultural organisations around the globe. 2,963 Dutch artist organisations were involved in cultural projects in 2,548 cities in 113 countries. With nearly twice as many activities as the previous two years, this is the first year we have seen a strong recovery in international cultural participation. Likewise, only 3% of activities were online in 2022, indicating that live activities are once again in full force.

Over 7,000 venues hosted Dutch artists and organisations across 2022. Events such as festivals, biennales, fairs, and conferences continue to act as focal points, attracting Dutch artists. Above are the top 50 cultural events based on the number of activities at each event.

Dutch artists participated in all sorts of cultural activities in 2022. Nine of the eleven disciplines grew in size this year, another indicator of a returning international cultural scene. Concerts and screenings are by far the most frequent.

The top countries remain quite stable, with Germany, the United States, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom retaining their top spots.

Major metropolitan areas remain key hubs for Dutch artists. Across disciplines, the most popular cities in 2022 were Berlin, Paris, London, New York, and Tokyo.

In 2022, 2,963 artists and cultural organisations participated in cultural activities abroad. We tracked artists from 232 Dutch cities and towns. The number of internationally active Dutch artists increased by 8% compared to 2021, and the number of internationally active Dutch cities increased by 18%. This is another indication that international cultural activities are returning to their pre-Covid levels. The four main Randstad cities continue to act as clusters for internationally-active artists, with artists from these areas making up 67% of all internationally active artists.

We collect information from a variety of different sources. These include our partners at the Dutch embassies and consulates, Dutch cultural foundations, directly from artists and organisations, and through our own desk research. We want to thank our partners for their help in collecting this information. Through our MyDC portal, artists and organisations can add activities directly to the database. We have seen significant portal growth in the last year, with over 300 new MyDC users.

This article first appeared on DutchCulture.

View the Database Mapping 2022 in detail

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