Never Grow Up!
Dutch film, literature and performing arts for young audiences
_T_hroughout 2019, Never Grow Up! presents an abundance of Dutch film, literature and performing arts for young audiences in the United States. A wide range of work from the Netherlands will be presented and shared at festivals, conferences and other platforms, all representing a respect for young people and dedication to youth culture as an autonomous art form.
Never Grow Up! is a joint effort of Dutch Performing Arts, the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York, Eye International, Netherlands Film Fund, Cinekid, Dutch Foundation for Literature, and DutchCulture. The program aims to stimulate the dissemination and visibility of Dutch youth arts as well as cultural exchange and partnerships with renowned US-based presenters and organizations.
Throughout 2019, Dutch film, literature, (music) theater and dance that caters to young audiences and families is presented at events and venues such as IPAY Showcase, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Kennedy Center, New York International Children’s Film Festival and Brooklyn Book Festival. Presenters and agencies are invited to attend screenings, readings and performances, meet directors, writers and performers, and engage with representatives of Dutch expert organizations to discuss opportunities for collaboration and exchange.
“Robot XS” by NTjong © Bowie Verschuren – Dutch IPAY Showcase
Research conducted by the World Health Organization and Unicef shows that Dutch children are among the happiest in the world. What sets Dutch kids apart, is that they have a supportive environment at home, with friends and also at school. Dutch parents give a lot of support and have mild control. There is an egalitarian climate at school, teachers are not authoritarian but accept the feelings of pupils, and pupils trust teachers. This respect for young people and their views on the world is also reflected in the themes, genres and wealth of ideas found in Dutch arts for young audiences.
Dutch youth arts are known for their artistry and high production value while often tackling challenging subjects, ranging from the commercial to the chaotic, the playful to provocative and poetic, the silly to the serious, and everything in between. In the Netherlands, filmmakers, writers and performers take children and their personal experiences seriously. Unafraid to take artistic risks, publicly-funded makers in particular like to go off the beaten path of typical children’s stories and address topical issues head-on. At the same time, Dutch youth arts are characterized by their sense of humor, playfulness and light take on things, and are equally enjoyed by grown-ups.
Spotlight on performing arts
The year of Dutch focus kicks off with the presence of eight Dutch theatre and dance companies at international conference IPAY Showcase. The event takes place from 15-19 January 2019. The Dutch companies will present their youth productions to an audience of 500 theatre professionals.
Boomer Stacey, IPAY’s Executive Director: “It is an honor for IPAY to host the Dutch performances at Showcase 2019. The artists and their work is a small but exciting representation of a wide scene of artists and companies creating work for young people. We are honored to plant these creative seeds within our professional community and look forward to what may grow out of this, as well as the seeds sown in this year of Dutch focus.”