Never Grow Up!: Film, Literature and Performing Arts

Two years of Never Grow Up!:
Dutch film, literature and performing arts for young audiences successful in the United States

Summary

In 2019 and 2020, the Never Grow Up! program presented Dutch film, literature and performing arts for young audiences in the United States. Never Grow Up! was a collaborative venture involving Dutch Performing Arts, Dutch Culture USA, EYE International, Netherlands Film Fund, Cinekid, Dutch Foundation for Literature and DutchCulture. The program aimed to increase the profile and dissemination of Dutch art for young audiences and to promote the exchange and collaboration with American programmers and organizations.
Children and their parents as well as programmers and agents enjoyed the notable art for young audiences produced in the Netherlands at prominent events and venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Chicago and the New York International Children’s Film Festival, and the Bay Area and Brooklyn Book Festival.
A vast range of Dutch art for young audiences was presented in the form of theater performances, film screenings and book launches. When live events were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of the scheduled activities were converted into online presentations and digital fieldtrips for schools.
The program stimulated the creation of new partnerships and exchanges, also in the long term, and it inspired diplomatic missions in other ICB (international cultural policy) priority countries to organize similar events.
Check out the recap video of two years of Never Grow Up!

Multidisciplinary collaboration puts Dutch art for young audiences in the international spotlight

For both theater and film for young audiences, the United States have since many years been an important market with a strong demand and proven opportunities for market growth, knowledge exchange and prestige. More opportunities have also been identified for translated children’s literature. At the initiative of the Dutch Performing Arts (the international promotional program of the Performing Arts Fund NL) and the Consulate-General in New York, the cross-sectoral program Never Grow Up! was launched in 2019, in collaboration with Eye International, Netherlands Film Fund, Dutch Foundation for Literature, and DutchCulture. The organizations joined forces to stimulate the profile and dissemination of Dutch film, literature and performing arts for young audiences in the United States, for a period of at least one year. The program also promoted exchange and collaboration with American programmers and organizations. The organizations contributed in terms of both time, expertise and budget, and DutchCulture allocated joint program resources and program support.

Goals

The project sought to accomplish two goals:
·       To create opportunities for further dissemination of Dutch film, literature and performing arts for young audiences in the United States.
·       To consolidate the positive reputation and visibility of Dutch art and culture for young audiences. Performing activities in the United States is perceived as boosting one’s status, both in the Netherlands and a large part of the world. This benefits the various sections of the Dutch children’s sector, as well as the individual artists and performers. It ultimately results in greater market opportunities for these artistic productions and sectors, and not just in the United States but also across Europe.

Cascade of Dutch films, books and performances for young audiences

The official launch of the cross-sectoral program Never Grow Up! took place at the annual conference of the International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) in January 2019. Eight Dutch theater and dance companies participated in the IPAY Showcase, presenting their shows to an audience of 500 American theater professionals.
Boomer Stacy, Executive Director of IPAY:

‘It is an honor for IPAY to host the Dutch performances at Showcase 2019. Known for their artistry and high production value while often tackling challenging subjects, Dutch performing arts for young audiences ranges from the commercial to the chaotic, the playful to provocative and poetic, the silly to the serious, and everything in between. It is this that we are excited to share with our audiences – memorable, impactful experiences that connect and resonate. 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.’

This launch was followed by a cascade of film screenings, book launches and theater and dance performances produced in the Netherlands. Soon after, the decision fell to prolong the program into 2020 so that emerging opportunities and media coverage could be accommodated fully under this banner. Dutch art for young audiences was presented to the American public at prominent venues and events such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, New York International Children’s Film Festival and the Brooklyn Book Festival. American programmers and agents were notified of performances, presentations and meetups with Dutch artists.
Over the course of the program (2019-2020), work by 76 Dutch artists and companies was presented at 248 cultural activities and events, held at 30 locations on the American east and west coast, spread across 16 cities.

Some of the highlights of two years of Never Grow Up!:

–        For one full season, the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts presented a Dutch focus program, featuring the work of five music, theater and dance companies. When the live shows of two groups had to be cancelled due to COVID-19, these were converted into interactive online performances.
–        The Netherlands, as a ‘friendly neighbor’, was a focus country at the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF). The Friends & Neighbors program presented several shorts and feature films produced in the Netherlands. The films caught the interest of the audience and the media, with sold-out screenings and coverage in the New York Times. The films also won several audience awards before going on a tour of the United States.
–        Author Mylo Freeman attended the Brooklyn Book Festival and several authors attended the San Francisco Bay Book Festival. A new partnership was launched between Querido (Amsterdam) and Levine (New York) publishing houses, and several publishers of the School Library Journal joined forces to form a panel about Dutch children’s books in translation.
–        Music theater company Oorkaan performed 12 times at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York with their award-winning Glimpse, to return in early 2020 to perform several times at the Kennedy Center and gaining TV coverage on NBC.

A full overview of activities, events and highlights can be found on this webpage by scrolling to the bottom or using the search function and “Never Grow Up!”

Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic

As a result of the pandemic, several partners were forced to cancel physical film screenings, book launches and theater and dance performances. Online alternatives were quickly explored, such as online book panels, taped theater performances, activities for children and families, and exclusive film screenings. The virtual fieldtrips organized by the Kennedy Center to offer Dutch performances online to children, their parents and teachers are a good example. Resources were made available to create customized professional and interactive performances that were made available via the Kennedy Center website under the name Virtual Fieldtrips.

Extensive coverage in American media

A special logo was designed and a project website was set up (DutchCultureUSA.com/NeverGrowUp) to help focus attention on the program and to integrate the different disciplines. During the course of the program, the website provided information about the program as well as an overview of the activities and relevant news.
Financial resources of the program and of partners were used to hire local PR specialists with extensive experience in the fields of theater, film and literature for young audiences. Working with communication agencies Sayles & Winnikoff (for the whole project) and Michelle Tabnick PR (performing arts), Never Grow Up! was brought to wide public and media attention. The agencies contributed to formulating a narrative about the unique features of Dutch art for young audiences, and they assisted with tailoring the program to what the American market still lacks and to what would stand out and catch attention. This narrative emphasized how Dutch art for young audiences goes hand in hand with the Dutch approach to childrearing and the way Dutch children are exposed to art and culture from a young age on. A media event was furthermore organized in late 2019 at the Ambassador’s Residence in order to bring current and upcoming program components to the attention of local and national media, and in order to meet the partners in the DC region. The strong narrative, combined with the efforts of the professional PR agencies, resulted in nearly 300 publications in American media, including:

NBC Morning Show featuring Glimpse by Oorkaan
Your Teen Magazine
NY Times about Dutch film during NYICFF
Broadway World
Review of children’s picture and poetry book I Wish
NY Times review of Lampje / Of Salt and Shore by Annet Schaap

Find the full collection of press materials on Google Drive.

The narrative developed for Never Grow Up! provides a strong base that can be used repeatedly in the coming years to support the rollout of comparable programs in other ICB priority countries.
André Haspels, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States in Washington, D.C.:

“Dutch arts created for young audiences relate to their own world of development and coming-of-age: we don’t eschew themes such as sex, gender, divorce or death, which can sometimes be problematic in other countries. Dutch artists and media creators tend to make complicated themes accessible to children and teens. There isn’t always a happy ending and the teenagers are given food for thought.”

 

Long-term collaborations

The activities of the Never Grow Up! program gave a new impetus to existing contacts and brought about new collaborative ventures. The fall of 2018 also saw the different disciplines combined in an international visitors’ program, for the first time. In this way, Never Grow Up! has promoted exchange and collaboration with American programmers and organizations, but also in other countries. In several cases, the parties involved were able to draw attention to the different grants and abundant range on offer in the Netherlands, while also acting as an intermediary. This has resulted in a growing attention for new forms of collaboration and for keeping track of Dutch productions. The combination of the different disciplines turned out to form a clear added value, encouraging cross-fertilization and inspiration between the different sectors. A cultural institute such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), for example, not only programs performing arts for young audiences, but also has a cinema and a children’s film festival, works with literature and spoken word at large-scale performances for teens, and also organizes an exhibition with audio-visual installations and new media under the name Teknopolis. A large-scale and cross-genre approach made it possible to strike a stronger profile, together with the offer of educational activities and arts for young audiences. A visitors’ program involving the theater festival for young audiences in Amsterdam’s De Krakeling theater was combined with a focus on literature at the Dutch Foundation for Literature and with meetings with Cinekid or festival De Betovering. Cordial ties and valuable dialogues were formed between the Dutch project partners, the Dutch artists and the American institutions, and we look forward to further exploring with them the possibilities for collaboration and exchange.
David Kilpatrick, Director of Education Programs and Productions of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts:

‘Our partnerships and communication has made booking in five works from the Netherlands, which traditionally sounds impossible, actually quite easy. Oftentimes when we’re booking work with international artists, we’re looking at the US market and those who are represented by agents. And seeing work that wouldn’t have been on the radar of US agents has meant that we booked in some work that we wouldn’t have found otherwise.’

 

IPAY Showcase 2019, where Never Grow Up! was launched, presented eight theatre and dance companies from the Netherlands(January 2019)

Virtual book panel Winter in Wartime (spring 2020)

winter in wartime

Winter in Wartime – Jan Terlouw at Bay Book Festival

Bam Kids screening of Miffy the Movie (March 2019)

 

Special children’s book event on April 6th featuring I Wish by Toon Tellegen and Ingrid Godon

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the latest book of Toon Tellegen, with illustrations by Ingrid Godon and translated into English from the Dutch by David Colmer, will be featured during a family friendly virtual book event hosted by the DC Public Library.

A virtual event for young readers and families will be held on Tuesday April 6th:

1:30 p.m. | I Wish Book Talk with Author Daniel Handler
Platform:  Turning the Page DC

Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket will host a book talk for I Wish. He will share his reflections on the work, and also on the creations by Takoma Park Education Campus’ fifth graders who created poems and drawings inspired by I Wish.

All details can be found here.

I Wish – written by Toon Tellegen and illustrated by Ingrid Godon in DC Family Reads – virtual event

April 20th: Book release date for POPCORN BOB!

By Maranke Rinck, Illustrated by Martijn van der Linden, Translated by Nancy Forest-Flier 

On April 20th, Popcorn Bob will be released in the United States! An exciting children’s book with wonderful illustrations, translated from the Dutch and published by Levine Querido.

The book is available in all major bookstores online, as well as in your local bookstore easy to locate through Bookshop.

Learn more about the Popcorn Bob Chapter Book series through the video and synopsis below:

Synopsis:

Ellis loves popcorn. Who doesn’t?

But one day her school goes on a healthy eating campaign and her dads decide to follow suit, banning all snack foods from their house, INCLUDING POPCORN. Unfair. Ellis has got to get around that edict, so one night she pops a bag of popcorn out back in the garage…and she’s met with more than just her favorite salty snack. One kernel refuses to pop, and soon it’s sprouted a face, arms, and legs! He introduces himself as Popcorn Bob, and he is NOT in a good mood. (Ever, really.) He’s absolutely ravenous, and no amount of food keeps him from being hangry. Bob causes no end of chaos for Ellis, and she decides to rid herself of him once and for all, except…she actually starts to like him.

A chapter book for all ages, POPCORN BOB is a laugh-out-loud story about the power of friendship, and a perfect bowl of popcorn. 

Popcorn Bob

MARANKE RINCK is an award-winning children’s book author who seeks to make reading and writing fun for the young and old. She often works with her husband, illustrator Martijn van der Linden. They live in a former butcher shop in Rotterdam with their three children. You will not find sausages and meatballs in their house anymore, though; the cold stores are full of manuscripts, drawings and paintings.

MARTIJN VAN DER LINDEN, the illustrator, has won multiple awards including the Dutch national award for best children’s book. His books have been translated into over 12 languages. Martijn works from his home in Rotterdam where he lives with his wife, children’s book writer Maranke Rinck, and their three children.

NANCY FOREST-FLIER is an American-born translator, editor, and writer living and working in the Netherlands. She has translated several adult and children’s novels from Dutch to English, her writing has appeared in many British and American museums, and she has translated for numerous Dutch museums and institutes including the Anne Frank House. She has six children, ten grandchildren, and one cat.

LEVINE QUERIDO

Arthur A. Levine founded Levine Querido in April 2019, after a 23-year tenure as the President and Publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic. He founded Arthur A. Levine Books in 1996, coming over from Knopf Books for Young Readers where he had been Editor in Chief. His determination to bring a diverse selection of “The Best of the World’s Literature for Young People” to American readers was the guiding principal in all of AALB’s publishing since its beginnings, and continues to be the guiding light at Levine Querido. This mission resulted in the introduction to North American audiences of the work of great writers such as J. K. Rowling, Markus Zusak, Nahoko Uehashi, Daniella Carmi, Luis Sepúlveda, and Jaclyn Moriarty. Arthur sees this search for great writers from around the world as a continuum with Levine Querido’s search for diverse, powerful, unique voices and visions from the multitude of cultures closer to home. In addition to overseeing the company, Arthur edits between eight and ten books annually.

Never Grow Up!

Dutch film, literature and performing arts for young audiences

Throughout 2019 and 2020, 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.

What’s on?
Throughout 2019 and 2020, 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


Uniquely Dutch
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.

“We don’t present Hollywood pictures that always end well.” – Anja Krans, Program Manager of Never Grow Up! Read an interview with her here.

A recap of Never Grow Up!: Wowing US audiences with Dutch arts for children

#NeverGrowUp #youngaudiences #TYA #collaboration #multidisciplinary #recap

In 2019 and 2020, the Never Grow Up! program presented Dutch film, literature, (music) theatre and dance for young audiences throughout the US. Remarkable work from the Netherlands wowed and delighted both children and their families, and presenters and agencies at renowned events and venues including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the Chicago and New York International Children’s Film Festivals, the Bay Area and Brooklyn Book Festivals.

A wave of Dutch artistry was showcased in the form of live performances, film screenings and book presentations. Then, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as in-person events were no longer possible, some of the planned activities were re-worked into online presentations and virtual field trips.

Check out our video recap of this exciting multidisciplinary program:

To name just a few of the program’s highlights:

Film

  • The New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) announced a special country focus for the 2019 edition: Friends & Neighbors: Netherlands. The country focus consisted of the world premiere of feature film My Extraordinary Summer with Tess, directed by Steven Wouterlood, which subsequently won the Grand Prize of the festival. In addition, two programs with Dutch shorts screened at the festival. After the festival the two programs were distributed by NYICFF throughout the US.
  • In February 2020 BAMKids presented a Dutch focus: Say Cheese: Best of Dutch Shorts, a special program for young audiences taking place in New York City. The program consisted of 11 Dutch shorts and showed a diverse selection of humorous, dramatic, experimental animation and live action short films from the Netherlands. Say Cheese: Best of Dutch Shorts was part of BAMkids Movie Matinee & Music Series and BAMkids Film Festival 2020.
  • Furthermore, a special Dutch focus was presented by the FACETS Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF), that took place online between November 13 – 22, 2020. No less than eight shorts and one feature film were screened as part of the Dutch focus. Dutch directors Dennis Bots (Angel) and Mirjam Marks (Jovanna for Future) were virtually present at CICFF, taking part in extended Q+A sessions organized by the festival.

Theater for Young Audiences

Literature

We would like to extend a huge thank you to our US partners who helped put Dutch arts for young audiences on the radar. We’re also looking forward to continuing our treasured conversations about opportunities for collaboration and exchange.

Never Grow Up! is a joint effort of Dutch Performing Arts, Dutch Culture USA, Eye International, Netherlands Film Fund, Cinekid, Dutch Foundation for Literature, and DutchCulture, aiming to stimulate the dissemination and visibility of Dutch arts for young audiences as well as cultural exchange and partnerships with renowned US-based presenters and organizations.

For an overview of all activities of the Never Grow Up! program, scroll down or visit: DutchCultureUSA.com/NeverGrowUp.

Dutch keynote on art and young brains at IPAY Showcase in Place

From 4-31 January 2021, IPAY Showcase in Place 3: Superbloom brings shows for young people from all over the world to your screen. After live performances by Netherlands-based theatre and dance companies at IPAY Showcase in 2019 and 2020, the orange streak continues with a virtual keynote by science journalist Mark Mieras on 13 January 2021.

Mind matters: the impact of art on young brains
What happens in young people’s brains when they encounter and engage with art? And how can art make a difference in academic achievement, success in life, and happiness? Tune in for the virtual keynote by Dutch science journalist Mark Mieras on January 13, 2021 at 10:00 (EST), followed by a Q&A. Mieras will also share notable examples of TYA from the Netherlands.

The keynote is powered by Dutch Performing Arts: a program by Performing Arts Fund NL to promote Dutch music, theatre and dance abroad.

Dutch Keynote IPAY SiP3 – image by Dutch Performing Arts

Log in to the IPAY  Showcase in Place 2021 Mobile App for more info and the Zoom link to the keynote. Look for ‘Mind matters: The impact of art on young brains’ in the Kindling Sessions. More detailed info on IPAY and the Dutch keynote can be found here.

Check out the Dutch companies that presented their work at IPAY Showcase the past few years by clicking here.

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington brings Dutch theatre and dance for young audiences to the United States.

Through Virtual Field Trips dedicated to performances by De Dansers and Maas Theater and Dance, Kennedy Center offers exclusive video registrations and interactive assignments for children to enjoy together with their families and teachers. The Virtual Field Trips are developed in collaboration with Dutch Performing Arts and the Dutch Culture USA program by the Netherlands Consulate General in New York.

Virtual Field Trips presenting Dutch theatre and dance for young audiences

Together with the educational team of Kennedy Center, Dutch companies De Dansers and Maas Theater and Dance developed special video registrations of their performances, tailored to children in the U.S. The videos are accompanied by interactive assignments to encourage children to reflect on the themes of the performances, discuss topics with their peers, families and/or teachers, and move and dance along with the performers.

Visit the website of Kennedy Center to get a preview of the Virtual Field Trips of:
De Dansers – ‘Pokon’ dance | 4+

Maas Theater and Dance – ‘EGG-tion HERO’ theatre | 3+

A unique collaboration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, where the two groups faced with travel restrictions and Kennedy Center unable to open for in-person events, quickly pivoted to re-work and recreate their artistic content and adapt the performances into engaging virtual experiences.

More details and stories here.

POKON:

EGG-tion HERO:

37th Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival runs between  NOVEMBER 13 – 22, 2020, offering VIRTUAL SCREENINGS to the greater Chicago area.

The annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival will offer residents and its students the opportunity to safely watch the best international films for kids and teens online.
Use the new CICFF37 virtual festival platform powered by Eventive to watch films and buy festival passes and tickets. A large selection of Dutch children’s films, consisting of 8 shorts and 1 feature film, “Angel” most of them North-American premieres, will be available and part of the Never Grow Up! program, zooming in on Dutch arts and culture for young audiences in the United States, where film, literature and performing arts take center stage throughout 2019-2020.

Engel

About FACETS
The acclaimed FACETS Annual Chicago International Children’s Film Festival (CICFF) is one of only two Oscar-qualifying children’s film festivals in the world. For the first time in the festival’s 37-year history, CICFF37 public and school programs are offered fully online. Due to virtual screening restrictions, CICFF37 is only accessible to those viewing in the Chicagoland area including Cook, Lake, and DuPage Counties in Illinois.

Overview of CICFF 2020 films from the Netherlands and additional viewing details can be found in a dedicated event post:

Chicago International Children’s Film Festival presents Dutch shorts and feature film Angel

Egg-tion HERO by Maas Theater and Dance and Pokon by De Dansers, presented by Kennedy Center and also featured at Kids Euro Festival!

Experience the 2020 Kids Euro Festival from the Comfort of Home!
This year’s virtual EU Kids festival offers children hours of top-quality entertainment and education

From October 17 through November 29, children and their parents across the United States will be able to participate in this engaging online programming. Some events will be live and interactive, whereas others will be available on-demand. And it’s all free. Two Dutch theater productions for young audiences will be featured in partnership with the Kennedy Center and as part of the Never Grow Up! program.

Now in its 13th year, this unique festival’s mission is to provide equal access to the European arts for American families and children of all backgrounds. This is made possible by the 27 European Union countries and the European Union Delegation to the United States in cooperation with the European-American Cultural Foundation and The Carmel Cultural Endowment for the Arts.

Due to COVID-19, no in-person events will be held this fall in order to maintain the safety of the performers and audiences. ITune in for performances, concerts, workshops, movies, storytelling, puppetry, dance, and more.

Pokon by De Dansers

Pokon (Available Nov. 13)
Type of activity: Dance Concert
Audience age: 4-12
Duration: 40-50 min
Name of performer/presenter: De Dansers
With Pokon, De Dansers brings an ode to playing. A dance performance with live music full of fantasy and friendship for children and grownups alike who can’t sit still.

Like children raging over the playground, that’s how the three performers of Pokon storm the stage. Give them some furniture, a
ladder, a guitar and some plants, and let’s pretend that you ARE allowed to run, climb, lose attention and get dirty. What follows is a
whirling, twirling, hiccuping, tumbling, rumbling and singing stream of playful necessity.

This online registration of Pokon will have attractive interactive DIY inserts.

Egg-tion HERO by Maas Theater and Dance

EGG-tion HERO (Available Nov. 13)
Type of activity: Performance
Audience age: 3-8
Duration: 35 min
Name of performer/presenter: Maas Theater and Dance, Presented by The Kennedy Center
Imagine: an action movie, but for real. Starring one of the most booorrring action heroes ever. An egg that no one is allowed to touch. No one! Just a boring egg guarded by two ultra-boring attendants (attendants are boring guards who watch over art objects, and art is…uh…we’ll talk about that another time). And just when it gets so boring that it’s hard to stay awake, we suddenly find ourselves in a chase scene.

These events are co-hosted by the Kennedy Center.

 

Yellow by Mime Wave is a Spotlight performance at IPAY’s new Showcase in Place

Yellow, a performance for young children by Mime Wave is part of the official selection of the annual International Association of Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) showcase and will be available digitally to registered virtual attendees between October 15 – November 15, 2020. A  new initiative named SiP: Showcase in Place 2021 is a virtual gathering space where the global community for international performing arts for young people can connect with each other to develop new ways to produce, present, and create performance as its industry changes rapidly around the world. Five months of digital programming will be offered between October 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021 and the Dutch professionals and representatives in the field of theater for young audiences, will be participating throughout in different settings as part of the Never Grow Up! program.

Yellow, represented by Bureau Vanaf2 is part of a group of 30 rigorously selected international Showcases and  Spotlights adjudicated by the IPAY Selection Committee. Productions have been selected from 8 different countries, representing a wide spectrum of genres and age ranges. High quality videos are available for streaming here: https://ipayweb.org/page/showcaseinplace-spotlights

Yellow will take the audience on a journey to a world where everything is yellow. That is no understatement, even the cushion you sit on during the play is yellow. Yellow is the color of the sun, but also the color of happiness. Anastasiia Liubchenko brings a variety of yellow inhabitants to life through mime. The play also contains live music by Thijs Felperlaan and Yung Tuan-Ku. The three performers collectively shape the city into something beautiful, life appears perfect in the yellow city.

Early 2020, the booking agency Vanaf 2 presented the brand new production The Last Cookie  by The Ministry of Unachieved Affairs at the annual IPAY conference in Philadelphia, PA. Scroll down this page for more information about events and presentations throughout the past 2 years.

New Dutch children’s books in translation and a special webcast hosted by SLJ on October 1st! (Available to watch back online!)

Don’t miss an exclusive SLJ webcast featuring new Dutch children’s books, authors and translator Laura Watkinson.

October 1: School Library Journal presents: Never Grow Up! Dutch Children’s Books in Translation

Join award-winning authors Annet Schaap, Edward van de Vendel and Jef Aerts, along with translator Laura Watkinson, for a lively conversation about the joys of working with translators, Dutch cultural differences and similarities, artistic risk-taking, and what they hope young US readers will discover in their newest works. Settle in for a dynamic discussion on culture, poetry, language and imagination, moderated by Carmen Boston, Children’s Librarian, DC Public Library.
The event took place on October 1st, 2020 and is now available for replay on our YouTube channel:

Presenters (click here for details about the books and authors)

Annet Schaap, Author, Of Salt and Shore

Edward van de Vendel, Author, Little Fox

Jef Aerts, Author, Bigger Than a Dream

Laura Watkinson, Translator

Moderator

Carmen Boston, Children’s Services Coordinator, DC Public Library

Online resources

Due to the COVID-19 crisis many events have been canceled, however our focus on Dutch arts for young audiences continues and we will share online initiatives, reading and viewing tips below:

Heroism in the Face of Tragedy at the Bay Area Book Festival with Dutch author Jan Terlouw

Children’s book authors Lois Lowry and Jan Terlouw participated in a virtual event with the Bay Area Book Festival to discuss the experience of growing up in wartime and their recent books: Lowry’s On the Horizon, a memoir of growing up in Hawaii and the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Terlouw’s Winter in Wartime, a YA novel based on his childhood in Holland under Nazi occupation. The distinguished authors—Terlouw, as well as being a writer of children’s books, is a respected member of Holland’s parliament, a diplomat, and a physicist; Lowry wrote The Giver—were interviewed by seventh graders Quinn Boyd-Roberts and Tej Wong.  The event aired this past Saturday but can be watched on Bay Area Book Fest’s YouTube channel.

Winter in Wartime

Winter in Wartime is a fast-paced and exciting novel, which has never been out of print in the Netherlands since it was first published, nearly fifty years ago. This year the book has been published for the first time in the United States by the New York Review of Books, in a translation by Laura Watkinson. You can find out where to order the book here: https://www.nyrb.com/products/winter-in-wartime?variant=28708685021236

In 2011, director Martin Koolhoven made a book-to-film adaptation of Winter in Wartime, which has been screened in the United States to positive reviews:

“A rustic blue-gray landscape of woods and snow-covered roads through which armed German soldiers roam in trucks. This handsome film, set in a village in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands and shot in Lithuania, is an adaptation of a semiautobiographical 1972 novel by the Dutch author Jan Terlouw, who lived under German occupation for five years.” (New York Times)

Dutch Culture USA, EYE and N279 Entertainment present: the English subtitled version of Martin Koolhoven’s film WINTER IN WARTIME based on the childrens book by Jan Terlouw: OORLOGSWINTER.

In light of the COVID-19 crisis some originally planned physical film screenings can’t take place, therefore we created an exclusive way for children and their parents, to enjoy the film in a home cinema setting, between May 2nd and May 5th.

Watch the book-to-film adaptation Winter in Wartime from home – click here for more information:
https://www.dutchcultureusa.com/event/winter-in-wartime-at-home-cinema/

February 21-March 15, 2020

update: The Club of Ugly Children won the audience award!!!

We are happy to continue our partnership with the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF)! This year’s NYICFF presents a slate of new animated, live action, and documentary features. One of these films will be The Club of Ugly Children by Jonathan Elbers, a Dutch film which will have its international premiere at the festival.  The schedule for The Club of Ugly Children:

Saturday, February 29 – 11:30 AM at Cinépolis Chelsea
Sunday, March 1 – 1:00 PM at Cinépolis Chelsea
Saturday, March 7 -3:00 PM at SVA Theatre which will also include a Q&A with director Jonathan Elbers

There are also three Dutch shorts that have been selected for the NYICFF. Orbit by Tess Martin, En Route by Marit Weerheijm, and an animation film for the popular Dutch children’s choir Kinderen voor Kinderen by Job, Joris en Marieke.

March 20, 2020

On March 20, Netflix will premiere its newest Original Series: The Letter for the King. A visual adaptation of a Dutch children’s book by the same name, by Dutch writer Tonke Dragt. The book is well known and beloved under Dutch children and will be released on the 10th of March in an English translation!  We’re very curious about what Netflix will make of it! Watch the trailer below:

Teaser /Compilation video about Never Grow Up! – November 2019

April 24-26, 2020, Postponed due to corona: now scheduled for mid-November (online)

Dance company De Dansers presents Pokon (4+) at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Three performers storm the stage whirling, twirling, hiccupping, tubbling, and singing. Dutch dance company De Dansers presents this mesmerizing performance full of movement, rhythm, fantasy, and friendship for children and grown-ups who can’t keep still. As the performers give themselves permission to run, climb, and get dirty, anything—from a ladder to a guitar to plants—becomes something to joyfully play on.

More info.

© Thomas Geurts

May 9 – 17, 2020 Canceled (postponed to a later date) due to corona.

Bon bon mornay! What happens when birds of different feathers flock together? And if they don’t sing the same language, will they understand each other? In this sweet story about four birds and one nest, Theatergroep Kwatta uses a mix of languages to share a universal message about belonging. Allonzy tutti to JABBERBABBLE, where every day is wonderfeej!

Theatergroep Kwatta
From Nijmegen, The Netherlands

JABBERBABBLE, Theatergroep Kwatta by Laura Luca

 

May 13 – 17, 2020 POSTPONED due to corona: now scheduled for mid-November (online)

Maas Theater & Dance presents Egg-tion Hero at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. EGG-tion HERO is theater for toddlers about art. With minimal tools and a lot of garden-variety magic two actors make themselves, each other and the egg vanish into thin air.

Imagine: an action movie, but for real. Starring one of the most booorrring action heroes ever. An egg that no one is allowed to touch. No one! Just a boring egg guarded by two ultra-boring attendants (attendants are boring guards who watch over art objects, and art is…uh…we’ll talk about that another time). And just when it gets so boring that it’s hard to stay awake, we suddenly find ourselves in a chase scene.

A: A chase?
B: Yep.
A: With an egg?
B: Uh huh.
A: That no one is allowed to touch?
B: Right.
A: But how…I mean what…I, uh…hhmmm…and, uh, and?
B: Can’t tell you anything more, I am afraid.

Two boring mimes watch over EGG-tion HERO. With minimal tools and a lot of garden-variety magic they make themselves, each other and the egg vanish into thin air. Definitely dangerous, so don’t try this at home.

© Pepijn Lutgerink

2020: New Literature Releases

February 4. 2020 – Winter in Wartime by Jan Terlouw, translated by Laura Watkinson, NYRB Kids (RandomHouse), ISBN 9781681374260

March 10, 2020 – Letter for the King (movie tie-in) by Tonke Dragt, illustrated by Tonke Dragt, translated by Laura Watkinson, Pushkin Children’s Books / RandomHouse, ISBN 9781782692591

March 31, 2020 – I Wish by Toon Tellegen, illustrated by Ingrid Godon, translated by David Colmer, Elsewhere Editions (Steerforth Press), ISBN 9781939810328 Check out this book review for more information!

June 1, 2020 – This is My Daddy by Mies van Hout, illustrated by Mies van Hout, Pajama Press (Ingram Publishers Services), ISBN 9781772781120

June 30, 2020 – The Goldsmith and the Master Thief by Tonke Dragt, translated by Laura Watkinson, Pushkin Press/Steerforth Press, ISBN 9781782692461

August 25, 2020 – Little Fox by Edward van de Vendel (Dutch), illustrated by Marije Tolman (Dutch), translated by David Colmer, Levine Querido ISBN: 978-1-64614-007-7

September 7, 2020 – The Blue Wings by Jef Aerts (Flemish), illustrated by Martijn van der Linden (Dutch), translated by Laura Watkinson, Levine Querido ISBN: 978-1-64614-008-4

October 1, 2020 – It Started with a Big Bang: The Origin of Earth, You and Everything Else by Floor Bal, illustrated by Sebastiaan van Doninck, Kids Can Press (Hachette Book Group), ISBN 9781525302558

November 3, 2020 – Bigger Than a Dream by Jef Aerts (Flemish), illustrated by Marit Törnqvist (Dutch), translated by David Colmer, Levine Querido ISBN: 978-1-64614-020-6

Little Fox

New Publishing House Levine – Querido

Arthur A. Levine, the publisher and editor responsible for introducing Harry Potter to the U.S., has launched a new independent children’s book company, Levine Querido, in partnership with the renowned Dutch publisher, Querido. The new company launches in Fall 2020 and will introduce outstanding authors and artists from around the world to U.S. readers, aiming to keep the legacy of Emanuel Querido alive and flourishing.

Past Events

 2020 NYICFF Dutch Animation Celebration

NYICFF is crossing the Atlantic to pair up with far-flung Friends & Neighbors this year. Cinekid, the Netherlands’ premiere film festival for children and EYE International come ashore to share their best short films. Featuring a range of different cultures and themes—from Old Amsterdam to New York—and fresh stories that keep history alive. This Friends & Neighbors program is now going on tour through the USA with the Dutch short films. Several theatres in different cities have compiled a programme with the Dutch shorts.

Still from Marlies van der Wel’s Jonas and the Sea (2015). Courtesy NYICFF

June 11 – 13, 2020  Children’s Art and Literacy Festival in Abilene, Texas

February 28, 2020 SPACE Gallery, Portland, Maine

TBD  The Arts Campus at Willits, The Temporary, Basalt, Colorado

February 1, 2020 – “Say Cheese: Best of Dutch Shorts” at BAM Kids

During the BAM Kids Film Festival, BAM will feature some of the best Dutch shorts produced in the Netherlands in the last decade. The program will show a diverse selection of 11 Dutch animation and live-action shorts. For more information on the shorts and tickets visit this page.

List of shorts at the BAM Kids Film Festival:

Sabuka (2016)

Dir. Marlies van der Wel

 

Tides (2018)

Dir. Fleur Sophie de Boer

 

Things (2005)

Dir. Femke Schaap

 

Polska Warrior (2017)

Dir. Camiel Schouwenaar

 

Cinema (2019)

Dir. Bart Maalderink

 

Now You Know Anyway (2017)

Dir. Bastiaan Schravendeel

 

Elastic Recurrence (2017)

Dir. Johan Rijpma

 

Jonas and the Sea (2015)

Dir. Marlies van der Wel

 

Snapshot

Dir. Arthur van Merwijk

 

Division (2017)

Dir. Johan Rijpma

 

George & Paul (2017)

Dirs. Joost van den Bosch and Erik Verkerk

January 23, 2020

Mark January 23 for two delightful productions from the Netherlands at the IPAY Showcase 2020! IPAY is an annual event which mission statement is “[t]o create professional and educational opportunities for key stakeholders in North America (artists, agents, and presenters) to engage around support of meaningful performing arts experiences for young audiences.” The event is a platform for theater companies from all over the world that cater to youth audiences in the US. The 2020 edition will take place at the Caplan Center for the Performing Arts located on 211 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 at booth #2012, Rye’s Row. Reserve your seat here!

Catch the following performances, part of Off-IPAY 2020:

Wonderland Collective – BB
BB is an interactive dance and music experience for babies and toddlers. The dancers and musicians improvise and respond to the movements and sounds the young audience produces in a magical, touching dialogue. Watch the trailer here.

Het Ministerie van Onverrichter Zake – The Last Cookie
A brand-new production premiering in February, ‘The Last Cookie’ is a physical performance about the peculiar ways in which adults sometimes live their lives. About their love for things and their agreement not to talk about cookies!

January 15 – 19, 2019

IPAY Showcase 2019, Philadelphia
The year-long celebration of Dutch artistry kicks off with the presence of eight Dutch theatre and dance companies at international conference IPAY Showcase, that takes place from January 16-19, 2019 in Philadelphia. The eight companies will present their productions for young audiences to 500 US-based theatre professionals, including full-length performances, pitches, and excerpts from Theatergroep Kwatta, Theater Terra, Meneer Monster/NORPA, Het Nationale Theater/NTjong, Simone de Jong Company, Maas Theater & Dance, plan d-/Andreas Denk, and De Dansers. Presenting energetic dance performances with live music to moving visual performances for ages 2-6+.
More info

February 11 – 14, 2019

Kidscreen Summit Miami
During Kidscreen Summit in Miami, Cinekid is the host of a networking moment together with NTR and Ketnet. Cinekid’s general director Floor van Spaendonck will be present to talk with American and international producers, buyers, programmers and agencies about possible partnerships and collaborations. Contact Cinekid here to set up a meeting!

February 22 – March 17, 2019

New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYCIFF)
NYICFF presents its third edition of Friends & Neighbors, a program spotlighting the distinctive artistry of a country of focus and partner festival. Following Canada’s TIFF Kids and Mexico’s Morelia International Film Festival, NYICFF is collaborating with the Netherlands Consulate General in New York, the Netherlands’ premiere children’s film festival Cinekid and EYE International to present a series of shorts by the Netherlands’ most accomplished live action, animation, and documentary filmmakers for young audiences, as well as highlight new Dutch feature filmmaking for youth.
More info


[Schedule continues below]


 

March 9 – April 5, 2019

Chicago European Union Film Festival
Screening of You Are My Friend, directed by Petra Lataster-Czisch & Peter Lataster

Fri, Mar 15th 4:15pm

more info 

Wed, Mar 20th 6:00pm

more info

March 31, 2019, 2pm

Bam Kids screening of Miffy the Movie (Dutch: Nijntje)
Miffy the Movie is a 2013 Dutch stop motion animated family film (directed by Hans Perk), based on the Miffy character created by Dick Bruna.  Join Miffy—the little rabbit with a big personality—for a fun-filled day at the zoo as she and her friends solve a series of riddles; learn about sound, shape, color, and movement; and discover the value of teamwork. Based on the beloved series of Dutch children’s books, this colorful stop motion delight not only captivates young viewers, it invites them to participate in the action.

Miffy will be present before and after the screening.

More info and tickets.

Read more about Miffy on the Miffy website and follow Miffy on Instagram.

Check out Miffy books on Amazon.

May 3 – 19, 2019

Panorama Europe Film Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image (New York)
Participants to be announced.

May 4 – 5, 2019

San Francisco Bay Book Festival
Children’s book authors Mylo Freeman and Benny Lindelauf will be present at the Bay Area Book Festival.

More info.

May 4 – 12, 2019 

Oorkaan’s Glimpse at BAM Fisher, New York
Dutch music theatre company Oorkaan will perform their award-winning toddler production Glimpse, in a series of 12 concerts for families and schools at BAM, the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

4-5 May and 11-12 May at 10:30am and 3:30pm (for families)
More info

7-11 May at 11:00am (for schools)
More info

May 6 – 11, 2019

Dance company Arch8 performs Tetris (6+) at the Miami Theater Center.

Tickets.

May 16 – 18, 2019

Dance company Arch8 performs Murikamification (7+) at the Pittsburgh Children’s Theater Festival.

Tickets.

May 18, 2019

The Museum of the Moving Image in New York will screen Light as Feathers (14+) by Rosanne Pel at Panorama Europe 2019, the eleventh edition of the essential festival of new European cinema, co-presented by Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI)and the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC). Read more about the film here.

September 21

Everyone knows Miffy, and countless children have read the Diary of Anne Frank. The Netherlands has a rich history of children’s book authors and illustrators. During the Brooklyn Book Festival, Dutch author and artist Mylo Freeman participated in Children’s Day. She readd from her Princess Arabella series and demonstrated painting in color.

Find a recap of the event here!

October 26 & 27, 2019

Several Dutch shorts are to be screened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Assembled by the New York International Children’s Film Festival (NYICFF) with support from Dutch Culture USA, this program presents the very best of Dutch animation—featuring diverse stories, hilarious romps, inventive animation, and more! Approximately 74 minutes.

With trusty scissors in hand, Mr. Paper makes choice cuts to craft his ideal world. Blooming with artful animation and wistful storytelling, Emily was spotlighted as the Netherlands’ entry for Oscar consideration. Then three very different kids, all friends, find out what it truly means to walk a day in each other’s shoes,…and legs, and torsos in the hilarious International Emmy-award winner, Heads Together.

Inventive design, storytelling and themes combine to make this Dutch Animation Celebration a whole lot of fun!

All the short movies movies that will be screened are:

Passing By, by Job, Joris & Marieke
Jonas and the Sea, by Marlies van der Wel
Heads Together, by Job, Joris & Marieke
Emily, by Marlies van der Wel
Mr. Paper Goes Out for a Walk, by Steven de Beul & Ben Tesseur
Polska Warrior, by Camiel Schouwenaar

November 1-10, 2019

The Chicago International Children’s Film Festival will be screening several Dutch movies at its 36th edition. The festival will be screening films from the Netherlands at one or more of our Festival locations, including: Facets (1517 W Fullerton, Chicago) and Davis Theater (4614 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago).

The movies that they have screened were:

#bullyingstory, a documentary short by Eef Hilgers
Fox and Hare: “Birthday”, an animated TV short by Mascha Halberstad
My Extraordinary Summer with Tess, a live-action feature by Steven Wouterlood Won 1st Prize in the category Professional Jury: Best Live-Action Feature
Romy’s Salon, a live-action feature by Mischa Kamp Won 2nd Prize in the category Professional Jury: Best Live-Action Feature
Something About Alex, a live-action short by Reinout Hellenthal Won 1st Prize in the category Youth Jury: Best Live-Action Short
Thibault, a documentary short by Kim Faber
Zara and the Magical Football Boots, a live-action TV short by Barbara Bredero

Still from My Extraordinary Summer with Tess directed by Steven Wouterlood

October 29 – November 2, 2019

Spin into a universe of orbiting chairs and surprises in the show Balancing Bodies (9+) by Dutch dance/theater company WOEST at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Take a seat in a rolling office chair and observe an ordinary space transform into a universe full of surprises and twists. Dutch dance/theater company WOEST brings this interactive show in which the interplay between performer and spectator is the nucleus around which everything orbits. As a world builds from nothing to something, audience members take part in balancing playfulness and organization, young and old, foolishness and seriousness, and more.
Balancing Bodies will be part of 6 schoolshows between October 29 – November 1.

© Amaury Avermaete

October 30 – November 3, 2019

Watch a television show go uproariously wrong in Get ‘Em (3+) by theater company Bonte Hond at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Three television hosts prepare to go live in the studio. The problem? There’s only one microphone! Witness the great lengths these so-called “mature” presenters go to hold the attention. Dutch theater company Bonte Hond presents this imaginative production in the spirit of Tom and Jerry and Looney Tunes, featuring silly misunderstandings, a fantastic puppet show, and some hilarious hide-n-seek.

Get ‘Em will also be part of 6 schoolshows between October 30 – November 1.

© Kamerich & Budwilowitz

September – November, 2019

NYICFF is crossing the Atlantic to pair up with far-flung Friends & Neighbors this year. Cinekid, the Netherlands’ premiere film festival for children and EYE International come ashore to share their best short films. Featuring a range of different cultures and themes—from Old Amsterdam to New York—and fresh stories that keep history alive. This Friends & Neighbors program is now going on tour through the USA with the Dutch short films. Several theatres in different cities have compiled a programme with the Dutch shorts.

Cleveland Cinematheque in Cleveland, OH: October 13, 2019
Coral Gables Art Cinema in Coral Gables, FL: November 7-8, 2019
Lincoln Theater in Damariscotta, ME: September 27 – October 5, 2019
Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY: October 20, 2019 (buy tickets with discount code kidflicks20)
Pelham Picture House in Pelham NY: September 6-8, 2019
Gateway Film Center in Columbus, OH: November 30 – December 1, 2019

Jonas and the Sea

January 11-12, 2020

Dutch music theatre company Oorkaan will perform their award-winning toddler production Glimpse at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Get your tickets here.

Watch the interview with Oorkaan at NBC Washington below!

This calendar and the blog will be updated frequently.

 

Never Grow Up! is a joint effort with: