There are several Dutch national funds and institutes that provide (financial) support for international Dutch cultural projects. Please visit their websites for specific information about their international programs.
More information can be found in the Cultural Mobility Funding Guide by DutchCulture, the Dutch centre for international cooperation. It provides a summary of Dutch grants for travel, stay, research, cooperation, production, and more outside the Netherlands – and for foreign artists to and in the Netherlands. This guide was published in close cooperation with partners from the cultural mobility information network On The Move.
A funding source in the United States is The Netherlands-America Foundation (NAF), which promotes cultural and educational exchange between the United States and The Netherlands. Through their educational and cultural programs the NAF modest grants.
This contribution program explanation is meant for American legal entities outside the Netherlands intending to apply for a Dutch Cultural Contribution for projects in the United States. Dutch organizations and individuals are referred to the various Dutch national arts funding programs.
The Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York has limited funds available for the promotion of Dutch cultural activities in the United States. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocates these budgets to the Consulate on a calendar year basis, and depletion usually takes place before the final quarter of a calendar year. The Consulate allocates these budgets for projects across the whole United States, and across all disciplines.
Cultural contributions are only given towards projects that support the strategic goals that are set in the Consulate’s 2021-2024 multiyear strategic plan. For the coming years, the goals are to strengthen the position of the Dutch cultural sector in the U.S. through visibility, exchange and sustainable cooperation, and to support the bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and the U.S. through Dutch cultural activities in the U.S.
Applicants can send in an application to the Consulate on an ongoing basis. However, there is a three-month deadline before the start of a project to start the application process. Exceptions for late applications can be made, but solid arguments must be provided for a late application to be considered. Applicants cannot file an application for past projects or for projects that have already started.
Grants will never exceed $25,000, which is rarely given. Grants typically range between $2,500 and $15,000, depending on the scope of a project. Total combined Dutch government support (including any support from the Dutch national arts funds) may not exceed more than 50% of the total costs incurred to organize the Dutch component of a project. Ideally the Dutch government contributions cover a lesser percentage, and applicants are stimulated to obtain support from a variety of sources.
Grant processing may take up to 13 weeks, and applicants may be asked to provide additional information if the original application is deemed incomplete. If an application is approved, the contribution may be lower than requested.
Contribution decisions are made on the basis of the quality, prominence and viability of the American host institution, and the quality and viability of a proposed project, a financial analysis of a proposed budget, and the merit of the arguments in the narrative of an application.
Please note: Filing an application does not guarantee that a contribution will be provided, and past recipients of a contribution are not automatically guaranteed a future contribution.
Projects must involve a significant Dutch cultural participation and contain a significant public component. Exceptions may be made for events and activities that will lead to a significant publication or other form of documentation that can be shared with the public at large.
Only legal entities that are registered as such in the United States are eligible for a contribution. This pertains to both nonprofit and for-profit legal entities, as long as a project is not purely commercial and aimed at making a profit. American government entities are not eligible for support. Entities that may apply include organizations that run art fairs, festivals, artist-in-residence programs or biennials; fashion agencies; galleries; museums; non-profit arts organizations; performing arts venues; PR agencies; publishers; theaters; university galleries.
Individuals (i.e. natural persons) and non-American legal entities are not eligible for a contribution.
Before starting an application process, all applicants are required to send a letter of intent, which must include a brief description of the project, an indication of the expenses for which support is sought, start and end dates of the project, and an indication about other funding sources that are being pursued. Upon receipt of this letter, the Consulate will contact the applicant to discuss the next steps in the application process, and give advice about other funding sources. If it is decided to start an application, the applicant will receive the Consulate’s application form, a Supplier Registration form, and instructions.
Applicants are stimulated to pursue possible grants from the Dutch national art funds, as these funds administer larger budgets than the Consulate (see overview and links on top right side of this page). Applicants are required to inform the Consulate if applications have been filed with any of these funds, and for what expenses of the intended project. If no such applications have been filed, applicants need to explain why this has not been done. Be mindful that these funds sometimes adhere to much linger application deadlines (3-9 months before the start of a project).
Only expenses that relate to Dutch components of a cultural project are eligible. Expenses that an applicant may apply for include, among others: transportation, travel, accommodation, publication, production, PR/marketing, event documentation (AV, photography), educational materials, and other production aspects that are necessary to organize the project.
Expenses that are not eligible for support are, among others, research and preparation phases of a potential future project, fees and per diems for the Dutch participants, salaries and general operating costs, insurance expenses, hospitality and entertainment (receptions, dinners, parties, etc.), entrance or participation fees for conferences and other meetups, traditional Holland promotion, and purely commercial expenses (f.e. hiring a sales agent, booking a trade show, etc.)
Upon approval of an application, the Consulate must be acknowledged with logo and credit line in printed and online materials related to the project. This includes invitations, publications, online announcements, and other publicity materials.
Please note: If print or online posting deadlines for materials have already passed, an application cannot be filed.
1. Prospective applicant sends a letter of intent to apply for a contribution;
2. The Consulate contacts the applicant with feedback and guidance about the application process, and may refer or defer to other Dutch funding sources;
3. The Consulate provides the applicant with an application form, a Supplier Registration Form, and instructions;
4. Applicant submits the application form, including additional required documents (a full budget, a Supplier Registration Form, bank letter or copy of voided check, any other materials that provide additional information about the project)
5. The Consulate confirms receipt, but may request additional information if the application is incomplete, or if the application does not provide adequate information to properly assess and review the application.
6. If the Consulate deems an application complete, it will assess and review the proposal, and provide a recommendation to the Cultural Attaché. If there is insufficient internal expertise, the Consulate may seek advice from external experts in the relevant cultural discipline;
7. The Cultural Attaché needs to sign off on the recommendation for an application to be fully approved;
8. The Consulate informs the applicant in writing if a grant is approved or denied.
If a grant is approved, a signed Contribution Agreement Form will be emailed to the applicant, who is to countersign and return it to the Consulate;
9. Upon receipt of the signed copy of the Contribution Agreement Form, the Consulate will process a payment request to the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the full amount of the grant. 100% of the grant will be wired to the applicant within 10-15 business days of the payment request;
10. Applicant will provide the Consulate with relevant text and images of the project for promotional use in printed and online materials. Applicant will also tag the Consulate with @dutchcultureusa or #dutchcultureusa in relevant social media posts;
11. The applicant is requested to provide a final report about the project, so that the Consulate can ascertain the effects of its contribution program. A report is not mandatory, but much appreciated.
Note 1: Approved contributions can only be dispersed to a bank account that bears the legal name of the applicant. Applications are required to use the correct and same legal name on all documents (application form, Contribution Agreement Form, bank letter or voided check). Payment of approved contributions can only be done via electronic wire. Checks cannot be issued, and funds cannot be dispersed to other recipients than the applicant.
Note 2: In case the project plans change between the date of the application approval and the start of the project, the applicant is required to inform the Consulate in writing, and request approval for any changes.
- Does the project contain a considerable and recognizable Dutch component?
- Is the application complete and does it provide sufficient background information?
- Does the application adhere to the above-mentioned grant program criteria and requirements?
- Is the application relevant to the Netherlands Consulate in New York’s multi-year strategic plan for the U.S.?
- Does the application provide specific goals and an explanation about how these goals will be achieved?
- What is the regional, national and international standing of the applicant, and what level of press and audience exposure will the project generate?
- Does the intended project provide potential for market expansion or follow-up projects for the Dutch participants?
- Is a full budget included in the application, listing both expenditures and revenues?
- Are the listed expenditures and revenues reasonable and/or realistic? Will the Dutch participants receive a reasonable fee?
- What is the percentage of the requested amount in relation to total cost? Will combined Dutch government support exceed 50%?
- Does the applicant expect to receive grants from other Dutch government funds, and for what expenses?
- Is there a significant investment and commitment from the host organization and/or American funding sources?
- What are the potential financial risks involved, and is there a potential for a large shortfall?