Overview Dutch Cultural Export 2015
In the Buitengaats (Offshore) database, DutchCulture gathers information about the international activities of artists and cultural organisations from the Netherlands, both subsidised and non-subsidised. This includes performances, exhibitions, presentations and publications outside of the Netherlands from all cultural disciplines, which in principle are open to the public.
In almost all of the disciplines, the number of activities either increased or stabilised in relation to 2014. Film was the only sector in which there was a slight decrease. The growth in total number of activities can be partially explained by the fact that we are receiving more and more information from performers, cultural organisations and artists (for which we are extremely grateful), and also that we ourselves are getting better at tracking the activities of internationally active makers.
Moreover, the rise in theatre activities, for example, is part of a trend that the Fund for the Performing Arts NL has already noted on the basis of the 2014 data, namely that while companies on average are not performing abroad more often, the number of companies that cross the border is increasing.
Every discipline has its own type of frequent traveller. Frequency chiefly indicates something about the nature of the activities in the discipline and the corresponding travel behaviour, such as the continual flying in and out done by DJs in the music sector, or the temporary stays in residencies done by artists in the visual arts.
However, the organisation that surpasses even DJs with its international presence can be found in heritage: the Anne Frank Foundation. The travelling exhibitions ‘Anne Frank – a History for Today’ and ‘Let Me Be Myself – the Life Story of Anne Frank’ are shown at length all over the world.
Buitengaats’ top five countries have not changed in relation to 2014: the United States, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and France. Belgium has risen one place, though, which perhaps is to be expected after the festive BesteBuren year that celebrated the Flemish-Dutch connection with a broad range of collaborative activities in 2015.
Of particular note is the growth of cultural activities in Russia, Brazil and India. For these three countries, growth is the result of more activities in a variety of disciplines. In Turkey, there has been a slight increase for the first time in three years, while in Greece the number of activities also rose.
Strikingly, the total number of activities registered in Buitengaats for Germany has decreased for the third year in a row. There is no unequivocal explanation for this, but what Germany clearly lacks is a sector that brings in disproportionately many activities. In many countries right now, that is occurring in dance, which in Buitengaats falls under the music sector. Whereas in the United States almost 52% of registered activities concern dance, and Canada and Spain are also important markets for dance with 42% and 56% respectively, in Germany the number of activities in the dance sector remains stuck at 12%.
Although some claim that the ‘EDM bubble’ in the United States is about to burst, it is doubtful that the Dutch cultural export in this sector is also under pressure. A broadening of genres and venues is creating niches that offer more possibilities rather than less. At most, Las Vegas will have a less prominent place on the list of important destinations for activities from the Netherlands in the future.
Furthermore, South America and Asia are becoming more important. We see this reflected in Buitengaats, where the share of dance in registered activities in China and Brazil is already over 25% and probably will rise in the coming years.
Overview Cultural Export from The Netherlands 2015 (PDF) infographics by Catalogtree
(position in 2014)