Amsterdam is richly diverse in culture and its citizens, and therefor the City has prioritized inclusion in its new Cultural Strategy for 2021-2024 With this arts funding scheme including an annual budget of €95 million, the City enables cultural institutions and activities to program throughout the city.

Amsterdam is richly diverse in culture and its citizens, and there for the City has prioritized inclusion in its new Cultural Strategy for 2021-2024. The annual budget is almost € 136 million. 

This strategy has four pillars:
• enabling growth of arts and culture in the neighbourhoods and giving more attention to makers
• creating more space for culture, experiment, innovation and night culture
• broadening cultural education, talent development and participation
• strengthening international arts and culture.

Inclusion and diversity are the core of new Culture Strategy
Amsterdam’s Deputy Mayor for Arts and Culture, Touria Meliani, strongly believes everyone in Amsterdam should have the opportunity to develop creatively and culturally. The City of Amsterdam has put inclusion and diversity at the core of its new Culture Strategy for 2021-2024, stepping away from the more traditional cultural policy focus on audience outreach, talent development and financial sustainability (entrepreneurship). Therefore all funded cultural institutions are required to create their own action plan on inclusion, to be delivered over these next four years. The City is also investing in new cultural centres and services in peripheral neighbourhoods.

Participation in cultural activities by citizens in Amsterdam varies broadly and is often unequally distributed per city district and per population group. Education, income, country of origin have a significant impact on the level of cultural participation in our city. Accessibility in the broadest sense of the word (for example ticket prices, geographical spread of cultural venues, physical accessibility and engagement in the programming) counts as an obstacle for cultural engagement. Further and sufficient insight into and knowledge about these barriers to cultural participation experienced by certain groups of the population in Amsterdam is also still lacking.

Through ACCESS the City of Amsterdam aspires to work on these challenges with a particular focus on audience engagement, the spreading of culture across the city and collecting and using data as an evidence base for finding solutions. There will be a particular focus on finding approaches for learning directly from city residents about their cultural needs and ambitions as well as the involvement of local stakeholders. How to involve them and use their input as a strong and central basis for actions? With ACCESS the City will put a strong emphasis on the development of culture in the boroughs of Noord, Nieuw-West and Zuidoost.

ACCESS will be a driving force in developing new strategies to tackle the current challenges that Amsterdam is facing. Within this network the City can strengthen existing projects and develop new actions and initiatives to increase cultural participation. Creating a new long-term and sustainable strategy to cultural inclusion.

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