Our reaction to the disappointing letter from the Minister of Culture, a brief advice on what you can do now, an update on our survey, and an overview of Platform BK’s actions.



Minister of Culture Ingrid van Engelshoven has stated that the cultural sector should be supported throughout the Corona crisis. Due to an amendment submitted by MP Rob Jetten, this ambition was turned into a formal requirement given to the Minister by parliament. Last night, Van Engelshoven sent a letter to parliament, explaining which measures will be taken to put in place a crisis support system. To our disappointment, Platform BK has read this letter and concludes it is of little help for individual artists.

Even though the Minister’s letter announces a few important measures to support institutions and clients in the cultural field, it does not even mention artists. And so, it has become clear that artists cannot, for instance, apply for the immediate, one-time compensation of 4000 euros that bars and hairdressers, among other small businesses, will be able to receive.

Platform BK continues to push for an apt emergency fund for culture. At the same time, we acknowledge that we cannot count on our government to come up with reasonable measures. Now that the anger and disappointment among cultural workers is rising, it seems a matter of time before serious actions will be announced. We explain the role we envision for Platform BK in this process below.

Read a detailed reaction to the letter in question by the Dutch Union for the Arts and download the letter itself here (both in Dutch).



The current situation for individual artists and culture workers is this:

– Freelancers (ZZP’ers) in the cultural sector can apply for the TOZO-arrangement. This support will supplement your monthly income to 1500 euros for a period of three months. We recommend every freelancer to file an application for this support with their municipality as soon as possible. Please find more information on this webpage of the Chamber of Commerce. Note that that applications for TOZO by non-EU citizens will most likely have no impact on their status (i.e. future visa, etc.), but it is good to remain careful (check this blog for updates).

– Artists cannot apply for the one-time, immediate compensation of 4000 euros. The Minister apparently either thinks that artists don’t need this, or hasn’t been able to successfully demand the necessary funds at the Ministry of Finance.


The survey launched by Platform BK last week, in order to map the income lost by artists and culture workers, has been filled out almost 700 times. We are very happy with all of your responses, which help us to put some well-founded demand on the table while lobbying! The survey is still open, so please fill it out here if you haven’t already (ca. 5 minutes of work, completely anonymous). Within a few weeks from now, we will publish the results.



Platform BK currently focues on three lines of action:

Increase pressure on the government. We push for better compesnation of the needs and losses of artists and other individual culture workers. Together with Kunstenbond, Kunsten ’92, the Creative Coalition, and other partners, we use letters and other lobbby tools to increase pressure on the Minister. The current measures are neither enough to prevent a collapse of the cultural system, nor is it a sufficient reply to the demands of parliament.

Image campaign. The image of the Corona-crisis is currently not determined by us, professional image makers, but by the fumbling around of our political apparatuses. To counter this, Platform BK is working to launch an online image campaign.

Active think-tank. As an active think-tank, it is Platform BK’s job to consider this crisis as a societal tipping point. We have to analyze which structural flaws led to the current situation and think about future solutions. How can the arts come out the other end, stronger than before? You will be seeing various (series of) publications and actions around this question.

About Platform BK

Platform BK researches the role of art in society and takes action for a better art policy. We represent artists, curators, designers, critics and other cultural producers.