Dutch arts coming to MINDSCAPES Manchester in 2020

The Director General for Culture and Media Barbera Wolfensberger and delegates from various Dutch cultural organisations were in Manchester on 5 September for the launch of the SICK! Festival. At the launch it was announced that five artists from the Netherlands will be working with cultural institutions and health professionals from Manchester to create art that highlights mental health issues. The works - spanning performance, visual arts and digital media - will be shown in Manchester in October 2020. There are plans to take some of the work to the Netherlands in 2021.

DG Barbera Wolfensberger at the launch of MINDSCAPES in Manchester

DG Barbera Wolfensberger at the launch of MINDSCAPES in Manchester

MINDSCAPES: what art can do for our mental health

The new addition to the SICK! Festival in Manchester is named MINDSCAPES. Funding for this project, which explores the impact of our environment on our mental wellbeing, is provided by DutchCulture and input for the programme has been given by various Dutch culture funds.

What is unique about this collaboration, in which the Dutch Embassy is also involved, is that artists will create completely new work for this festival. More often than not, artists from the Netherlands will be invited to the UK to show existing work, but this case is different. Thanks to the generous funding provided by DutchCulture, SICK! Festival can commission five brand new works by Netherlands-based artists.

More than a performing arts festival

Over the past few years, many Dutch artists have performed at the SICK! Festival. The Manchester-based festival, with its roots in Brighton, has received support from the Dutch Performing Arts Fund for a number of years. It has traditionally been a performing arts festival, but now wants to cross into other art forms as well. MINDSCAPES gives SICK! that opportunity. The funding from DutchCulture is specifically earmarked for interdisciplinary arts projects, so expect to experience some visual arts and perhaps some digital arts too in 2020.

Large Dutch delegation at the launch

To establish contacts between the Manchester-based and Netherlands-based parties involved in initiating MINDSCAPES, the Dutch Embassy had invited several important Dutch partners over to Manchester. The delegation included Director-General for Culture and Media Barbara Wolfensberger, Maarten Bul from DutchCulture, Eelco van der Lingen and Philip Montnor from Mondriaanfonds, Aad Hogervorst from Dutch Performing Arts and Eva Roolker from Creative Industries Fund NL.

Enhancing Anglo-Dutch cultural collaborations

The Culture, Education and Communication department of the Dutch Embassy in the United Kingdom endorses British cultural institutions to programme Dutch arts and culture. Read more about the resources we have available to stimulate such cultural collaborations.

Any questions? Contact us

For questions about cultural exchange between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, contact us on LON-PPC@minbuza.nl.