International culture experts examine Rotterdam as a cultural destination

The International Advisory Board (IAB) of Rotterdam, chaired by Jan Peter Balkenende, will hold a special session in 2017 about the cultural sector of Rotterdam. The advisory board will examine the question ‘How can we put Rotterdam more firmly on the map as a cultural destination, both nationally and internationally?’. For this expert session of the IAB (IABx), organized by Rotterdam Partners, (inter)national culture experts from science, the business world and the public sector will be invited. As an adviser to the IABx, Wim Pijbes has explored the Rotterdam culture sector.
Rotterdam has enough cultural capital to be able to draw international attention as well. With Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen and the Kunsthal (Art Hall) as reliable venues for large-scale exhibitions, with the International Film Festival Rotterdam as a “not to be missed” item on the international cinematographic calendar and the wealth of modern and contemporary architecture, from the Nieuwe Bouwen (Modern Architecture) to the Markthal (Market Hall), Rotterdam has a few trump cards. Moreover, the city has a colourful population, a mighty river and everything that goes with that. To reinforce international cultural tourism, these are the strengths of this city,” according to Pijbes.

Art and culture form an important pillar for an attractive environment for a city and contribute to a positive image. Rotterdam’s popularity has soared in the past few years, in the Netherlands and abroad. Within the Rotterdam art and culture sector and the city, there is the ambition to bring the offerings to an internationally distinguished level. Rotterdam Partners has therefore decided to dedicate the biannual meeting of the International Advisory Board next year exclusively to art and culture. Pex Langenberg, councillor responsible for culture: “Now that Rotterdam is doing fine, it is important to get cracking and move forward. To look together at where we can improve our offerings and where we can present it more effectively to the world. I expect a special group of people with lots of energy. It’s good that a renowned Rotterdammer such as Wim Pijbes also wanted to play a part in that. I am looking forward to the results of the IABx.

The first meeting of the IABx on culture will take place on 5, 6 and 7 April 2017. In the autumn, there will be a second day-long meeting and the findings of the IABx will be shared in a public session with stakeholders and interested parties. The IABx will consist of six members.  They will look into questions such as how the art and culture sector in Rotterdam can be taken to a higher level and what has the greatest potential within the current offerings to stand out internationally. The local sector is closely involved with the preparations for the IABx. Several work groups from the sector have already put their ideas in writing and reacted to the exploration carried out by Wim Pijbes. Additionally, several meetings will be organized with other stakeholders. In the middle of March, the members of the IABx will be sent a positioning paper, containing all the information germane to the discussion.