What a year is behind us! 2021 started with the emergency measure that started already in the autumn of 2020 and eventually lasted until the beginning of June, at least for the cultural sector. We didn't know on 1 January that it would take that long. But even then a certain hopelessness proliferated around him like a slow-acting anesthetic. More than 2020, the past Corona year has been tough, especially because more and more people became mentally exhausted. But there was also a difference with the first year, because then everything was new to everyone and nobody was held accountable for whatever you did, as long as it happened within the generally applicable agreements. The second year was much more intense, the dividing lines were drawn much sharper. This was tough for everyone, but I think especially for those who reasonably tried to listen to both points of view.
At CBK Rotterdam, it was mainly TENT that was affected by the emergency measures. But within the entire cultural sector, there were disciplines that had it even harder (and still are) than our presentation platform. It is, of course, remarkable that in the Netherlands the entire cultural sector had to lag completely behind in 2021 and was therefore denied in its meaning for the well-being of society. The Netherlands can also be called unique in that sense.
The power of art
Art is the beating heart of an open society. Art exists by the grace of a free exchange of ideas – sometimes deepening, sometimes enriching, sometimes abrasive. In all cases, art aims to offer contemporary insights and perspectives, with which people can find each other or better understand different positions. Rotterdam is an intense city with its own dynamic in which visual art has played an important role since the first day of reconstruction.
CBK Rotterdam has been committed to the city for forty years by connecting makers, cultural partners, social stakeholders, residents and the public. Our activities reach into the capillaries of the entire city (from Hoek van Holland to Nesselande, from Rotterdam Center to IJsselmonde) to create and maintain a climate in which art in Rotterdam can continue to develop and is relevant for everyone. Together with makers, cultural partners, social stakeholders and residents, CBK Rotterdam is working on a lively art climate in Rotterdam. It is crucial that we are located in the middle of the city and that we are involved in what is going on in the city. We enable artists and thus the city to develop new work and a new language, to develop joint initiatives and thus help shape the dream city. We operate as a partner for residents and other stakeholders, to work with artists on the basis of their motivation, experience and involvement on a city in which we want to live together, a city in which imagination and versatility have an inescapable place. We do this by placing our core qualities, interaction and involvement, at the heart of our actions.
CBK Rotterdam realizes its mission through three programs that complement and feed each other. The relationship between art and the city is central to each of the programmes. With Art Office we offer artists the space to develop their practice and to initiate activities together with others in which they contribute to the cultural and social dynamics in the city from their perspective and agenda. With BKOR/SIR we take care of the city collection in the public space, we support Rotterdammers in their request to see important histories and persons in their city in the form of a work of art, and we give artists the opportunity to use the communal space in the shape the city. With TENT we offer a lively stage and production house for the artists, forms of expression and subjects that the metropolitan culture of Rotterdam produces, which we connect to a national and international audience and to a much sought-after educational program.
Read here continue or download the annual overview of 2021.