Emily Ansenk appointed as Holland Festival's new director

The Holland Festival’s supervisory board has named Emily Ansenk its new general director as of 1 September. Like the current director, Ansenk will be responsible for the festival’s artistic and business policies. Ansenk will succeed Annet Lekkerkerker, who is leaving the festival at the end of June 2019 after ten years to become member of the executive board of the Amsterdam University of the Arts. 

Chairman of the board Martijn Sanders says, ‘We are extremely delighted that Emily Ansenk will be joining us. She has a long record as an all-round manager in the cultural field, and in both the business and programming areas. With her international expertise and her network in both the visual arts and business relations, she’ll be playing a significant part for the Holland Festival. Her strong interest in the performing arts makes her the ideal successor. Working with our programming directors Annemieke Keurentjes and Jochem Valkenburg and the associate artist(s), she will see to it that we set a compelling artistic course each year and ensure long-term continuity.’ 

Emily Ansenk says of her appointment, ‘With its rich history, the Holland Festival provides unforgettable experiences to a wide and diverse audience. It is international, sets the trend in several artistic disciplines, takes risks, and brings the world of tomorrow to Amsterdam with an amazing energy. I’m looking forward enormously to helping continue this success, and to working here with a highly engaged team of professionals, artists and partners to keep the festival growing and thriving.’ 

The festivals’ current director Annet Lekkerkerker says, ‘I’m delighted to entrust the Holland Festival to Emily Ansenk, and I’m confident that she and the entire Holland Festival team will usher it into a new era with great verve.’ 

Biography – Emily Ansenk
Emily Ansenk (1970) is an art historian and is currently the director of the Kunsthal Rotterdam.

She was previously the curator of the ING Collection (1995) and the founder and director of the private Frisia (later Scheringa) Museum in Spanbroek in the Dutch province of North Holland (1996-2008).

As director and manager of the Kunsthal, Ansenk is responsible for its policy, strategy, finances, organisation and programming. Over the past years she has programmed and organized a large number of successful international exhibitions for the Kunsthal, such as ‘Edward Hopper and His Time’, ‘Jean Paul Gaultier’, ‘Keith Haring’ and ‘Peter Lindbergh’. In the last 10 years, she has initiated and programmed numerous projects that go beyond pure exhibitions, collaborating with other organisations such as the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Conny Jansen Danst, Instituto Buena Bista from Curaçao, the HipHopHuis and the Doelen Ensemble. She has also introduced new programme elements such as the Kunsthal Live Festival and various crossovers between art and music, poetry, design, fashion and lifestyle. Ansenk is a member of various art committees and juries, such as the Sacha Tanja Medal jury. She chairs the Henri Winkelman Award jury and is a member of the Advisory Council of Art Rotterdam. 

She is also on the board of the Job Dura Fonds and of Rotterdam Economic Partners. In 2016 she participated in the Getty Leadership Programme at Claremont University in Los Angeles and participated in Tafel Next sessions for supervisors and commissioners at DeNieuweCommissaris. She is also a member of the supervisory committee of the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.