The Holland Festival is the major international performing arts festival of the Netherlands and has an excellent reputation. The Holland Festival takes place every year in June at various locations in and around Amsterdam. The festival presents all performing arts disciplines (music, theatre, dance, opera, musical theatre), all possible crossovers. Where relevant or desirable, it seeks to connect with visual arts, literature, fashion and cinema. The Holland Festival is a trendsetting festival: it aims, with a varied programme of the highest quality, to reach a relatively large (potential) audience of different ages and backgrounds and which consists of both festival regulars and new audiences. The festival takes these ambitions into account in its programming, which is adventurous, ground-breaking and diverse, and gives attention to both the big names and mid-career makers, as well as new (to the Netherlands) emerging artists. The emphasis in the programming is on international performing arts. Besides this, the festival presents (new) work from renowned institutions and makers from the Netherlands (possibly in (new) international collaborations) and features the work of mid-career makers from the Netherlands who are ready for an international platform. The festival showcases a variety of forms on various stages and less common performing places in and around Amsterdam. The Holland Festival’s programme as a whole complements what can be seen in the Netherlands throughout the year.
The Holland Festival programming is realised under the final responsibility of the managing director. The managing director is responsible for the strategy, vision and policy of the Holland Festival foundation, both for the artistic course of affairs and the business/organisational side of operations, oversees the implementation and execution of objectives and is accountable to the Supervisory Board about this.
For (jointly) devising and developing the artistic policy of the Holland Festival, two experienced programming directors are employed at the Holland Festival on a permanent basis: one specialising in theatre and dance, and another specialising in music and musical theatre. The whole programme is established collectively (programming team). Both programming directors are accountable to the managing director and work in close collaboration with different associate artists each year, which are ‘scouted’ and by the programming team. The associate artists are (regularly) included in artistic consultations but are not part of the programming team. In addition to their work, the festival puts the spotlight on themes relevant to them, as well as on related artists.
Due to two colleagues leaving, we are reassembling the programming team and are looking for a senior programming director with a focus on theatre (and preferably a secondary specialisation in dance) as well as a programmer with a complementary specialisation (dance and/or theatre) and experience with curating a context programme.
The Holland Festival is looking for a programming director theatre and dance (1 fte).
PROGRAMMING DIRECTOR - Duties and responsibilities
The programming directors have extensive knowledge of and experience in their discipline(s). They have a great and broad interest in various art forms and are capable of looking beyond the boundaries of ‘their’ discipline and of identifying and stimulating interesting developments. They are able to prioritise, argue proposals, make informed decisions and account for these.
The programming directors are jointly responsible for developing the festival programme’s content in their disciplines. The artistic ambitions as set out in the policy plan form the basis for this and take the festival’s ambitious mission into consideration: we believe art and culture add to a multiform, open society; that art stimulates curiosity, opens minds and can increase empathy by introducing different forms, thoughts and sounds.
The programming director theatre and dance is responsible for the development of the festival programme’s content with regard to theatre and dance, which ranges from grandly mounted (text) theatre from makers who may already be well-known to identifying makers whose development makes them ‘ready’ for the Holland Festival’s international stage. This concerns pieces for both the large hall / the big stage as well as smaller theatres and/or unexpected places and/or locations. The programming directors are particularly on the lookout for exceptional forms of presentation and performance within these disciplines as well. The programminig directors also collaborate with the director in shaping the festival’s artistic policy in the longer term as set out in policy plans and applications for subsidies and funds.
In all cases, this involves both the development of ideas on the basis of ambitions as set out above and in policy plans, as well coming up with new proposals and ideas independently. On the basis of research (desk research and visiting performances), they look for makers, companies, pieces, concerts and/or projects as well as associate artists which are interesting for the festival. Because the Holland Festival also aims to be at the forefront of international projects and productions through (co)production, both programming directors must be capable of developing ideas about new projects and evaluating initiatives from other festivals, producers or presenters. The programming directors must also be capable of evaluating and/or initiating (major) cross-discipline projects.
Apart from the Holland Festival’s international programme, the festival showcases work from makers and companies from the Netherlands. In doing so, the festival stimulates the international appeal / international development as well as the careers of Dutch companies, orchestras, ensembles, institutions and/or individual (mid-career) artists. The programming directors must be capable of identifying makers, artists, companies and ensembles who are (or may be) suitable for this, and must also be good contact point for both new and existing relations and the associate artists.
In developing their ideas and in their proposals, the programming directors must take into consideration the ambitions set out in the policy plan as well as new and/or altered ambitions in the areas of communication & marketing and development. They must be conscious of and take into account the budgetary capacities of the festival, the wishes and requirements of subsidy providers and funds, for example in the area of audience reach and development. They give substantive input for the development of external communications, plans and applications.
The programming directors are responsible for the timely, comprehensive and enthusing substantive conveyance of the Holland Festival programme to all involved in the Holland Festival team: producers, the Development department, the Communication & Marketing department and all other colleagues. For this, the ability to provide dramaturgical insight into the entirety of the programme (with an eye for internal cohesion, themes, motivations, narratives, etc.) is necessary.
The programminig directors are responsible for (seeing to) the development of a ‘context’ programme by one or several programmers/programme makers: a programme that is aimed both at existing Holland Festival audiences as well as at attracting new audiences by offering backgrounds, meet-the-artists, but also streams, podcasts, master classes, workshops and freely accessible programmes. Talent development, education, collaboration with Dutch training institutions and/or institutions and cultural centres in Amsterdam may form a part of the context programing to be developed. The curator(s) of this programme are in close consultation with the programming directors. The content of the context programme is discussed and decided on in the programming team.
Representation / external conveyance
Both programming directors must be capable of an enthusing conveyance of the festival (programme) to ‘external parties’, which include stakeholders, donors, (potential) audiences, the press, etc. During and prior to the festival, they must be willing and capable of occasionally giving introductions to pieces and concerts for a general or specific (by invitation) audience. They must also be capable of representing the Holland Festival artistically, both nationally and internationally, in various committees and consultations.
The programming directors are a first link between the Holland Festival and the provider, or initiator, of a piece/concert and must be capable of evaluating a submitted budget and/or requested buyout fee. Additionally, they must be capable of negotiating performance conditions or supporting the producers with this.
Requirements / competencies
Programming director theatre and dance: extensive knowledge of (the history of) theatre and dance in the widest sense of the word.
Besides knowledge of traditions, the state of affairs and innovation(s) in their own area of expertise, the programme director must have an interest in other art forms, interdisciplinary developments and keep up to date with the (intellectual) thought currents in his/her area of expertise, the field of art in general and the cultural discourse in the Netherlands and abroad.
We are looking for a Programming director with the following qualities:
• You have completed a relevant training at an academic work and thinking level with a minimum of 10 years’ relevant work experience.
• You have knowledge of and experience and expertise in your cultural discipline (theatre and dance) and demonstrable experience and skill at curating (festival) programming.
• You are capable of looking beyond the boundaries of your own discipline and of incorporating interconnections and societal, cultural and artistic developments into the programme.
• You have a large, relevant network in the Dutch and international field of your discipline (and/or are capable of quickly forming/expanding this).
• You are familiar with the Dutch cultural field and are able to make connections between international and Dutch makers and to follow Dutch and international makers in their international artistic practices.
• You are willing and able to attend performances on a frequent basis, both in the Netherlands and abroad.
• You are quite capable of substantiating, motivating, expressing policy, ideas and/or decisions made in in Dutch and English, both in speech and writing.
• You preferably have a broad (passive) language proficiency in one or more relevant languages besides Dutch and English, among other things for understanding performances and reading project proposals, theatre texts and surtitles.
• You are familiar with the political/policy context of the festival and are able to contribute ideas (and assist in writing and provide input for) policy plans, applications and other strategic documents.
• You are on the one hand independent in your (artistic) judgment and at the same time a real team player capable of collectively deciding on what is best for the festival as a whole.
• You are able to work under pressure with irregular working hours, stress-resistant, used to working with deadlines, and you know what it means to run a festival.
• You are diplomatic and are good at substantiating and clearly communicating about the festival’s decisions.
• You endorse the Holland Festival’s code of ethics and the core values mentioned therein and propagate it: we are making the Holland Festival (open and welcoming), trendsetting, professional, passionate and inclusive together.
You will work at our beautiful office in the centre of Amsterdam with a view of the IJ river in a small team of highly enthusiastic professionals who all use their own expertise to help realise a world-leading festival each year. Within the performing arts, we offer a competitive salary and excellent employment conditions.
The Holland Festival strives to have its staff be a reflection of Dutch society. For this reason, we wholeheartedly welcome applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds. The closing date for applications for the vacancy is 29 May. The first round of interviews is scheduled for the week of 7 through 10 June. The second round will take place in the week of 20 through 24 June.
Are you the colleague we are looking for? Then please send your resume with a cover letter via Homerun as soon as possible. For more information, please contact Emily Ansenk, director Holland Festival (+31 (0)20 7882101) or Jochem Valkenburg, programme director music and music theatre (+31 (0)20 7882100).
Salary and pay scale
The pay scale of a Holland Festival programming director is determined in accordance with the Holland Festival employment conditions. At Holland Festival, there is attention to development. You are given a personal training budget, and numerous collective activities are organised.
The Holland Festival is also looking for a programmer, more information can be found here.
programming director theatre and dance
The Holland Festival is looking for a programming director theatre and dance (1 fte)