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Verdieping cultuurlening ook voor buitenlandse kunstenaars

I can finally be fully focussed on my artistic career.

Is het mogelijk om een lening te krijgen als ik in het buitenland woon?

De cultuurleningen van Cultuur+Ondernemen zijn bedoeld voor kunstenaars met de Nederlandse nationaliteit of kunstenaars die een verblijfsvergunning hebben voor de duur van de lening. Verder moet je ingeschreven staan in Nederland. Een woonadres buiten Nederland is niet toegestaan, tenzij je ingeschreven blijft staan in een Nederlandse gemeente (als hoofdverblijfadres). Het is dus mogelijk om als niet-Nederlandse kunstenaar een cultuurlening toegewezen te krijgen.
De Franse Louise Perot Bonnell sloot een Amsterdamse cultuurlening af en vertelt daarover.

What do you do when banks don’t want to lend you money to develop your artistic practice? You look for alternatives. That is the way French tapestry artist Louise Perot Bonnell found out about the Amsterdamse cultuurlening. She applied via Cultuur+Ondernemen, her request was accepted and now the loan enables her to fully focus on her art.

"The art world is a very tough one", tells Louise Perot Bonnell, a French artist who has lived in the Netherlands for almost eight years now. "Art school was a cocoon, it didn’t prepare us for networking. I was naïve, hoped that people would just notice that my art was out there. But clearly you need to put yourself out there."

Bonnell came to the Netherlands for an exchange program. After a master’s degree in Medieval Literature, she decided she wanted something different than ‘spending time at the library’. She was already into design, and thought about becoming an artist. Art school seemed a good option: she applied for the Rietveld Academie and started doing Textile Design there in 2010.

Four years later, and she was out in the art world on her own. "I needed funding for my art, I couldn’t provide for it myself. Together with my Dutch partner, I tried to get a loan at a bank, but none of them would accept me. I was left without options. That was when I started looking online for other possibilities that focussed specifically on artistic work."

Enter the Amsterdamse cultuurlening, a loan for artists and cultural organisations to realize their ambitions. The program is funded by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst) and Cultuur+Ondernemen. At an interest rate of 3 percent, one can loan between € 1.000 and € 15.000 to invest in their artistic career. Does it matter for the loan whether you are Dutch? Not exactly: the requirement is that either you are a Dutch artist, or you are an artist with a residence permit and a Dutch address.

"To be honest, I thought it would be hard to get the loan", admits Bonnell. She was pleasantly surprised by the procedure: "The advisors are very friendly and positive. They do want to see your portfolio, but in contrast to other programs, they don’t go in all sorts of artistic details. It matters most that you’re a serious and professional artist. The focus will be on how you will repay the debt." And once you get the loan, it’s not ‘we give you money and ciao’, as Bonnell describes it. "You are actually required to spend a part of the money on training or mentoring, so the support is good."

And now Bonnell has the money, what is she using it for? "Supplies and machinery to make my carpets. And some marketing, as I need to promote my work." She is satisfied that she has funding for her art now: "For the next year or so, I don’t need to think too much about money, and I can finally be fully focussed on my artistic career."