TimeWindow becomes an independent foundation

22 January 2024

Last week, documents were signed to become its own legal entity as a "stichting". Until then, TimeWindow operated under the umbrella of Stichting Transistor. This is the next step towards becoming a durable platform for makers in Rotterdam.

A message from Jette Schneider, now the director of the stichting:

"Last week we signed the foundation statutes of TimeWindow, a sociocratic statutes that legally guarantee an inclusive collaboration based on equivalence! We are a professionalized community organization, everybody can be involved and influence what we do.

Almost 10 years ago TimeWindow started as an utopian idea/community/concept: ‘What do you mean, co-owning rehearsal spaces and sharing it with artist that are not my artistic collaborators?’ Then it became our biggest experiment towards new organizational and collaborative solutions.

We are convinced that TimeWindow is a valuable example for a sustainable alternative to the competitive logic that prevails in the cultural sector. It’s been an intensive ride, with many beautiful and valuable investments of many artists! With many ups and also challenging moments! But fully worth it! We are ready for the next 10 years, and ready to fly!"

Our advice for future policy

Behind the scenes, we regularly get involved in local politics, to make voices of artists heard. Sometimes our input is requested, sometimes we take the liberty to give out unsolicited advice. Below you can read back the documents we have sent over the years.

Rotterdam 'chooses makers'? Our advice

December 2023

Lees het originele advies in het Nederlands (PDF)

Provide sufficient financial and production resources that actually end up with the artists. Right now, there is the threat of an irreparable breakdown of the cultural base in our city.

The budget for arts & culture remains the same. We expect that this will be at the expense of creators in this city, because:

  1. The cost of energy and real estate goes up. This increase in costs mainly affects the established cultural institutions who own buildings. As a result, a lower percentage of their budget going to programs and creators. Outcome: fewer opportunities and income for creators.

  2. Fair Pay is mandatory and salary costs go up. This is good, but then there is less budget available for programming and activities: again, this leads to less income for creators.

  3. In addition, the performance pressure for the cultural sector is brought down by demanding fewer results from the funders demanding fewer results. At its core, also good! But, less performance means less productions and programs and less work for artists. Conclusion: again, less income for creators.

Our advice: follow the money!

Make sure that the engine of the arts - the maker - can keep running.

This is how you do it:

  1. Have all institutions demonstrate what percentage of the budget goes to the makers (in relation to other items) and develop guidelines for each type of institution.

  2. Let the amount of the share of the budget that goes to artists weigh heavily in the choice of grant funding and for the amount of contribution to an institution.

  3. Reward organisational forms that are creator-centered and have a high impact on the development and livelihood of creators.

  4. Reward larger organisations (fair chain) that work on equal footing with smaller ones - with trust and autonomy for the performer/creator.

On behalf of all 50 artists at TimeWindow.

Key points for the new Rotterdam cultural policy 2025-2028

December 2022

Lees het originele advies in het Nederlands (PDF)

Dear members of the ZWCS Committee,

Soon there will be a new cultural policy that largely relies on the previously formulated 3 I's - interconnectivity, inclusivity and innovation. To reverse the effects of corona and the economic recession, we recommend an additional focus that contributes to the city's resilience and agility.

Our advice: put creators first and support the arts at the source.

Enhance the functioning of creative practices in the city by:

  • enabling for talent development through a variety of trajectories;
  • facilitating innovation, research and experimentation (artistic and entrepreneurial);
  • offering space within urban development;
  • providing resources to (collective) initiatives from artists;
  • focusing on the assessment of performance first, not quantity and end result;
  • embracing quality and alternative value systems;
  • integrating artists' expertise and experience into new policies;
  • making the Creatieve Coalitie complementary to the current representation of artists in the city.

Why you should take our advice to heart

TimeWindow has built an innovative organisational environment based on the needs of artists. Since 2021, we are able to make more impact in the city thanks to talent development support from the Rotterdam Culture plan. In addition to sharing workspaces, facilitating a learning environment, contributing to urban development and organising public activities, we also make artists’ voices heard by giving unsolicited advice to politicians and city councils, such as the above.

What we do:

  • The 50 TimeWindow creators are growing and professionalising thanks to our innovative and diverse programme of residencies, festivals, events and peer-to-peer artistic and entrepreneurial mentoring;
  • TimeWindow combats precarity and empowers artists by investing 80% of our funding in their activities;
  • We actively involve audiences in the early stages of the creation process of different art genres and reach young audiences who often haven’t found their way to theatres yet;
  • The work developed at TimeWindow reaches an audience of 21,000 on average every year, in Rotterdam and The Netherlands;
  • As a generator of ideas, TimeWindow creates artistic dynamism and attracts talent to the city.

Some achievements from within our community:

  • Club Gewalt: included in the Rotterdam culture plan + receives multi-year subsidy from Fonds Podiumkunsten;
  • HipSick, Teddy shouldn't smoke, TC Macabre: all three develop their practice in the 2-year impulse scheme from Rotterdam;
  • Didi Kreike, Roi Soleil: are both included in the 2-year ‘Nieuwe Makers’ scheme of Fonds Podiumkunsten.

On behalf of all the artists at TimeWindow.

What (performing) artists in Rotterdam need right now

May 2020

Back in 2020, the arts & culture sector in The Netherlands was shut down completely. The crisis laid bare and exacerbated a lot of existing issues in the local arts sector. This was our advice to the Gemeente Rotterdam in 2020.

Wat Rotterdamse (podium)kunstenaars NU nodig hebben (2020) (PDF)

Transcription and English translation coming soon.

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