FuturoPresente – a year of Dutch arts for children and youth in Italy

22 February 2023
FuturoPresente | Credit: © Xaviera Altena
FuturoPresente | Credit: © Xaviera Altena

This week saw the launch of the international programme FuturoPresente in Italy, which puts a year-long spotlight on contemporary Dutch arts for children and youth. The programme is an initiative of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, Performing Arts Fund NL, SEE NL and the Cultural Participation Fund, together with the Embassy and Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Italy.
A selection of Dutch theatre makers, writers, illustrators, choreographers and filmmakers will present themselves to the Italian public and professionals with the aim of strengthening networks between the countries, entering into new partnerships and sharing experiences.

FuturoPresente builds on sustainable exchange of professionals
Important partners of FuturoPresente are Bergamo and Brescia, the cultural capitals of Italy in 2023, which open their stages, cinemas and galleries to Dutch arts for children and youth. Other partners include major festivals such as the Bologna Children's Book Fair, the Giffoni Film Festival, Festival RomaEuropa, the Turin Book Fair, Segni d'Infanzia and Internazionale Kids. There will also be various masterclasses, artistic exchanges and a symposium on cultural participation and -education between the two countries.

Arts for children and youth in demand in Italy
In recent years, Dutch artists have done remarkably well in Italy. For example, theatre maker Jetse Batelaan won a Silver Lion at the Venice Biennale, writer Annet Schaap won the Strega Prize and director Flynn von Kleist triumphed at the Giffoni Film Festival 2021.

The extent to which children's and youth culture in the Netherlands is embedded as a fully-fledged art form is admirable, as is the extent to which inclusiveness and representativeness are given a place. Unlike in Italy, challenging and sometimes controversial themes such as divorce, emancipation, the climate crisis, racism, war and sexuality are not shunned for children and young audiences.

“Italy is the ideal platform to present Dutch cultural projects for young adults and children. The cultural sector here is very lively and looks with interest at arts for children and youth from the Netherlands. It is special that we can bring together young generations from both countries in this programme!” - Willem van Ee, Dutch ambassador to Italy

Performing Arts Fund NL brings creators and youth productions to Italy
As part of FuturoPresente, the Performing Arts Fund NL will bring professional theatre and dance productions for children and youth to major theatre festivals like Festival RomaEuropa and Festival de Segni d’Infanzia. Productions will also feature at multidisciplinary festivals such as Letteratura Mantova and the GenderBender Festival, where performing arts form part of a broader programme.

Creators set to perform in Italy include De Dansers, Simone de Jong, Meneer Monster, Het Houten Huis, Het Filiaal, Makiko Ito, De Stilte, Maas Theater en Dans, Andreas Denk/plan-D and Dadodans.
Credit: © Vika Strawberrika via Unsplash
Credit: © Vika Strawberrika via Unsplash

The Performing Arts Fund NL is closed between December 25th 2023 and January 1st 2024. We reopen on January 2nd 2024. See you in the new year!

Pete Harden | Photo: © Tessa Veldhorst
Pete Harden | Photo: © Tessa Veldhorst
FuturoPresente | Credit: © Xaviera Altena
FuturoPresente | Credit: © Xaviera Altena
Guy Coolen | Photo: © Marcel Lennartz
Guy Coolen | Photo: © Marcel Lennartz