Eline Mette

Foto: Ulrik Jantzen

With the aim of strengthening the Danish performing and visual arts institutions and creating a framework that can ensure artistic development, long-term business strategies, financial sustainability and possible international activity, the Bikuben Foundation and the Nordic Culture Fund are working with a number of arts institutions to develop a process characterised by open dialogue and close collaboration. The initiative was launched in response to recurring patterns: art institutions that are operated with great artistic ambition, but often with too little time and finances, and a resulting focus on survival rather than on strategic development.

At the Bikuben Foundation, we work to create new opportunities for professional artists and art institutions, and our role as an active development partner is fundamental to the development we are undertaking as a foundation. Our art experts can help to provide an overview of the field and a large network both nationally and internationally, and in combination with the competencies of the art institutions themselves, as well as the Nordic Culture Fund and the Danish Design Centre, we believe that this will help to provide the art institutions with a significant boost,” says Mette Marcus, Director of the Bikuben Foundation.

A new type of foundation collaboration

As well as, hopefully, ensuring the sustainable development of the individual arts institutions, close collaboration with the institutions also allows the foundations to acquire knowledge across the field of the arts and try out new foundation partnerships.

“At a time when the arts and culture scene is under increasing pressure, it has been important for us at the Nordic Culture Fund to establish a closer dialogue with the players and support the institutions’ needs and potential in a longer-term perspective. There is a growing interest in the Nordic countries in creating better conditions for a broader and more sustainable funding of arts and culture. Through these efforts, we can provide concrete experience and knowledge of new working methods and the development of private-public foundation collaborations,” says Eline Sigfusson, Deputy Director of the Nordic Culture Fund.

Only a few institutions have joined the initiative so far, but when the course is more fully developed, the plan is to create an actual programme that more institutions can take part in.