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Theater Instituut Nederland
Theater Instituut Nederland

Herengracht 168
1016 BP Amsterdam
Phone: 020 551 33 00
Fax: 020 551 33 43

Arts Organization of the Month Arts Organization of the Month
Theater Instituut Nederland 
    Theater Instituut Nederland is a non-profit organization engaged in a wide range of activities aimed at contributing to the development of Dutch theater culture in the international context, including the gathering and studying of the latest information and documents, organizing independent meetings, seminars and exhibitions as opportunities to stimulate discussion, as well as using publications and presentations at international conferences to supply information and build networks.

    The Nederland Theater Museum, the parent body of Theater Instituut Nederland, was founded in 1924 at the voluntary request of scholars, professionals and theater people of the day. By collecting and purchasing materials related to the development of Dutch theater from private collections, the Theater Museum compiled an archive that forms the core of its present activities. By the 1960s the museum was open to the public as an archive and organizer of exhibitions and seminars concerning Dutch theater. In the 1970s the museum expanded its collection as the Netherlands headquarters of the International Theater Institute to include materials on dance and film and created service organizations in the fields of dance, pantomime and puppet theater. In 1992, these four organizations were consolidated to form the Theater Instituut Nederland.

    The administrative offices of Theater Instituut Nederland are located in a stately historical building built in the 17th century on one of the canals in central Amsterdam. After large-scale renovations in 1997, the facility on its 4,400 square meter grounds contains the institute’s offices, the museum, library, reading room, exhibition space, a hall with seating for 100, a museum shop and café, conference facilities available to the public and a large inner court that is open for a variety of children’s programs. Today the institute functions as a central information center answering the needs of not only theater professionals but also commercial theaters and the theater audience.

    The institute operates with a budget of which 65% comes from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science of the government of the Netherlands. Another portion of the budget (approximately 20%) comes from the government or NGOs as funding for individual projects, and another significant portion (approximately 15%) is made up of donations and revenue from the sales and rental fees. The institute presently employs a staff of 65, which is augmented at times for special programs and with internships. The management committee led by the administrative director (Henk Scholten) reviews and approves the annual programs and budgets, annual reports and important operating policies.

    In addition to working in affiliation with international organizations including the International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts (IETM) (, the European Network of Informal Centers for the Performing Arts (, the European Mime Federation, Transversales and the International Organization for the Transition of Professional Dancers ( The institute also exchanges information and co-organizes workshops and symposiums with theater associations from each country, such as the Belgium’s Vlaams Theater Instituut (, universities and research organizations. In particular, the institute takes a central role in research concerning the performing arts of the Netherlands, working closely with the theater department of the University of Amsterdam in research and the holding of training programs, formulating a directory ( of the companies in theater, dance and the other performing arts and providing research opportunities for visiting foreign scholars. The institute also publishes annual leaflets with information about performing arts festivals in the Netherlands (