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Interview: Arno Brok

The biggest sponsor of Under de Toer is the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund. The fund gave donated €500,000, which was crucial in the realization of the project. The new Commissioner of the King and chairman of the Culture Fund Arno Brok is looking forward to 2018.

What has been the decisive factor for the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund to make the choice to support Under de Toer? We would like to contribute to Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018, but also to a project that suited the goals of our organization. In addition, we find culture participation by amateurs and by the community very important, especially with an initiative like Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018. Under de Toer meets  those qualifications.

The collaboration between professionals and amateurs in the projects of Under de Toer is very special. It is interesting for the amateurs to work on such a huge project. And, Jos Thie has shown in the past that he is amazing at creating these kind of shows and that established a trustworthy relation.

How does Under de Toer suit the goals of the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund? The Prince Bernhard Culture Fund supports many projects in the field of culture, nature and science. With financial contributions, assignments, prizes and scholarships we encourage special initiatives and talents. And if you’re talking about special projects, Under the Tour is definitely a good example. Throughout the province these projects take place in collaboration with the mienskip (community).

It is an exceptional contribution for the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund. That also creates expectations. When do you consider these expectations met? It is indeed an exceptional contribution. An amount of half a million euros has not yet been awarded by us to a similar project. The Prince Bernhard Culture Fund consists of a national office with twelve provincial departments. Together, we have made this amount available. As the provincial management, we are very pleased that there is also support from the national department for a contribution to Under de Toer.

We therefore trust that Under de Toer will be a great success. We are very pleased with the high involvement of community in these projects. Villages get the inhabitants to tell the special story of their church together with the guidance of a professional, bringing the history of Friesland and the villages beautifully forward. I’m definitely going to visit a number of events, and bring guests to Friesland! We expect that this collaboration will continue to produce many beautiful cultural activities in the future.

With Under de Toer we hope not only to give the public something special for 2018, but also to contribute to the legacy of the stories of the Frisian churches. Which legacy of Under de Toer would you like to see? It would be great if not only the stories of the Frisian churches were passed on, but that it also encourages the audience to keep culture alive in the area that you live in. This by organizing many activities together.

We have built up a special relationship with each other. Thanks to you and your organization, the audience can revive the diversity of Frisian stories. What would you like to tell the public about the message of Under de Toer? A message for visitors could be to enjoy not only the performance, but also to make it aware that it is possible to organize such projects themselves. Culture brings people together, it inspires and creates stories. The Prince Bernhard Culture Fund wants to and is able to play a big role in this. The fund supports more than 3500 projects each year, all by gifts and collections.

For more information about the Prince Bernhard Culture Fund, visit