WMDC 10 years! (English)


The 10 year anniversary of WMDC was celebrated in November 2016 with concerts and a two-day seminar. The concept program is found below. A report will appear on this website in due course.

Seminar program Friday 4 November – here (Dutch)
Seminar program Saturday 5 November – here (Dutch)

Ten years ago in Rotterdam a collaboration was set up that had not been realised before. A music school, a conservatorium and a professional venue joined forces and created the foundations for what would become a cultural free space for all kinds and levels of music and education: the World Music Centre. Now ten years later we can see what this collaboration has brought us – and also where there are still opportunities that await. Alongside WMDC other initiatives and projects have also taken off that offer a chance for us, and with us many others, to learn. Grounds, Codarts and SKVR invite professionals in music and music education to gain experiences and to share their own at the anniversary seminar on November 4 and 5 in World Music & Dance Centre.

Tickets are available through Grounds: hier. Teachers and students of Codarts have free entry (but register on the site please!).

Context. WMDC was opened in 2006 after years of preparation. The development years were turbulent, not in the least because of events in the news: in 2001 when WMDC was tested as a concept in the international network, two skyscrapers and international confidence were destroyed; in 2002 a political murder took place in the Netherlands followed by an assault and murder on a media personality; terrorism threat increased alongside sharper imaging of ‘the other’ in media and discourse, politics and public life. Now in 2016 refugees, xenophobia and radicalisation take top position in reporting. These are, as they say, ‘interesting times’.

These developments are also felt in the cultural field. Where we saw at first a movement to embrace the increasing diversity in society, a counter movement quickly took its place. This despite demographic developments that show an ever increasing diversity in population: our audiences, participators and students. The ‘market’ for what cultural institutions have to offer is shifting, yet the institutions are slow to respond. How to close this gap?

Framework. The development of music and music education are connected in a web that consists in the broader context of musical cultures. International research program Sustainable Futures, in which WMDC took part, outlined the ‘ecosystem’ in which music cultures function. The interconnectivity of various factors make for a healthy environment for music.
Sustainable Futures identified five domains:

  • Systems of learning music
  • Musicians and communities
  • Contexts and constructs
  • Infrastructure and regulations
  • Media and industry

A book was published by Huib Schippers and Catherine Grant about this subject: Sustainable Futures for Music Cultures. The seminar looks into these five domains, in particular where these cross and support each other, for example through collaboration.

This program was made possible with generous support from Griffith University, Australian Music Council, Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds, Gemeente Rotterdam and Wim de Monchy fonds.