"Culture keeps the community together" (About culture and language)

Culture is important for the FNP; it is made possible by people or communities that work together, that share a passion. Culture is such an integral part of our daily lives that we hardly realise that it is there. Our culture is reflected in sport, heritage, economy and our way of life. It brings people together, gets people talking, also about the bigger challenges in today's world.


However, we will have to make choices when it comes to culture. The current culture policy (Nij Poadium) is coming to an end. The FNP wants to commit to two tracks. The first is a more robust basic infrastructure. This means that museums, open-air plays, music bands, theatre and events that tell and pass on the story of Fryslân must be able to rely on Provincial funding. The second track is about equal opportunities.


In that light, there has to be a clear subsidy scheme, implemented by the Quality of Life office. The number of visitors or participants, the relationship with Fryslân, its history, language or (regional) talents; those are all factors that should be the basis for the amount of the funding granted. This way, the entire cultural field in Fryslân will be given the same opportunities: From the Veenhoop Festival to Welcome to the Village.


One special initiative to mention is Arcadia/LF2028. The work carried out in the run-up to 2018, the year in which Leeuwarden was European Capital of Culture, and in the context of the Arcadia projects, deserves huge praise. We want involve the organisation in the further development of the new culture policy. The talent we see in Fryslân has to be kept on board, and deserves a future-proof story and equal opportunities. The FNP also wants to set up a Frisian Culture Fund (Frysk Kultuer Fûns), to support home-grown, local talent. Young people should be given the opportunity and time to develop their talents. The past few years, we have seen that the sector is under huge pressure. We have seen that people working in the culture sector found it hard to make ends meet. We feel that all things vulnerable deserve our protection.


Control of funding

The FNP is of the opinion that the Province has to be in control of how cultural funding is distributed; this is now decided on a national or European level. The Province is in the best position to set priorities when it comes to who is eligible for funding; it should be in control. Until then, the Province should provide support to organisers and organisations applying for national or European funding. When robust applications are submitted, Fryslân should be able to attract more money for projects in Fryslân. This requires a lot of ambition and drive.


The Province of languages

Fryslân is a multilingual province. In addition to standard Frysk, we have of course residents who speak Dutch, Biltsk/Bilts, Stellingwarfs/Stellingwerfs and other local languages and dialects, as well as various variants of Stedsfrysk (city dialects), the languages spoken on the islands and Súd-Lauwerlânsk/Zuid-Lauwerlands. The FNP insists that the Frisian Language Plan (Taalplan Frysk) is implemented by 2030. The time that people grew up illiterate in their mother tongue, in the language of the heart, has to be a time of the past. However, there is a lot of work still to be done. With our partners in the field, the Province is well on the way to achieve the targets for 2030; and that deserves all our support in the years to come, and our continued support after that. The FNP wants a provincial educational inspectorate, with the authority at all levels of education, that can check whether the school profiles are not only offered, but also actually implemented. We see that national politics does not pay enough attention to the Frisian language, compared to the priorities given to other educational subjects. This has to change. In addition, we want new Administrative Agreements on the Frisian Language and Culture between the Province of Fryslân and the state, with attention for our history in the curriculum.


Frisian? Quite normal, but actually very special as well
The FNP wants to actively make work of the visibility of Frisian and other (local) languages. An annual budget of €350,000 is available for language visibility in 2023 and 2024. The FNP wants to increase that budget, and make the funding structural for the coming period (of four years). Municipalities must be given support to develop robust language policy plans, and the constant battle for funding has to end. We can and should be proud of our language and culture - and money should not be an obstacle. That is why the FNP wants to appoint a language coordinator for Frisian SMEs. Language has huge economic value. It is a distinctive factor and especially interesting for the tourism sector. This has to be promoted, and that is why the FNP feels that the Province must set an example. For all provincial communications, and communications funded by the Province, the Frisian version, or version in the local language or dialect, must be given pride of place.


Fryslân also looks abroad for best practices and good examples, for instance in Wales. We see possibilities for Fryslân to be a trail blazer in respect of other language in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. To make this a reality, we want to enter into structural collaborations with areas where other language are spoken, especially with Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao.


Equality of local (regional) languages

The local languages of Biltsk/Bilts and Stellingwarfs/Stellingwerfs, deserve a special mention. The Province has a responsibility towards these special languages spoken in our province. The organisations who advocate these languages, Bildts Aigene and De Stellingswarver Schrieversronte, should be able to count on structural funding for this period via their respective municipalities.


The FNP also wants to continue support for the language gifts for new-borns, consolidate the relationships with Omrop Fryslân, Tresoar, the Fryske Akademy and Afûk, and preserve the Frisian chair at the University of Groningen. 

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