The Prince Claus Fund was set up on 6 September 1996 as a tribute to Prince Claus's dedication to culture and development. The Fund believes that culture is a basic need and the motor of development. 

The Prince Claus Fund's mission is to actively seek cultural collaborations founded on equality and trust, with partners of excellence, in spaces where resources and opportunities for cultural expression, creative production and research are limited and cultural heritage is threatened.

The Prince Claus Fund supports artists, critical thinkers and cultural organisations in spaces where freedom of cultural expression is restricted by conflict, poverty, repression, marginalisation or taboos. Annually, the Fund grants eleven Prince Claus Awards to individuals and organisations for their outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development. The Fund also  provides first aid to cultural heritage damaged by man-made or natural disaster.

The Fund has built a diverse global network of excellent people, many of them role models in their own societies. This network of trust and mutual respect is the backbone of the Fund. Local partners and initiatives guide all the Fund’s work, following the conviction of Prince Claus that people are not being developed, but develop themselves. 

According to Prince Constantijn, Honorary Chairman of the Fund:

The Prince Claus Fund has sought to support culture and creative expression in people and communities; where these meet with resistance. We used terms like the amnesty for culture; culture as a basic need; giving voice to the unheard in the zones of silence. They are all expressions of the central idea that culture is what makes us human. Development without it cannot be sustainable and is meaningless.

In the end it is all about people; which is exactly why this Fund was so dear to my father. Colourful, brave and engaged people who stand up for their ideas;  showing how rich the world is; and also how little we know and what potential goes to waste in many of the societies across the world due to oppression, conflict natural disaster and poverty.” (6 Sept 2011, on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Prince Claus Fund)

The Prince Claus Fund is financially supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch Postcode Lottery and individual donations. Many individuals around the world contribute their expertise to the Fund. 


The Prince Claus Fund has the following programmes to achieve its objectives:

Alongside these programmes the Fund organises various activities related to culture and development, most of the times in collaboration with other organisations. Please check the calendar for upcoming events. 


Herengracht 603

1017 CE Amsterdam

+31 (0)20 344 9160

+31 (0)20 344 9166

prince claus

"The decisive factor is the growing realization that development and progress can be realized only by people themselves, in an environment where there is respect for one's own culture, own language and our own lifestyle. Without respect and trust in one’s own culture and traditions progress is  difficult to achieve."