Next Generation

The Next Generation was a special Prince Claus Fund programme created specifically to  endorse cultural expression for and with young people (ages 15-30 in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean that ran from 2018-2020. Due to Covid, the current programme has been extended until the end of 2021. The programme is closed for new opportunities.

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Image © TEDIC

Through this programme, we formed partnerships with organisations that work with young people to build more inclusive, open-minded societies and provide safe spaces for young people to create their own narratives. 

Through individual project grants as well as longer-term grants for organisations through our NextGen partnerships, the Prince Claus Fund aimed at strengthening the creative and professional capacities of young people, not only through financial support but also through mutual support: recognition, exchanges and workshops. 

The Next Generation programme also included a Prince Claus Next Generation Award for a young person who was a role model, producing exemplary cultural work related to youth, gender, diversity and inclusion. 

Through the Next Generation programme, together with Hivos and the European Culture Foundation, we initiated academic research. In Forces of Art, independent researchers challenged the paradigm that we constantly need to proof the role of culture in social engagement and explored the diverse ways that culture affects our societies.

About the Next Generation

The Next Generation programme was financed by a 3-year grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It worked with and for young people (now aged 15 - 30) to encourage creativity, confidence and an open-minded attitude towards others. 

The Next Generation programme aimed to facilitate the exploration of alternative narratives, and to promote learning through exchange among young people in safe spaces. The Next Generation programme carried out these activities:

Provided long-term support to creative (youth) organisations: In order to offer safe, nurturing spaces where young people from different backgrounds could come together, meet, talk and use art and culture to explore issues that concerned them, the Next Generation Programme offered support for a period of 3 years to 13 outstanding arts and cultural organisations working with and for youth. Longer-term support allowed them to develop more sustainable programmes.

Developed a network: Organisations receiving Next Generation support benefited by learning from each other. Exchange was facilitated through bi-annual meetings at first in person and later online.

Offered grants for exploring alternative narratives: Through open calls, the Next Generation programme offered grants for the development, production and dissemination of cultural initiatives that provided new ways of thinking about such issues as gender, diversity and inclusion. Calls were issued by region. Grantees were selected on the basis of the relevance, originality, quality and viability of their project.

Presentation of an annual award: The Next Generation encouragement award was presented to 3 individuals under 35 years of age, whose work was exemplary. The laureates were role models for innovative cultural work in the themes of the Next Generation programme and took part in the Prince Claus Fund’s Awards programme, attending both the ceremony in the Netherlands and one in their home country. 

Supported academic research: The Prince Claus Fund believes profoundly that culture can make a positive contribution to peaceful, inclusive societies. As this impact is especially relevant to future generations, the Next Generation supported in-depth academic research in the countries where the partners of the Prince Claus Fund operate, to document the role of arts and culture in the lives of youth, and their communities.

Created links with Dutch young people: The Prince Claus Fund believes in the positive value of creative exchange for all people. The constructive activities and narratives developed by youth in other places can offer inspiration to young people here, and vice versa. Therefore, the Next Generation programme organised activities that informed and engaged young people living in the Netherlands in the activities of Next Generation participants in other countries.

A note on our geographical focus: The Next Generation programme was financed wholly by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which supports projects in OECD’s DAC listed countries.