[ 25 Sep - 31 December 2015 ]

Announcement - GEMAK to close its doors

Announcement - GEMAK to close its doors

After three years of working incessantly on its survival, GEMAK – the active component of the Vrije Academie Foundation – has unfortunately had to decide to close its doors and cease all its activities.

As a result of the advice in ‘Haagse Nieuwe’, the city of The Hague’s cultural policy plan for 2013-2016, GEMAK was faced with a 75% cut in its funding compared to the preceding period. The result was an enduring difficult financial situation that in the end forced us to make this decision, despite the unremitting efforts of our team and Supervisory Board to arrive at a future-proof solution in collaboration with the City and external partners.(*)

In spite of everything, GEMAK has succeeded in realizing a varied, high-quality artistic program ( over the past years. This year’s program will continue until 8 November 2015, the final day of the exhibition Spotlight: Romania, that will open on 3 October, 2015. GEMAK will finally close its doors after a special farewell event on a date that will be determined later.  

Marie Jeanne de Rooij

Director of GEMAK

& Jos de Groot, chairman of the Vrije Academie Foundation’s Supervisory Board

(*) Well over half the funding GEMAK received was transferred straight back to the City of the Hague in the form of rent for the premises on the Paviljoensgracht where the foundation had been housed since 1989 and that, over the years, had been especially tailored to the institute. Moving to a cheaper location was never an option as the City of the Hague’s funding would have been lowered accordingly. In search of a new source of income, GEMAK therefore spent the past few years searching for and finding co-residents (who are all cultural entrepreneurs) for the building, creating a creative hotspot in the challenging city-center of The Hague. Unfortunately, in the end the new revenues were not able to save GEMAK. After GEMAK leaves, the City of the Hague will be the new landlord of our tenants.

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