Arcadia is a 100-day cultural programme that will be held in the province of Friesland in the summer of 2022. These 100 days of culture are a sequel to 2018, in which Leeuwarden-Friesland was the European Capital of Culture. Between 6 May and 14 August, programme highlights include a walking forest with more than 1,000 trees in Leeuwarden (Bosk), a new exhibition with visual arts in Parklandschap Oranjewoud (Paradys), a musical theatre performance with a panoramic view over the IJsselmeer (Verdriet van de Zuiderzee) and a new performing arts festival in collaboration with the municipal theatre De Harmonie (PAFFF).
What is unique about Arcadia?
Arcadia’s programme is really diverse and will run for 100 days. A large part of the programme is free of charge. What is unique about Arcadia is that so many people (more than 25,000) from all walks of life and corners of the province collaborate on such a large cultural programme. That’s not something you’ll see in most other places.
Arcadia is an extremely diverse, 100-day programme created by more than 25,000 people – from international artists to people from villages and neighbourhoods throughout Friesland. There are few examples of such events elsewhere in the world. It shows that high quality art and broad, encompassing culture can coexist quite happily together. Both help to form an image and feeling of how we can make our immediate and more distant surroundings better places for everyone. At Arcadia, cultural organisations, businesses, governments and schools all work together.
When will Arcadia take place?
Arcadia starts on 6 May and runs until 14 August 2022. It takes place over 100 days and the next edition is scheduled for 2025.
Where does Arcadia take place?
Arcadia takes place at various locations throughout Friesland. See arcadia.frl for more information.
Who is Arcadia for?
This event is for anyone who wants to have a nice weekend or day out, culture lovers and people questioning the challenges of our time.
How many visitors are expected?
Arcadia runs for 100 days, from 6 May to 14 August, and we expect 750,000 visits in that period. After the European Capital of Culture in 2018, this first edition of Arcadia means that Friesland is once again the setting for a major national and international cultural event.
Who organised Arcadia?
Arcadia is a new triennial event organised by the same foundation that was responsible for the organisation of the super successful Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018 European Capital of Culture. The next edition of Arcadia is scheduled for 2025.
Who is involved with Arcadia and who are the partners?
Arcadia’s extensive programme is partly shaped by contributions from many cultural organisations, including Orkater, Tryater and the Fries Museum, educational institutions, companies and the Frisian mienskip (community). It is also made possible by main partners Province of Friesland, Municipality of Leeuwarden, Groen Leven, Arriva and Univé, and the partners LOF, the Prince Bernard Cultuurfonds, Fonds Podiumkunsten, the Mondriaan Fonds, Keunstwurk, Achmea and FB Oranjewoud. Dozens of Frisian educational institutions, local governments, companies and hundreds of volunteers also participate in the programme. Visit Friesland is the official marketing partner.
What is Arcadia’s relationship with LF2018?
Arcadia is organised by the same foundation that was responsible for organising the fantastic Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018 European Capital of Culture (LF2018). Arcadia is continuing the movement initiated by LF2018 and is a new event that takes place every three years. In terms of content, Arcadia is working along the same lines as LF2018, i.e. how we can make Friesland a more sustainable and equitable place as a strong European region.
What does Arcadia cost?
Arcadia’s total budget is almost 10 million euros. More than 8 million of this is invested in the various programmes, including those produced by Arcadia itself, such as Bosk, Paradys and PAFFF. We hope that the expected 750,000 visits create a nice economic boost, just like in 2018.
Arcadia’s total budget is almost 10 million euros. More than 8 million of this is invested in the various programmes, including those produced by Arcadia itself, such as Bosk, Paradys and PAFFF.
However, if you ask us, Arcadia is worth double that amount. We hope that the expected visits to Arcadia create the same nice economic boost as during LF2018, when each euro invested resulted in more than 2.5 times as much in spending and investments in Friesland. But perhaps more importantly, a major collaborative event puts Friesland on the map and more than 25,000 Frisians are actively working together to make Arcadia a success. This creates pride and a big shift in mentality compared to the Friesland of 10 years ago. This event also contributes to a more networked society because our programmes encourage cooperation and contribute to the much-desired green transition and a stronger position for the Frisian language and culture, always within an international context and perspective. It also provides a lot of work and commissions for creators and people working in the cultural sector. This applies not only to 2022, but also in the years prior to and after the first edition of Arcadia.
How did the programme come about?
The Arcadia programme was created through many collaborations with cultural organisations and artists, business, schools and governments. Much of Arcadia’s programme is a continuation of the movement that resulted in the Capital of Culture (Uitgesteld geluk, Verdriet Zuiderzee, Bosk, etc). This means it can rightfully be considered a legacy programme of Leeuwarden-Friesland 2018, European Capital of Culture.
Why does Arcadia want to address the concept of legacy?
Our current societal challenges call for new, hopeful and collaborative perspectives. Artists are better suited than most to show us new viewpoints and horizons and, above all, generate emotional connections to them. The central question that artists and visitors are asked is ‘What kind of world and society will we leave behind for subsequent generations?’
How did Arcadia get its name?
Arcadia, a term from classical times, is a utopian land full of flowers, orchards and forests, clear waters, birdsong and eternal summer: the fantasy countryside.
Arcadia’s 100 days of culture is about the longing for such an idyllic place. The artists and Frisian community show us new perspectives and invite us to discuss the question, ‘what kind of world and society will we leave behind for subsequent generations?’
How does Arcadia manage to get so many people engaged and active again?
Many professional artists and culture makers work on Arcadia. But by far, Arcadia’s largest group of makers is the more than 25,000 people who do this voluntarily: as initiators with their association within IIS or elsewhere, as participants and movers of Bosk’s trees, as ticket punchers at Under Wetter, as singers at Woud der Stemmen, just to name a few. Just as in 2018, it’s in Arcadia’s DNA to work together to create the programme dealing with the topics of the here and now.
If you only have only 1 day, where should you go or what should you see?
You won’t want to miss Bosk, the walking forest in Leeuwarden with more than a 1,000 trees, and Paradys, the exhibition with a lot of new work by visual artists, in the Oranjewoud Parklandschap. Or visit Uitgesteld Geluk, where you visit someone’s garden and listen to a new story written by a young poet.
Arcadia also produces programmes. Which program components?
Bosk, the walking forest in Leeuwarden and Paradys, an exhibition with new work by international artists in the Oranjewoud Parklandschap. Arcadia is also the driving force behind IIS, in which Frisian villages, neighbourhoods, cities or associations work with creators to shape their ideas about the future. In collaboration with De Harmonie, Arcadia organises PAFFF, a brand-new performing arts festival. The central question that resonates throughout the programme is ‘what kind of world and society will we leave behind for subsequent generations?’.