Frequently Asked Questions

For English, see bottom of page

  • Planning
  • When can I submit an application to the AFK?
    The AFK has no fixed submission dates for applications for the Professional Arts Scheme or the Cultural Participation Scheme. You may submit an application whenever you want. In some cases we do however work with a deadline, however, so please be sure to check the website carefully first. Applications for the Waarderingssubsidies (Basic Subsidies for Amateur Organizations) for the year 2016 must have been submitted by 17:00 on 2 November 2015.
  • How long do I have to wait before I receive a response to my application?
    Thirteen weeks. For this reason there must be a minimum of 13 weeks between the submission of an application and the start, premiere or opening of a project, programme or development plan. Exceptions to this rule can be found in each scheme’s regulations. If the applicant needs to send more information, that can mean a delay in receiving an answer. That's why it's important to send in your application as early and completely as possible, in order not to have problems with the planning. All the costs that an applicant makes before the given start or commencement date (such as preparation for the project) are at the expense of the applicant.
  • Can I submit an application with a retroactive effect?
    No, that is not possible.
  • What is a Drop-in Consultation?
    During a Drop-in Consultation, you have thirty minutes to explain your project in person. You will get a quick decision from the AFK as to whether they will contribute to the project or not. Drop-in Consultations take place on the last Tuesday of every month. Please note: there must be at least one month between the Drop-in Consultation and the desired start or commencement date of the project.
  • Planning Mijn Eerste Aanvraag
    Mijn Eerste Aanvraag is elke laatste dinsdag van de maand. Let op: tussen het gesprek en de gewenste aanvangsdatum van het project moet minimaal één maand zitten. Kijk voor meer informatie over Mijn Eerste Aanvraag onder 'Aanvragen' > 'Eenmalige Subsidies' > 'Mijn Eerste Aanvraag'.
  • Can I discuss my plan with someone from the AFK before I submit my application?
    Yes, you can get in touch with one of our cultural scouts. Send an email to one of our cultural scouts to make an appointment. Their names are listed under 'Organisatie'.
  • I have several potential projects. Can I submit applications for them all at the same time, or is it better to spread them out?
    We suggest you focus on one project, or discuss this with one of our employees in advance.
  • Am I required to apply to several funds for a financial contribution, or to make a contribution myself from my own income?
    The AFK only considers applications if the applicant's own contribution is a minimum 25% of the total budget. The ‘own income’ can include income from private sources such as income from ticket sales, sponsorship and hospitality revenues, your own contribution and/or a financial contribution from private funds. Financial contributions from public sources, including government funds, the City of Amsterdam, or its various districts, do not qualify. The fund only contributes to projects with a budget deficit. We advise applicants to apply for money from other funds, so that their total budget will be covered.
  • For my project, I would like to apply for a contribution from both the AFK and a specific Amsterdam city district. Is this possible within one procedure?
    No. You must submit two separate applications. Get in touch with your city district for further information concerning funding-scheme regulations and submission dates.
  • I can only confirm the location for my project once my application has been approved. Is that a problem?
    No, however, always specify the location in the application, and try to get a declaration of intent saying that the project may indeed take place there.
  • Regulations and conditions
  • Which schemes are accepting applications right now?
    You can submit an application for the Professional Arts Scheme and the Cultural Participation Scheme at any time, unless a specific deadline is otherwise stated on our website. Applications for the Waarderingssubsidies (Basic Subsidies for Amateur Organizations) for the year 2016 must have been submitted by 17:00 on 2 November 2015.
  • My project could fit within either the Professional Arts Scheme or the Cultural Participation Scheme. Do I have to make a choice?
    Yes, on the digital application form, you must select one of the two schemes. When in doubt, you can always talk this over with one of our employees.
  • What is the minimum financial contribution I can request?
    The minimum financial contribution is €2,500. One exception to this is the Waarderingssubsidies (Basic Subsidies for Amateur Organizations). An overview of the maximum amounts of subsidy that can be applied for (per discipline or sub-discipline) can be found under 'Regulations '.
  • What is the maximum financial contribution I can request?
    If you are requesting a contribution as a private individual (or a natural person in the legal sense), then the maximum contribution amounts to € 25,000. This restriction does not apply to legal entities. We try to establish in every case what is reasonable within the total coverage plan. There are some exceptions within the Professional Arts Scheme which apply to both legal entities and private individuals: • Organizers of Arts in Public Spaces: the requested financial contribution cannot be higher than the amount of the applicant's own financial contribution. • For the personal development of Amsterdam artists, a Development Budget can be requested for a maximum of € 15,000. • Within the Waarderingssubsidies (Basic Subsidies for Amateur Organizations), the AFK establishes the amount of the contribution for each applicant annually, differentiated according to the scope of the institution (number of members or participants) and umbrella organisations (number of connected institutions) and the various sub-disciplines. An overview of the maximum amount of subsidy that can be applied for (per discipline or sub-discipline) in 2016 can be found under ‘Regulations'.
  • Which legal entities may submit an application to the AFK?
    Not-for-profit legal entities, such associations or civil-law foundations, can submit an application to us. Organizers of Art in Public Spaces may also submit an application, even if their legal entity has a profit orientation.
  • May I submit an application as a private individual, and not as an organisation or legal entity?
    Yes, there are restrictions on the size of the financial contribution you apply for as a private individual (or a natural person in the legal sense). See earlier question concerning maximum contributions. For the Waarderingssubsidies (Basic Subsidies for Amateur Organizations), you can only submit a request if you are a foundation or association.
  • Does the AFK also contribute to the projects or programmes of cultural institutions which are already receiving a structural subsidy?
    Yes, but Cultural Institutions which receive structural funding of more than €100.000 per year from the City of Amsterdam via the Kunstenplan (Arts and Culture Memorandum) may not submit an application to the AFK. This restriction also applies to institutions which are supported on a national level (by means of the BIS-scheme): such institutions may not submit an application. When your cultural institution, project or programme is already directly or indirectly (partly) funded by the City of Amsterdam, or receives a multi-year subsidy on behalf or directly from the national government, the AFK exercises restraint in offering support.
  • Part of my project takes place outside of Amsterdam: do I need to incorporate all the costs into the budget?
    Yes, the budget must cover the entire project. The contribution requested from the AFK must be in proportion to the part of the project that will take place in Amsterdam.
  • I am working on an art project as part of my education. Can I submit an application for this project?
    No, we do not contribute to projects within the framework of a course of study or education.
  • Can I submit an application for funding for the creation of a work of art, without having a targeted plan for displaying that work?
    Yes, you may submit an application for a Development Plan within the Professional Arts Scheme. This application must be aimed at a boost in quality for the artist. The application must also provide insight into how the planned development will contribute to an improved position of the artist in Amsterdam.
  • I am still working on starting a foundation or association. Can I submit an application at this stage?
    Yes, but if your application has been approved the establishment of the foundation or association must be finalized before you can receive an advance.
  • Which documentation do I need to include with my application?
    In addition to the digital application form, we need to receive a comprehensive budget and a project plan. When applying for a contribution higher than € 25,000, or if the costs of the estimated project budget are higher than € 100,000, you must also upload a separate audience and communication plan. The Format Project Plan is intended to provide some examples of how this can be done. Please note: the entire application must be submitted by means of the digital application form. You can also upload all documentation by means of the digital application form.
  • Evaluation and criteria
  • How will my application be evaluated?
    Your application will first be evaluated to see if all the conditions and criteria described in the scheme's regulations have been met. You can use the checklist to find out immediately if your project meets the formal criteria. When in doubt, please contact one of our employees.
  • What happens to my application once I've submitted it to the AFK?
    As soon as your application (the application form, the project plan and the budget) has been received, the secretary reviews it to see if it fulfils the formal criteria as described in the regulations for the scheme. If your application satisfies all the requirements, our staff and financial professionals make a substantive and financial analysis. The application can then be presented, along with the analyses, to advisors, who will be asked to provide an independent opinion. Based on the analyses and the possible opinions, the staff employee makes a proposal to the management to either award a financial contribution or not, as well as the amount of the contribution. The board of the AFK makes the final decision, followed by a letter to the applicant stating the decision to either award a financial contribution or not. When granting an amount of €100,000 or more, the Supervisory Board must first give their authorisation.
  • I don’t have a lot of experience and am not well known as an artist. Which options are suitable for me?
    You can also submit an application as a beginner. A Drop-in Consultation might be something for you. You could also get in touch with one of our cultural scouts, to discuss your plans.
  • I am self-taught. Will the AFK consider me as a professional?
    When deciding if someone is a professional or not, we don't just look at their education, but also at their level of experience. We also want to see if there is evidence of a professional practice of the arts, with which an applicant can provide for their own cost of living.
  • I want to show the AFK what I can do. Can I invite someone to come and see what I am doing?
    We gladly visit (potential) projects. Send an email to secretariaat@afk.nl. Unfortunately, we are not able to accept all invitations.
  • Is it important to have references or be able to show evidence of earlier results?
    Yes, we will look at these things when evaluating the application. Earlier results are considered to be a reference when making the substantive and artistic evaluation. What have you done in the past, and what were the results? Include reviews, if possible. If you don't have any previous results to show us, impressions, outlines, sketches etc. will be sufficient.
  • Does my project have to be about Amsterdam?
    No, but the project must be important for the city of Amsterdam and increase the public's interest and appreciation of the arts.
  • My project is intended for a limited audience. Does it make sense to apply for funding from the AFK?
    Yes, at the evaluation we will examine which target group the project hopes to reach, and how much effort will be made to reach that target group.
  • If your application has been approved
  • Can I ask for an advance of the approved contribution?
    Yes. For projects within the Professional Arts Scheme and the Cultural Participation Scheme, the AFK may decide to award an advance of up to 80% of the approved funding. You can ask for an advance by means of 'Mijn AFK'. For the Waarderingssubsidies (Basic Subsidies for Amateur Organizations), other conditions apply. You can find the conditions in the implementation agreement which you received with the letter of approval.
  • Am I required to list the AFK in announcements of projects that have received a financial contribution from the AFK?
    Yes. You must mention that the project's results have been made possible thanks to a financial contribution from the AFK in all publicity and promotional materials. You must also use the AFK logo. You can find the conditions in the implementation agreement which you received with the letter of approval.
  • Am I required to provide the AFK with free tickets or invitations to projects that have received a financial contribution from the AFK?
    The AFK is entitled to a minimum of two invitations for the public presentation of the project. You can find the conditions in the implementation agreement which you received with the letter of approval.
  • Once my project is complete, how do I need to render account of my project to the AFK?
    Within three months of the completion of the project, programme or development plan you must submit a detailed project report by means of the digital application form. This report consists of both a substantive report and a financial report. For the Waarderingssubsidies (Basic Subsidies for Amateur Organizations), other conditions apply. You can find the conditions for rendering a full account in the implementation agreement which you received with the letter of approval.
  • Can I submit changes to my application while it's under review?
    Yes, please submit to us any changes that may have an influence on the evaluation of the project as soon as possible.
  • If the achieved results of the project (for example the number of visitors or performance dates) deviates from the planned results in my application, will that then change the amount of financial contribution from the AFK?
    That is different for each project. We evaluate the project as a whole and also take into account the amount of effort that has gone into achieving the result.
  • If your application for funding receives a negative decision
  • If my plan is not approved, will the negative decision be backed up by well-founded arguments?
    Yes. We will send you a letter to let you know why the application was not approved. Would you like to know more? Get in touch with the employee who dealt with your application. His or her name is on the letter of disposition.
  • If my project application has not been approved, may I submit a renewed application for the same project?
    If you submit a new application for the same project or programme within six months of its rejection, then the application will be dismissed without any further investigation or advice, unless you explicitly report new circumstances or new facts that justify a new assessment of the application.
  • I don't agree with the decision of the AFK. What can I do?
    People who do not agree with a negative decision can submit an objection. You must submit your objection within six weeks of the date of the decision, addressed to the board of the AFK. If you only want a more detailed explanation of the decision, get in touch with the employee who dealt with the application. His or her name is on the letter of disposition.
  • English
  • Planning schedule
  • When can I submit an application to the AFK?
    The AFK has no fixed submission dates for applications to either the Professional Arts Scheme or the Cultural Participation Scheme, so you may submit an application whenever you want. We do, however, work to a deadline in some cases, so always be sure to check the website first.
  • How long will I have to wait before I receive an answer to my application?
    Thirteen weeks. For this reason there must be a minimum of 13 weeks between the submission of an application and a premiere, the opening of a project or the starting of activities pertaining to a stipend. Exceptions to this
  • Can I apply retroactively?
    No, this is not possible.
  • What is a My First Application?
    My First Application gives applicants who have not previously submitted an application the opportunity to explain their project in person during a 30 minute interview. You will be notified in the short term of whether or not the AFK will contribute to the funding of your project.
  • Scheduling an appointment
    My First Application interviews are held on the last Tuesday of the month. Please note: there must be at least one month between the interview and the date upon which you want your project to commence. For more information about My First Application, please see ‘Applications’ > ‘One-off subsidies > ‘My First Application’.
  • Can I discuss my plan with someone from the AFK before I submit my application?
    Yes, for general questions and information, you can get in touch with one of our Cultural Scouts, who work in a number of city districts. Send an email to one of our cultural scouts to make an appointment. Their names are listed under 'Organisation'. You can also email specific questions to an employee of the AFK. Email addresses are listed under ‘Organisation’ on the ‘Staff Members’ page.
  • • I have several potential projects. Can I apply for them all at the same time, or is it better to spread them out?
    In principle, you can only apply for a new subsidy once you have completed any previous projects and accounted for any funding you have been granted in the past. Please contact one of our staff members if you have not yet been able to complete a previous project due to Corona restrictions.
  • Am I obliged to apply for a contribution from several funds or to contribute money myself?
    The AFK will contribute a maximum of 75% to your total budget. The fund will only contribute to projects with a budget deficit and appropriate financing mix.
  • I want to apply for funding from both the city district and the AFK for my project. Can I do this within a single procedure?
    No, you must submit two separate applications. Contact your city district for further information concerning funding-scheme regulations and submission dates.
  • I can only confirm the location for my project once my application has been approved. Is that a problem?
    The more concrete your application, the better. If the location has not been confirmed at the time of submitting the application, specify the envisaged location and provide a declaration of intent or a fixed option.
  • Regulations and conditions
  • Under which schemes can I currently apply?
    You can submit an application for the Professional Arts Scheme or the Cultural Participation Scheme at any time, unless the subsidy ceiling has been reached or a different deadline is stated on our website.
  • My project could fit into either the Professional Arts Scheme or the Cultural Participation scheme for culture makers. Must I make a choice?
    Yes, in the digital application form, you must select one of the two schemes. The Professional Arts Scheme is for projects by professional makers and cultural organisations. The Cultural Participation Scheme is for projects by and for Amsterdam residents who engage in cultural activities in their free time. If in doubt, you can always discuss this in advance with one of our employees.
  • What is the minimum amount I may apply for?
    The minimum amount is €2,500 for the Professional Arts Scheme and €1,500 for the Cultural Participation Scheme.
  • What is the maximum amount I may apply for?
    If you are requesting funding as a natural person in the legal sense (i.e. a private individual), the maximum contribution is €15,000 for the Professional Arts Scheme and €10,000 for the Cultural Participation Scheme. This restriction does not apply to legal entities. The maximum amount of funding that can be requested for a visual artwork in the public space is €50,000. Stipends are fixed at €15,000. In all cases, we look at what is reasonable within the total financing plan. The amount of subsidy requested must also be in proportion to the total budget that the AFK has available for this scheme.
  • What legal entities can submit an application to the AFK?
    Not-for-profit legal entities, such associations or foundations, can submit an application to us. Commissioners of visual artworks in public spaces may also submit an application, even if their legal entity is profit-based.
  • May I submit an application as a natural person (therefore not as an institution or legal entity)?
    Yes. You may apply for up to €15,000 under the Professional Arts Scheme and up to €10,000 under the Cultural Participation Scheme.
  • Does the AFK also fund projects or programmes by cultural institutions that are already receiving a structural subsidy?
    No, organisations receiving funding from the AFK based on the 2021-2024 Scheme for Four-year Subsidies and institutions in the Amsterdam Basic Infrastructure (BIS) scheme as listed in the 2021-2024 Amsterdam Arts and Culture Memorandum may not submit an application. Nor are organisations receiving government support (via the Basic Infrastructure Scheme) permitted to submit an application. If your organisation or project is already directly or indirectly partially funded by the City of Amsterdam, or is receiving a multi-year subsidy on behalf of or directly from the national government, the AFK will be reluctant to offer support.
  • Part of my project takes place outside Amsterdam: do I need to incorporate all the costs into the budget?
    Yes, the budget must cover the entire project. The contribution requested from the AFK must be in proportion to the part of the project that will take place in Amsterdam.
  • I am working on an art project as part of my education. May I submit an application for this project?
    No, we do not support projects conducted within the framework of a course of study or education.
  • May I submit an application for the creation of a work of art without having a detailed plan for showing it?
    No, the more concrete your application, the better. If the location has not been confirmed at the time of submitting the application, specify the envisaged location and provide a declaration of intent or a fixed option.
  • I am in the process of setting up a foundation or association. May I submit an application at this stage?
    No, you must have a valid legal status at the time of starting an application.
  • What documentation do I need to include with my application?
    See under the heading ‘Submission’ in the explanatory notes to the Professional Arts Scheme and the Cultural Participation Scheme. In addition to the digital application form, we will also need clear budget and project plans. Please note: the entire application must be submitted by means of the digital application form. You can upload all documentation at the end of the digital application form.
  • Evaluation and criteria
  • What are the criteria on which my application will be assessed?
    All conditions and criteria are described in the schemes and the explanatory notes to the schemes. You can use the Project Subsidies checklist to determine whether or not your project meets the formal criteria. If in doubt, please contact one of our employees.
  • How will my application be handled by the AFK?
    As soon as your application (the application form, project plan, budget, communication plan and documentation) has been received, the secretariat will assess whether it fulfils the formal criteria set out in the scheme’s regulations. If your application satisfies all the requirements, our staff and financial professionals will make a substantive and financial analysis. The application may then be presented, along with the analyses, to advisors, who will be asked to provide an independent opinion. Based on the analyses and any recommendations that may be made, the staff member will submit a proposal to the board as to whether or not to award a subsidy and, if so, the amount of subsidy to be granted. The final decision will be taken by the board of the AFK, after which an acceptance or rejection letter will be sent to the applicant. If an amount equal to or in excess of €100,000 is to be awarded, the authorisation of the Supervisory Board will be required.
  • I have never submitted a subsidy application to the AFK before. What are my options?
    My First Application is a great opportunity for applicants who have not previously received funding from the AFK. You can contact one of our Culture Scouts to present your plans.
  • I am self-taught. Will the AFK regard me as a professional?
    When evaluating whether or not someone is a professional, we look at their experience as well as their education. We will also want to see evidence of a professional practice of the arts through which the applicant can earn a livelihood.
  • I want to show what I can do. Can someone from the AFK come to look?
    We can visit active projects. Send an invitation by email to secretariaat@afk.nl. Unfortunately, we are unable to accept all invitations.
  • Is it important to have references or be able to show evidence of previous results?
    Previous results will serve as a reference for evaluation. In our opinion, the quality of previous activities undertaken by the applicant provide an indication of future potential. Your track record and that of other people involved in the project is therefore relevant information. What have you done previously and what were the results? You can show these things in the documentation accompanying your application. It is obligatory to add a portfolio when submitting an application for a stipend. When evaluating a stipend, we will explicitly examine the quality of previous work.
  • Must my project be about Amsterdam?
    No. We will, however, assess the artistic contribution your project will make to the city. When evaluating applications in excess of €15,000, we will also look at your project’s visibility, distribution and contribution to the diversity and inclusivity of the cultural activities and audience reach in the city.
  • My project is likely to attract a limited audience. May I still submit an application to the AFK?
    Yes, that’s possible. When considering applications in excess of €15,000 we will assess whether the range and composition of the audience reach is appropriate to your project.
  • My subsidy application has been approved; what next?
  • Will I receive an advance payment on the allocated amount?
    Yes; within 4 weeks of granting it, the AFK will automatically pay an advance amounting to 90% of the awarded contribution. In the case of a My First Application, the advance payment will be 100%. If you do not wish to receive an automatic advance payment, you can state this in the application form.
  • Am I obliged to mention the AFK when announcing projects that have received a financial contribution from the AFK?
    Yes; you must mention that the results of the project have been made possible thanks to a financial contribution from the AFK in all publicity and promotional materials. You must also use the AFK logo. These conditions are stated in the letter of approval.
  • Am I obliged to provide the AFK with free tickets or invitations to projects that have received a financial contribution from the AFK?
    The AFK is entitled to a minimum of two invitations to the public presentation of the project. These conditions are stated in the letter of approval.
  • How should I render an account of my project to the AFK?
    Applicants must submit a substantive and a financial account via the digital application form within three months of the end of the project. The conditions for rendering an account are stated in the letter of approval and in the accounting guidelines on our website.
  • Can I submit changes to my application while it's under review?
    You are responsible for ensuring that your application is complete. If you have additional information, for example, about new venues, confirmed locations, or promised contributions from third parties, please email this information to the staff member handling your application. The staff member will inform you as to whether the additional information can be included in the assessment.
  • If the result of the project (for example the number of visitors or performance dates) deviates from the result as envisaged in my application, will the contribution from the AFK also change?
    This varies per project. We assess the project as a whole and also take into account the efforts that have been made to achieve the result. Major changes during the project must be assessed by the AFK prior to their implementation. You can submit any changes digitally in “My AFK”.
  • My application has been rejected
  • If my plan is not approved, will the negative decision be backed up by substantive arguments?
    Yes. We will send you a letter explaining why your application was rejected. If you have any questions after reading the letter, you can contact the staff member who handled the application by email. Their name will be given in the decision letter.
  • If my project application was rejected, may I submit a renewed application for the same project?
    If you applied under the Cultural Participation Scheme, you may make only one more application for the same project following a rejection. The same applies to a My First Application. It is not possible to submit an application twice for the same project under the Professional Arts Scheme.
  • I disagree with the AFK’s decision. What can I do?
    If you only want a more detailed explanation of the decision, you can email the employee who handled your application. Their name will be stated in the rejection letter. If you do not agree with a decision, it is possible to lodge an objection. You must then submit a notice of objection addressed to the management of the AFK within six weeks of the date of the decision. Objections must meet a number of formal requirements. For more information on how to lodge an objection and the objection procedure, go to ‘About the AFK' > ‘Integrity and Accounting'.