In 2oo9, Rotterdam was the first European youth Capital. One of the main focuses was talent development. By request of jongRRKC, the young Rotterdam Board of Art and Culture, the spatial inventory of the existing possibilities for youngsters in Rotterdam to develop their cultural talent was made.
The different stages of the chain of talent development were drawn. First the daily urban systems of youngsters were mapped. At these places the youngster can come in contact with cultural programs. Once the youngster found his cultural interest, the spreading of amateur training and podia and the professional education and podia are inventoried and mapped.Within this research there was a case study that focussed on dance.
2oo9, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
In this advice the four tasks for the future are: consolidate, concentrate, present and generate.
Some of these tasks are specifically concerning youngsters. Rotterdam should consolidate the starting creative class by creating a policy for breading grounds and creative working places. Rotterdam should generate more by investing in talent development of youngsters. In the new culture plan talent development should be more stimulated. Rotterdam should also attract more students in the city centre, by keeping the higher (cultural) education in the city centre and by creating student housing.
The definition of youngsters in the advice is very general and therefore the specific projects concerning youngsters do not show any big surprises or innovation.
The advice gives a good survey of long term investments in cultural infrastructure that have to be done. What is missed is a good survey of strict regulations that now make cultural expressions in the public space difficult. These regulations bring a lot of initiatives of youngsters to a halt today.
After the presentation of the analysis there was a panel discussion with Corry Prinsen (O.T.Theater), Siebe Thissen (CBK Rotterdam) and Marianne van de Velde (jong RRKC). They recognized the conclusions of the research. They were also happy with the practical recommendations on how to reach youngsters. It is a combination of offer, organisation of the offer and communication. Siebe Thissen had a critical note about the recommendations: ‘The city should not pamper the youngster too much either, you working hard is part of the development process.’ A girl responded that she is willing to work hard to develop her talent, but now she has to put all her energy in arranging possibilities to develop her talent and therefore not focussed on what she should be doing to become a talented dancer.
From its founding until now, David Dooghe was member and later vice-chairman of the Rotterdam Youth Council for Art and Culture.
JongRRKC advises and makes the connection between the youth of Rotterdam, the cultural organizations of Rotterdam and the Rotterdam politics.
The focus of David was public space, festivals and modern dance.
Because of other projects David Dooghe had to leave the council. He looks back at it as an inspirational time and is happy he could work together with so many talented young people.