Focus on the community
The ABC Huis is a public funded institution, as is Artiance and the Kennemerwaard Public Library. What that means is that we have a responsibility for what happens around us. What developments occur in society and what needs within society are we able to provide for (together)? We see many developments we can respond to as an organization. In doing so, we focus on the trends that meet our mission and values.
What is our mission?
We dream of a society where everyone feels they are a valued member of the community, by developing throughout life individually, as a group and as a community.
“The future doesn’t take you by surprise. You make the future. You can work towards a future that you see is possible."
- Marleen Stikker
What is our vision?
The ABC Huis encourages you to make new discoveries and to challenge yourself to continue to grow.
As Moniek Coumans states in her report Purpose on cbs.nl: ‘By having a purpose, the feeling of self-respect and confidence grows, and you feel happier’ (see reference 1).
‘By having a purpose, the feeling of self-respect and confidence grows, and you feel happier’
- Moniek Coumans
The ABC Huis is embedded within two organizations who have both been successful in the areas of art and culture, language and reading, knowledge and information.
Participation and self-dependence in a government that disengages responsibilities can only succeed if people have the necessary basic skills and self-confidence.
Creativity and a sense of purpose are important elements when it comes to resolving society’s issues. The same applies to personal development and growth within the context of lifelong learning.
Both Artiance and the Kennemerwaard Public Library have a wealth of expertise in house to support and inspire people in this, and due to the merger, this expertise is now integrated in one organization.
If you need anything in this area, then there is every likelihood that you will receive assistance from the ABC Huis.
We take the experience we gain at the ABC Huis to the councils in Bergen, Castricum, and Dijk en Waard, where we meet with our partners there on subjects related to art and culture.
Social Framework Art and Culture Education and Library Services
The framework for education in art and culture is grounded in council policy, while library services have a legal framework in the Public Library Facilities System Act 2015.
Art and Culture Education
The art and culture policy of the Dutch government holds the councils responsible for the local culture policy (see reference 2) and for the facilitation of cultural education and amateur art. Even though there is no legal framework for art and culture education, we feel that we are supported in our work at Artiance in Alkmaar by the texts in the coalition agreement of the Alkmaar council. The council will commit to ‘an active policy to bring young people in touch with art and culture, also in a less formal setting, for example, in neighborhood and community centers. The goal is for art and culture to be made available to everyone in our district and remain so. To achieve this, a widespread distribution of cultural facilities is also important for the entire region. We encourage cultural education where possible.’
The library has a legal framework in the Public Library Facilities System Act 2015 (see reference 3). This act was reviewed in 2020 and a few items were updated. The library’s five core goals are defined in this act:
“A public library facility that is accessible to everyone always provides the following functions, which contribute to the personal development and improvement of the social opportunities of the general public:
A. to make available knowledge and information; B. to offer opportunities for development and education; C. to promote reading and exploring literature; D. to organise meetings and debate; and E. to allow art and culture to be discovered.”
The act upholds the basic principle that the library does her work within the values of independence, reliability, accessibility, diversity, and authenticity.
This national legislation and local policy form the foundation for us to look further around us. What are the questions and issues in society that we, as the ABC Huis (jointly), can address?
We focus on three important themes in the forthcoming strategic period: connecting with society, a sense of purpose, and digital transformation. These themes will be implemented in the annual action plans for the program teams Development and Fulfilment; Participation and Self-Dependence; and Education.