Cultural institutions perform a unique role in telling stories, reflecting on complex situations and helping us understand society around us. With the rise of digital transformation in our society, cultural organisations are faced with new questions as well as new opportunities. DEN enables cultural institutions to take advantage of the possibilities and opportunities offered by digitalisation.

DEN is a Dutch national knowledge institute for culture & digitalisation.

Together with cultural institutions we are working on projects to explore the ways in which digitalisation can contribute to increasing the social relevance of their work. The knowledge we are gathering in the process is shared in the broadest possible sense and, whenever feasible, translated into concrete tools and guidelines.

We are sharing inspiring examples from our national and international network and are developing innovative solutions together with the institutions.

Our target groups and collaboration partners are professionals from the heritage and art sectors, policy makers on a national, regional and local level, funds, other auxiliary functions, sector institutes, tech suppliers and pioneers, the creative industry and international fellow institutes.

 

Focus within the heritage sector: National Digital Heritage Strategy

The heritage sector has an important task with regard to the management and conservation of national heritage. Over the past years the sector took some major steps forward in the field of digitalisation and connecting their collections online. The basic principles of the National Digital Heritage Strategy (Nationale Strategie Digitaal Erfgoed) form the guidelines for the activities of DEN in the heritage sector. 

Within this sector, DEN is particularly focused on actively developing and sharing knowledge at a Board or Management Team level to make sure the possibilities of digitalisation will be incorporated in the organisation’s policies. For that purpose, DEN - from its cross-sectoral role - organises encounters and training programmes, for instance in collaboration with the provincial heritage institutes.

 

Focus within the art sector

For many art institutions a policy on digitalisation is still in its infancy. However, new digital applications can be extremely useful in helping art institutions perform their core tasks in the fields of creation, public outreach, education and talent development.

It is, of course, already possible to follow livestream concerts, go on virtual guided tours or contribute to digital crowdfunding platforms to realise artworks. But that is just the start. Technology can offer the arts many opportunities for evoking reflection, making connections with specific groups and challenging people to continue their search for an alternative way of working. Innovations have the potency to convey artistic experiences and reach out to the public in new ways. We are researching these new possibilities together with the art sector. We are sharing the knowledge we have gathered, as well as some inspiring examples from the Netherlands and abroad, in the broadest possible sense.

In conclusion

The heritage sector and the art sector have different demands with regard to the necessity for digitalisation and the kind of work that needs to be digitised. It is DEN’s ambition to make as much connections a possible between the innovation and knowledge development of both sectors in order to achieve a relevant, innovative, future proof and internationally leading cultural sector.

 

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