Operating subsidies: scale size in the arts

This is not a subsidy requirement, not even an assessment criterion. But it is a concept that recurs in a number of policy texts. Size. This is important, because it also determines how strict the supervision will be. Small or large scale? This is best taken account of.

Small, medium of large?

There isn’t really a precise definition. No minimum number of employees for a large-scale art organisation. No maximum number of visitors for a small-scale organisation. Size is not only related to volume and revenue, but also to strength, experience and network. 

Small scale? A little more leeway

Work with a small staff? Does your capital consist more of people than of money? Have you little time left over for transition, on top of regular operations? Do you work with a small and specific group of people? With that you may be able to justify the need for a little more leeway, so that you can still grow here and there in certain criteria. Engagement, an implementation plan and a vision of the desired results are important.

Two policy periods? Large scale

Size is also one of the criteria for applying for subsidies for two policy periods. For this purpose, the assessment committee looks at organisations that distinguish themselves in the areas of:

  • Revenue 
  • Collaborations with artists and other partner networks 
  • Entrepreneurship 
  • Audience reach and/or international activities 

Because everyone can interpret large-scale differently, large-scale is weighed on a case-by-case basis. The fact remains: an organisation of sufficient size can in principle tick off one or more of these points.