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Geke Oosterhof

My history is: study at the AKI, a revolutionary Dutch Art Academy, in the eighties. Then a career as a costume designer for film and theatre. In new century, I changed from activities to: organizing art and intercultural projects in and outside the Netherlands. In 2016, I was the founder of Newest Art Organization (NAO).

NAO acts as an agent for artists who recently fled to the Netherlands, due to war / dangerous situations / exclusion in their home country (Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Eritrea, Russia, China, Argentina and also for artists who got stuck in their flight and are now temporarily based in Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Turkey) providing them with training, legal advice and artistic possibilities. We organize exhibitions, workshops (like: and work opportunities for the newcomer artists and we encourage them for entrepreneurship. We have a nice office / expo centre and a working space in Amsterdam. The 'office' functions as a community space both for newcomer-artists and local people. We are working throughout the country, cooperating with museums, galleries, universities, but also with and for our neighbors in multicultural Amsterdam East. NAO is a grass-root organization, with mainly newcomers to the board.

We see great hesitation when art finance institutions have to decide on applications from artists from other cultures. Although their policy writes about: inclusiveness and diversity. Institutes for art funding are closed, stubborn, not open to new developments, still controlled by 'old white legions'. How can we change this? This is our issue.

I wish I had noticed the time schedule for your RESHAPE call for entrance earlier. Then I would have registered for the RESHAPE FORUM or the BECOME A RESHAPER option. We're busy, as always. And sometimes we miss out on great opportunities. I hope that NAO can inspire you, within the program. Let us know how we can contribute.

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