English summary

We look back on a year that began optimistically. It also ended with a certain amount of optimism. In the meantime the world had been turned upside down by the emergence of the Covid-19 virus. We started 2020 full of optimism following the great stock market results of 2019, which gave our fund scope for great activities.

We were looking forward to the launch of the Lang Leve Kunst Fonds (the Long Live Art Fund). Preparations for a large-scale conference were well under way; we were planning to present to 800 participants the provisional results of the study demonstrating how the elderly can benefit from participating in art or cultural projects. Sadly, we had to cancel both the conference and the launch of the Fund.

The first lockdown presented the organisations that we fund with a challenging question. How could they still organise activities to bring older people together? To enable them to develop new ideas, we set up a simplified and quick funding application procedure. That this met a huge need can be seen from the fact that in a very short time we received 81 funding applications for alternative ideas. Of these we honoured 57 applications, to the tune of € 323,667.

It was fantastic to see how much creativity was unleashed. The beautiful summer weather also meant that thousands of older people were able to take part in a wide range of projects adapted to the situation. This was extra welcome as no attention at all was being paid to the well-being of older people, and particularly those living in institutions. Since the first lockdown, almost all organisations have taken the new circumstances into account in their applications. We also decided to make a one-off increase of € 0.5 million to the project budget. This enabled us to make funding commitments worth over € 1.8 million in total.

In December the Board of Governors appointed Lonneke Regter as new director. She succeeded Koeno Sluyterman van Loo with effect from 1 February 2021. He filled this position for twenty years, and on 31 March 2021 took on the chairperson’s gavel from Els Swaab. She led our fund with much wisdom and charm for nine years.

The year ended with the hope of a return to a society in which social encounters are a part of normal daily life. Our sector quickly learned a great deal from the restrictions imposed. New technologies and a great deal of ingenuity enabled us to reach a large number of older people. And we also became aware of people who had previously escaped our attention. These lessons will continue to be of value to us in the future. Once again it has been proved just how great people’s ability to adapt is. Despite everything, the world continued to turn. We can look back on a dynamic year that was also positive for our fund.