The Erasmus Huis is the cultural centre of the Netherlands in Jakarta. With a focus on musical programmes and exhibitions the Erasmus Huis has built a reputation as a vibrant and easily accessible cultural centre. Besides many performances of classical music and jazz, films are being screened and lectures are being held on a regular basis in the auditorium.
The Erasmus Huis is not only a showcase for Dutch culture, but is also a home for Indonesian art & culture. Many Indonesian musicians perform each year in the Auditorium. Furthermore the Erasmus Huis each year hosts a number of activities organised by other foreign cultural colleagues.
Most of the events in the Erasmus Huis are free of charge.
In the Netherlands as well as in Indonesia a so called 'sounding board'- group has been established to advise the Erasmus Huis on general policy with regard to its programme of activities.
The members of the Indonesian 'sounding board' - group are: Mr. Jim Supangkat, art curator; Mr. Gotot Prakosa from the Television Academy of Institut Kesenian Jakarta, Mr. P.H. Irianto, architect and member of Institut Arsitek Indonesia; Ms. Linda Hoemar, expert in the field of performing arts; Ms. Mella Jaarsma, director of Cemeti Art House and Mr. Bintang Prakarsa, music-critic.
The members of the Dutch 'sounding board' are: Mr. Lodewijk Wagenaar, curator at the Amsterdam Historical Museum; Ms. Claudia Landsberger, director Holland Film; Mr. Rob Docter, director Berlage Instituut; Mr. Reijn van der Lugt, expert on design and visual art; Ms. Rudi Wester, director Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature and Mr. Henk Heuvelmans, director Gaudeamus.
Cultural co-operation with Indonesia has a high priority in Netherlands cultural policy. Understandably because of the historical ties between the Netherlands and Indonesia and the commitment that the Netherlands share with Indonesia with respect to the preservation of our mutual cultural heritage. At the same time Indonesia presents a source of inspiration to many young artists and groups in the Netherlands, resulting in a substantial exchange of artists and groups.
Against this backdrop the Erasmus Huis was established in 1970. At first the centre - opened by Prince Bernhard - was located on the Jalan Menteng Raya 25. But soon it became clear that a larger building was needed to accommodate all the activities. In 1981 the current centre was opened in the business district Kuningan on the Jalan Rasuna Said. In this new environment the foundations were laid for the present programme which is put together in close co-operation with a number of cultural organisations in Jakarta and which has made the Erasmus Huis into an important centre for the cultural climate in Jakarta and outside.