This is the first installment of my blog ‘Wassup?’. As the director of the John Adams Institute I will post (ir)regularly to keep you up to date on our newstand provide an occasional peek behind the scenes. Feel free to send me your thoughts and reactions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We did something altogether new this week – well, new for us. We invested in having big posters, designed by our events coordinator Yara Deuss, hung in 50 different spots around Amsterdam with (only) four of the big names in our up coming fall program. T.C. Boyle (5 Sept.), Jonathan Franzen (19 Oct.), Marilynne Robinson (15 Nov.) and Robert Putnam (16 Nov.).
In the meantime we could not resist hosting a less famous but very talented author, Laird Hunt, on his new novel Neverhome (13 Nov.). This will be our first collaboration with SPUI25, and also the maiden voyage of our moderator, Maarten Westerveen of the VPRO.
The poster campaign is timed to coincide with SAIL and with the Uitmarkt, the opening of the new cultural season on the last weekend of August. We’ll be at the Uitmarkt this year (hope it doesn’t rain!) handing out flyers and getting the word out about the great things we do.
After many years with no change in our membership rates we have decided, finally, that the time has come to raise them. As of January 2016 members will pay 45 euro’s a year and patrons 85. To my mind it’s still very good value for money. And we need the money: the John Adams has no subsidy, we are entirely dependent on private individuals and business to do what we do.
Upcoming: the most important black voice in the US at the moment is the writer Ta-Nehisi Coates. We are working on hosting him at the John Adams at the beginning of next year; hopefully more on that soon.
Amsterdam, 21 Aug. 2015