Introducing Two Sponsors: KNAW & NWO

This blogpost will be dedicated to two major sponsors of the Art & Activism conference: NWO and KNAW. Together with contributions of RCMC, ACGS and LUCAS , it is thanks to their donations that it is possible to organize this conference. With this post we would like to express our gratitude towards these sponsors while also introducing our readers to these organizations enabling the making of the conference.

The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (in Dutch ‘Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen’, or KNAW) is defined by three key functions. First, to serve as a learned society representing the full spectrum of scientific and scholarly disciplines; second, to act as a management body for national research institutes; and third, to advise the Dutch Government on matters related to scientific pursuit. In fullfilling these functions, it relies on the quality of its members who represent the full spectrum of scientific and scholarly endeavor. As the KNAW is responsible for a group of national research institutes, innovation, knowledge valorization and cooperation both between those groups but also with university research groups are seen as keywords. Among other activities, the KNAW issues advisory reports and foresight studies, cooperates with foreign and international organizations on matters related to science and scholarship, serves as a forum for debate and a platform for knowledge-sharing, and it awards prizes and runs a number of funding programs. The Art & Activism conference is partly financed through such an funding program.

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (‘Nederlandse Organisatie for Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek’,  or NWO) ensures quality and innovation in science and facilitates its impact on society. Key to its functioning is the idea that scientific research contributes to prosperity and well-being and that it provides for a growing need for knowledge: for facing societal challenges, for economic development and to better understand ourselves and the world. In addition to direct government research funding, the NWO receives public money for science from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and from almost all the other government ministries, which it distributes by means of competition to the universities and national research institutes. In the Netherlands, this indirect government function exists in addition to direct government funding. The NWO’s core task, then, is to fund talented scientists and research facilities, thereby focusing on all scientific disciplines and fields of research. Dr. Eliza Steinbock is one of the scholars who got awarded a VENI grant, for their research project “Vital Art: Transgender Portraiture as Visual Activism”. The Art & Activism conference is organized through this postdoctoral grant.


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