Started fifteen years ago, Cultural Sundays have become one of the most large and successful events in Utrecht, attracting up to 60,000 visitors. On each Cultural Sunday, lasting usually one day, a number of art disciplines, including theatre, opera, music, dance, film, literature, visual arts, street culture and storytelling come together to present different sides of a central theme. The events are located throughout the city at different times, and are mostly free of charge. Last year's events included theatrical and musical performances in and around shops, pubs and restaurants, cycling through the new city hall, the stories of the second world war told via street theatre performances and a labyrinth made of carton boxes. Stuck for something to do on a Sunday? Come and join us. Each Sunday has a language no problem
program which includes exhibitions, music and dance performances.
In 2017 there will be six Cultural Sundays: January 15, March 11 & 12, April 23, June 5, September 3, October 15.
Nieuwjaarsduik - 15 January
The traditional start to the cultural calendar in Utrecht feels like a dip in a nice hot bath. Immerse yourself in a mix of previews, lectures, presentations, workshops, exhibitions and performances. Get inspired by the sheer diversity of activities on offer and take a closer look at the locations, makers and organisations. This year there is an extra focus on the Mondriaan to Dutch Design
Despite ongoing digitisation and increasingly ingenious mobile technology, the spoken word, dialogue, physical contact seems to be making a comeback. Talking face-to-face is an essential part of creating intimacy with other people, making ourselves understood, explaining our point of view, understanding others. With elections for the Dutch House of Representatives imminent, this Sunday is the perfect opportunity for Utrecht-based national and international initiatives and speakers to join the massed voices that represent the abundance and diversity of the spoken word in Utrecht. Featuring a wide range of themes and topics, in the most diverse discussion and presentation forms imaginable.
Utrecht 50-75 - 23 April
The numerous urban design projects currently going on in Utrecht have plunged the city into the throes of transition. This is not the first time that the character of Utrecht has changed drastically; it happened after World War II, for example. The growth of the university and higher education in general changed the function of Utrecht from a base for heavy industry into a service provider. The surface area doubled in 1954 when the boundaries shifted, and districts such as Kanaleneiland, Overvecht and Hoograven rose from the ground. In a major, intriguing building project, the Utrecht city authorities developed a new, controversial urban heart around Hoog Catharijne shopping mall. But time stands still for no man, Utrecht included. The atmosphere became turbulent, people more politically aware. Utrecht 50-75
takes visitors on a tour of significant locations and events from this period, bringing the city to life with theatre, photos, film, music and people’s personal accounts of this remarkable era.
Utrecht Centraal - Monday 5 June (N.B.: This is a public holiday)
Utrecht transforms into one big stage, on which a rich, highly diverse range of music is combined with some of the city’s unique, hidden and more unusual locations. This slightly off-beat programme, compiled together with many of Utrecht’s music providers and makers, is the living proof that music is inextricably linked to the DNA of this city. From classical to pop, from vocal to instrumental, from emerging bands to established names. Featuring diverse cross-overs and jaw-dropping musical interventions.
Uitfeest - 3 September
The start of the cultural season, whereby the Utrecht culture sector puts itself in the spotlight with an extended open house programme designed to entice and seduce new audiences into visiting its range of productions and institutions during the season to come.
Alles Kids - 15 October
Back by popular request! For boys and girls, brothers and sisters, as well as fathers, mothers and grandparents. The event marks the start of the autumn school holiday and the end of Children’s Book Week. A family Sunday with a special programme for children, featuring countless art forms aimed at young and old. In close collaboration with the various cultural organisations in Utrecht, and in line with the ongoing educational culture range. With shows, performances, guided tours, lectures, experiments and numerous activities allowing children to experience culture at first hand.
In 2015 there were five Cultural Sundays:
Nieuwjaarsduik - Sunday 10 January
The traditional kick off of the new cultural year starts on the 10th of January. Take a plunge into all that is about to come to Utrecht, culturally. With previews, lectures, presentations, workshops, exhibitions and performances. Get inspired by all there is to offer and get to know many locations and organizations at the same time.
See here the LNP program of the Nieuwjaarsduik
Science in the City - Sunday 3 April
The University of Utrecht celebrates its 380th birthday and will treat locals and visitors to a science spectacle! For just one day, the University will turn the city into one big class with an extensive program of mini-lectures, practical sessions and presentations on a wide variety of research topics. The colleges will take place in museums, on the streets, in hotel lobbies, and in shops and student homes. Get to know the University, renew your own skills and join the big science quiz. Or create your own 'study for one day' program, and collect your bachelor's degree at the end of the day during a ceremony in the Academy Building.
Bestemming Bereikt - Sunday May 1
While images of desperate refugees emerge almost every day, politicians puzzle over on an approach to solve this complex problem. But, there are also many similarities to the past. The Dutch oral history project 'Ongekend Bijzonder' (Specially Unknown) has collected the life stories of over 200 individual refugees. In particular, their experiences in the four main Dutch cities is central. These stories form an important basis for this Cultural Sunday. Through various presentations, meeting, exhibitions, theatre and music performances, Cultural Sunday aims at achieving a better awareness of refugees, past and present, in the Netherlands and in Utrecht in particular.
Uitfeest - Sunday September 4
Uitfeest marks the beginning of the new cultural season and is basically a ‘taster’ for the new season. It features a glimpse of productions that will take place in full during the year. Cultural institutions in Utrecht will show itself in its best light with a wide 'open house' program that allows visitors to discover various institutions and will entice them to come back.
Win-Win - Sunday October 30
In Utrecht, more new businesses pop up who aim to provide an accessible, viably and healthy city. Get to know these cultural entrepreneurs during this Cultural Sunday, which is all about the new economy in which profit is created for everyone. Large and small businesses present their solutions to the social challenges of tomorrow. Get inspired by the presentations at the green stage; shop the world out of recession in a mini pop-up mall and experience unique care innovations.