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The Museumkaart advantage

Did you know that TIC organizes activities that feature museums within the Netherlands at least twice a year? Did you know that whether or not you are visiting a museum with TIC or on your own, you can gain entrance often at a reduced price or for free with the Museumkaart?

The Museumkaart (museum card) is an annual membership card available to (temporary or permanent) Dutch residents which gives unlimited free entry to approximately 400 museums in the Netherlands – including 38 museums in Amsterdam.

The Museumkaart card program (also known as the Museumjaarkaart or MJK) has been running since 1981 and now has over 1 million card holders.  You can apply for a Museumkaart at museumkaart.nl (Dutch only).  You can also purchase a temporary (tijdelijk) Museumkaart over-the-counter at various museum (not all Dutch museums accept the Museumkaart); the list of museums can be checked on the website.

The following purchase prices are valid at least until 30 June 2017:
Adult Museumkaart €59.90
Child (age 0-18) Museumkaart €32.45

The card is great for the ability to just pop into a museum for 30 minutes and visit a new exhibition – and you won’t feel the pressure to see everything. Considering the current entry fees (€15-17.50) to get into each of the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Hermitage, Maritime Museum, NEMO and Stedelijk – means the card quickly pays for itself after just 4 visits. For expats and residents it can offer fantastic value over the whole year.

Reminder: Theaters Tilburg dance performance

Date: 30 March 2017
Place: Theaters Tilburg, Schouwburg, Louis Bouwmeesterplein 1, 5038 TK Tilburg
Time: 20:15 (8:15 p.m.)
Register by: 20 March 2017 (registration form below)

Theaters Tilburg consisting of the Schouwburg, the Concert Hall and the studio is a cultural undertaking covering a broad scale of performance art. It is an open house for all residents of Tilburg and the surrounding regions, offering a surprising and intriguing array of performances. Programming includes almost 350 performances and concerts, from cabaret to classical music to musicals to dance.

Theaters Tilburg and TIC are eager to start an ongoing relationship to merge our international interests and support. As such, Theaters Tilburg has cordially invited TIC to attend a new, international modern dance production. Here is the translated description:

Power ballet full of beauty. Last season, the New Zealand Black Grace participated as one of the top acts in the Theaters Tilburg line-up of international performances. This season, we have one of New Zealand´s most striking dance groups, the Okareka Dance Company.

Their new all-female production, MANA WAHINE is an ode to strong women with Moari-cultural influences. Three of the best choreographers from New Zeeland have combined dance, theater and film in this compelling performance. MANA WAHINE is inspired by the true story of Te Aokapurangi, a young girl from Mokoia Island, who single-handedly saved her people from invaders.

From the gorgeous opening to the stunning finale, five dancers impress throughout this rich “fusion” of dance, music and visuals.

As a first step in what is hopefully more joint ventures, Theaters Tilburg has given us a €5,00 discount on tickets (discounts already included in prices listed below) for our group.

Member Cost: €19,00 (podium level) €14,00 (back/sides of theater and first balcony) and €13,00 (nose-bleeds)

Cost for guests: €24,00, 19,00 and 16,00, respectively.

Book Club Invitation: Angels: A Novel by Denis Johnson

book-club-logoDate: Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Time: 19:30 (7:30 pm)
Register by20 March 2017 (registration form below)

The most critically acclaimed, and first, of Denis Johnson’s novels, Angels puts Jamie Mays — a runaway wife toting along two kids — and Bill Houston — ex-Navy man, ex-husband, ex-con — on a Greyhound Bus for a dark, wild ride cross country. Driven by restless souls, bad booze, and desperate needs, Jamie and Bill bounce from bus stations to cheap hotels as they ply the strange, fascinating, and dangerous fringe of American life. Their tickets may say Phoenix, but their inescapable destination is a last stop marked by stunning violence and mind-shattering surprise.

Denis Johnson, known for his portraits of America’s dispossessed, sets off literary pyrotechnics on this highway odyssey, lighting the trek with wit and a personal metaphysics that defiantly takes on the world.

A couple reviews:

“Johnson succeeds so well as to make one eager for more” (John Sutherland London Review of Books)
“A beautifully tragic chronicle” (New York Magazine)
“Denis Johnson is one of our most inventive, unpredictable novelists” (New York Times Book Review)
“Johnson knows his people inside out, their lost, lonely, never-had-a-chance lives. He knows how they talk and think, and he makes us know them too” (Publishers Weekly)
“One of the strongest examples of fiction noir since Robert Stone’s first work appeared-with an absence of sentimentality and an overall shape that’s perfectly judged, this is one of the most impressive first novels of recent seasons – full of a fiery recoiling kick, the dreadful power of inhuman ugliness and misfortune beyond redemption” (Kirkus Reviews)

The book is available new and used from Book Depository, Bol.com, and Amazon.co.uk (but not at the library) so I hope you will get and read it and join us for our next discussion evening.
Cost for Members: Free!
Cost for Guests: 5 euro p.p.

Visit to Kessels Music Instrument Museum

by Andy Kelly

Living in Tilburg for the last 8 years, I had heard the story of Marietje Kessels, the poor 11 year old girl who was murdered in the Noordhoek church on August 22, 1900 with no one was brought to justice. The story I was told was that Marietje came from a rich factory owner’s house but I did not know her family business was the production of musical instruments. So, I thought it would be great to find out more about one of the most famous families from Tilburg.

The day started like all guests to the museum trying to find the entrance, I was glad to see Anne waiting for me at the entrance to the textile museum were she proceeded to show me how to get to the musical instrument factory. After going out the textile museum and up some stairs the group was brought into a little room, where tea, coffee and biscuits were served.

At this point, the curator introduced himself and began to tell the story of the factory and the Kessels family which I would find out go hand in hand. The museum is staffed by volunteers who love their work and it shows. An example of this was even though the curators English was not the best and sometimes he had to ask for the right word, he spoke with the passion of a man wanting to share his knowledge of a beloved hobby. So back to the tour, next on the agenda was a short film about the factory which turned out to be kind of an accident.

Mathijs Kessels, a man that worked in the sheet music industry and an accomplished composer, saw a market for his sheet music in an industrial town known as Tilburg. Due to the high levels industrialization, this brought something totally new to the lower class free time. The factory owners encouraged music playing within the lower-ranks as, in the words of the curator, playing a musical instrument was a lot better than sitting in the pub.

So, as with many things, Mathijs started a small printing house in Tilburg and for some reason, people started bringing their musical instruments to the printing house to have them fixed. And in true entrepreneurial fashion, he said, why not? Demand became so great for musical instrument repair that Mathijs decided to not only repair them but make them. He found a site outside of the city center (next to the big AH that is now a green field ) to build a grand house and a new factory. Business grew and his factory at one point could supply almost everything to kit out a full marching band.

As with most stories, what goes up must come down. Mathijs received a large order of 900 pianos that were made and delivered but for which were never paid. This caused the company to come close to bankruptcy at which point the bank stepped in and took control of the factory. This ended up with Mathijs being kicked out of his own factory and starting a competing factory right next door. In the long term, not a great idea as orders and invoicing were delivered to the old address. Matthijs passed away on the 21st of December 1932 and within 20 years, both the new and old musical instrument factories were out of business.

So with the film ending, we were led to the brass workshop and shown the many stages of producing brass instruments. Being a mechanical engineer, it did bring me back to my student days. We were really shown how the instruments were made and the exhibit had a great illustration of showing this step by step. Next on the agenda was the wood instruments assembly area which included a saxophone to my surprise…

Well I don’t want to spoil the rest of the museum but I can recommend a visit. Half the fun is finding the museum and, if you have an interest in music or manufacturing, you’ll definitely be in the right spot.

Book Review of My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante

review by Anita James

Even the title begs the question:  who’s brilliant, is it friendship?

This is an unusual book. The story is that of the coming of age of two little girls in a Neapolitan slum just after WWII. The way it is told is not in any way ‘nice’, not in feelings, events or language. Life is hard, dangerous and emotions visceral; the children are not spared any of  this reality.  Like the old portraits of children, they are people, just small in stature and learning to live by observing and doing. No allowances are made for childhood vulnerabilities. These are pre-Dr. Spock years; struggle and death are ever-present.

Against this rough background, Lila and Lena grow up as friends or maybe in symbiosis. They are very different; Lila is the fearless leader, Lena follows fearfully but stubbornly and when they get to school, the difference is always there. One with flashes of brilliance, the other with relentless determination and this will be their story for life. Who does better at life? We’ll know when we read the next three volumes.

The book made an impression on most of us and I hope we’ll have more encounters with Ms. Ferrante to find out which attributes, genius or dogged pursuit, are key to life. Who knows, we may even meet in the very nice room we discovered at the Villa Pastorie.

Upcoming Events

  • Theaters Tilburg Show 30 March 2017
  • Kaas Boederij Leyedaeler Tour 8 April 2017
  • TICMovie Night 21 April 2017
  • Schrobbeler Tour 13 May 2017
  • TIC AGM & Pub Quiz 18 May 2017
  • Hap Stap Borrel 2 June 2017
  • TICMovie Night 9 June 2017
  • TIC Annual Picnic (TICnic) 18 June 2017

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