Ruigoord is a green village in which the artists in studios and workshops can work for themselves but will also participate in the community. There is a strong tradition of cooperation, strengthened by the wide circle of related creative spirits both in the Netherlands and abroad. Because of this, Ruigoord can operate as a public facility with a very diverse programme, in which four themes can roughly be distinguished:
- Space for artistic experimentation.
Activities at Ruigoord move between high-quality art and creative extravagance, leading to experimentation and exchange between established art and up-and-coming talent. Annual highlights include Vurige Tongen (Pentecost) for poetry/music, and Openbare Werken (September) for creative art. Every month there is the Word in Ruigoord, an accessible stage for poetry. Every week on Saturday the church provides dance music and DJ’s, every Sunday there is either poetry or live music, from classical to jazz. There is also room for try-outs and/or rehearsals as well as experimentation space for singer/songwriters, theatre groups and musical ensembles.
- Creative audience participation, intensification, and rituals
Important annual events include the audience favourite Landjuweel (August) and Solstice (midsummer night). The basic thought is realising creative participation of the attending public. Shared experiences stimulate solidarity. The Celtic celebrations (8 per year) such as Beltane and Samhain are all about love, whereas the regular activities such as Natural High and Ecstatic Dance are intended to be intense and magical.
- Sense of life, art of living and playful action
Ruigoorders have a strong sense of freedom, joie de vivre and the art of (out)living. Visitors are immediately attracted to this. Important common interests are: ecology & nature experience, environment & sustainability, experimentalism & future-orientedness. All this can be found in many lectures, workshops, symposiums and in the general cultural programme. There is a tradition of performing playful actions – it is in our DNA, passed on via Provo, Kabouter and Insektensekte and still lives on in the Amsterdams Ballongezelschap, based at Ruigoord.
- Other cultures and international ties
Ruigoord feels a binding affinity with other cultures and (sometimes threatened) tribal societies. With a vintage bus from 1958 many trips have been made all over Europe as well as Morocco, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Mongolia. Ruigoord has welcomed many cultural delegations, lamas and shamans from Tibet, Mongolia, Australia, and South American countries. Ruigoord also has strong ties with other free-places like Christiania (Copenhagen) and the Rote Fabrik (Zurich). Ruigoord is part of an international circle of contemporary alternative initiatives such as Boom (Portugal), Fusion (Germany) and Burning Man (USA). This intercultural exchange is worthy of a new impulse in the coming period.