The Gerrit Rietveld Academie proudly announces the appointment of Miriam Bestebreurtje as the Director of Bachelor Education, effective from 1 November 2023. The appointment follows the recommendation of an advisory committee and has been approved by Maaike Lauwaert, Chair of the Executive Board.

Bestebreurtje's extensive experience in higher art education, combined with her background in photography, curating, and writing, positions her well for this role. She will succeed the current director, Ben Zegers, who is stepping down due to the end of his term.

Maaike Lauwaert: "With the appointment of Miriam we are happy to welcome a vast and rich wealth of knowledge and experience in art, art education, pedagogy and social safety. Miriam struck everyone on the committee as a kind, humane person, vastly experienced but also modest and humble. We are honoured to have her on board".

Her standout ability to translate ideas into actionable policies and her steadfast belief in fostering trust and openness within the student and teaching community align perfectly with the academy's ethos. Her clear and powerful institutional vision will make her a valuable partner in dialogue with students, teachers, workshop managers and staff, enabling them to achieve their goals.

Miriam Bestebreurtje: “The artist Ken Lum once wrote to an editor: In art education there are really only two important questions: who are you? And where are you? Of course, the day-to-day business of art education often feels much more complex than that, but I have always encouraged students to keep this essence in mind. I certainly try to keep this in mind myself. I am looking forward to bringing my whole self, my experience, and my curiosity into the very special context of the Rietveld Academie. I look forward to learning and growing together.”

(Quote Ken Lum from 'Art School, Propositions for the 21st Century', 2009).

Together with the Chair of the Executive Board, the Director of the Rietveld Academie is responsible for the full-time and part-time bachelor programmes and the preparatory courses. Together with the Director of the Sandberg Instituut (Master programmes) and the Director of Operations, Miriam Bestebreurtje will form the Management Team (MT).

About Miriam Bestebreurtje

Miriam Bestebreurtje (San Salvador, 1966) has an strong career spanning over 15 years in the field of higher art education, where she has emerged as a thriving force for positive change within the academic landscape. Bestebreurtje's academic journey began with a Bachelor of Art from the School for Photography in The Hague. She went on to pursue her passion for art history, specialising in Photography Theory and Lens Based Art, earning a Master's degree in the field. In her years as a freelance curator and writer, she always had a keen interest in the discourses of art education. Since 2007, she has been actively involved in this field, demonstrating exceptional leadership as Educational Manager and in various other roles.

During her tenure at the Willem de Kooning Academy, Hogeschool Rotterdam, she has led the establishment of an Office for Inclusivity, undertaking an in-depth investigation into the state of inclusivity and diversity. Bestebreurtje's insightful discussions during the interviews displayed her knowledgeable and incisive approach to the challenges faced by art academies in the Netherlands today. 

About the Gerrit Rietveld Academie

The Gerrit Rietveld Academie is a small-scale, independent, internationally oriented university of applied sciences for visual arts and design. The Gerrit Rietveld Academie consists of the Rietveld Academie (bachelor's degree programme, divided into 12 departments), the Sandberg Instituut (master's degree programme, divided into 7 departments), 23 workshops, several research groups and two lectorates. Day-to-day management is in the hands of the Chair of the Executive Board, who is accountable to the Supervisory Board. The new director of the Rietveld Academie is part of the Management Team, which further consists of the director of the Sandberg Instituut (Ruby Hoette per 1 November) and the director of Operations (Judith Kroon).