This year’s theme, Take Care, will not be unknown to some within the community. At the beginning of this century, many campaigns took place under this heading to create awareness about the HIV virus and its consequences. The Coronacrisis has many similarities with the AIDS epidemic. It is a disruption of life the way it was, there is loneliness, sadness, fear of the other and of ourselves and the danger of stigmatizing.
For most of us not unusual in it’s entirety, even without the current coronacrisis.
But there are also so many similarities, such as the solidarity in the way we are here for each other and in the wave of creativity that stems from the strange situation we are in now. This year is about self-care, resilience and community spirit: themes that are extremely current today and also have a link to the silent epidemic of the past.
The Shakespeare Club was founded in 1946. The very first meeting with an attendance of 150 people was a first for the Netherlands. Before that time, so many pink men and women had never met in the Netherlands.
The name has since been changed to COC (Cultuur- en Ontspannings Centrum). The Shakespeare Club has been revived since Europride in 2016 during the cultural programme of Amsterdam Pride, in the form of the festival COC’s Shakespeare Club.
COC’s Shakespeare Club aims to increase the visibility and acceptance of the lhbti + community in Amsterdam and the surrounding area. That’s why we bring the super diverse lhbti + community and our “allies” together in a safe environment to talk about what we can learn from each other and what connects us. Due to the central location of the Amsterdam Museum in the city center, we are open to a diverse audience of Amsterdammers and (international) visitors.
COC’s Shakespeare Club is also a co-creation between COC Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Museum in 2020. In recent months, we have worked hard to create a program as diverse and interesting as possible for and by the LGBTI + community, within the current measures.
COC Amsterdam et al. focuses on personal empowerment, connection and mobilization around sexual orientation, gender identity & expression and gender characteristics, summarized by us in the term “sexual and gender diversity”.
COC Amsterdam e.o. is part of a broad social movement where change comes primarily from (jointly) doing. Within COC Amsterdam e.o. personal initiative, motivation and respect for each other are central. Our core values are: initiative, visible, together and grounded.
COC Amsterdam e.o. is an association with 1700 members and 120 volunteers active within the municipalities: Aalsmeer, Almere, Amstelveen, Amsterdam, Diemen, Landsmeer, Ouder-Amstel, Purmerend, Uithoorn and Waterland.
The Amsterdam Museum is the place to get to know Amsterdam – for both residents and visitors who want to know more about the Dutch capital and its history.
The city of Johan Cruijff, Rembrandt, Ajax, the Red Light District, the Dutch East India Company and marijuana. The city where the first “gay” marriages were concluded. A trading city that is a thousand years old and has a special relationship with water, entrepreneurs, creative people and free-thinkers.
From the monumental building on Kalverstraat, the Amsterdam Museum brings the city to life for everyone.
COC’s Shakespeare Club 2020 was created with, by and for smaller groups within the large LGBTQI + community, in full collaboration and co-creation between:
And through subsidy and sponsorship from: