This platform seeks to raise awareness of artistic, creative and resourceful projects that engage with social issues. We present these plans, projects and ideas structured around the United Nations’ seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. This way, the contribution of beauty, imagination and creativity to the search for solutions to worldwide problems will become more apparent. Consequently, the creators and/or initiators of the individual projects can become traceable for possible collaborations with, for example, scientists, journalists, other creators or social institutions.

The art and research of socially engaged art professionals can rarely be understood via delineated goals that are easy to measure. The work adheres to a fascination with complex questions through experimental and ever adjustable plans. Its value cannot only be found in the result but in the process of a inspired, creative search as well. This process creates space for innovative discoveries, fresh ideas and stimulating insights that can be of utmost value for other organisations, governments, creators and stakeholders. This is why the platform presents artistic outcomes as well as the complex questions and research areas that are addressed by artists and creatives. As a result, new strategic and organisational collaborations can unfold, on top of connections made between the artistic projects and the work of others.

This platform is part of The Turn Club, a Dutch community of creatives that lobbies for an autonomous space for the artist mindset when dealing with social issues. The movement was initiated by the Dutch composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven.

There is always room for new ideas, projects, questions and most importantly, collaboration! Feel free to sign up your own project here, or get in touch with us directly.

Who are we?

Merlijn Twaalfhoven Artistic Director. I am a composer, initiator and designer of music projects that connect cultures, styles and, first and foremost, people. I am working on audience engagement and interactive concerts in the world of classical music, where I build networks of innovative singers and choirs and develop methods for musicians and other artists to engage more directly in society. Currently I am working with Kronos Quartet, New York Philharmonic and the Netherlands Chamber Choir. Previously I worked in conflict areas, refugee camps, remote villages and military zones.

Sara Muller Editor. Since graduating in European Studies and in Islam Studies at the University of Amsterdam, I have been working as a (freelance) project manager. I started working on cultural projects, but soon moved towards assignments in the field of private sector development and sustainability. Having studied the clarinet at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in the past, and drawing and sculpting during free hours, I was especially motivated to contribute to What Art Can Do. For more information about my background, please check my website.

Marloes Stofferis Coordinator. I started working in the Arts and Culture industry after completing my studies in Music & Anthropology (BA) and Gender & Ethnicity (RMA). During my studies I conducted research on issues of race in the Dutch ‘world music’ industry. On top of my work as a coordinator for this platform, I also coordinate other projects for La Vie Sur Terre, the foundation of Merlijn Twaalfhoven, and work at the booking agency Earth Beat.

Wouter Goedheer Executive Director. I work as a producer and financial manager for Stichting La Vie Sur Terre, Stichting Nieuwe Helden and Fonds Podiumkunsten.

Esther Beunis Research and Communication. I am a graduate of the new master program ‘Arts & Society’ at University Utrecht where I focused my research on the role of art in collective cultural memory making. Prior to this, I obtained my BA in ‘Liberal Arts & Sciences’ in 2013 with a Sociology major and Art History & Philosophy minor.



Stichting La Vie sur Terre
Beulingstraat 10
1017 BA Amsterdam