Ruigoord is a creative village within the Amsterdam municipality, located in Houtrakpolder in Dutch province, North-Holland. It is a small village, which until the 1880s was an island in IJbay, it then turned to a polder. An industrial harbor atmosphere surrounds this village, which is partially closed in by Amsterdam port. It is located 8 kilometers east of Haarlem.
In the 1960s, Amsterdam municipality wanted to extend its harbor, and it evacuated the village, but the plan fell through. A group of artists from Amsterdam squatted the abandoned village in 1972 and made a colony there, becoming an artistic community ever since. The formally Roman Catholic town has since become a small flourishing community with a wide range of cultural activities such as full moon parties, festivals, and exhibitions.
The Ruigoord Artists Village
The Ruigoods village gives a home to an old-age tradition where art and life integrate into a shared experiment. Since the 2000s, Ruigoods holds an annual poetry festival that is devoted to international poets. From 2003, there has been a rewarding system where those who show dedication towards maintaining the community’s cultural stronghold receive awards. Examples of trophy holders include a Dutch Simon Vinkenoog and three non-Dutch. The Non-Duthchs were Jordan Zinovich, a Canadian writer, Ira Cohen, who was an American poet and photographer and Eddie Woods, an American poet and writer.
Ruigoord village has shaped the needs of artists as they no longer need to worry about urbanization. It has played a central role in Amsterdam’s underground art scene and has been a reliable source of Dutch creative movements. It is the mutual involvement of joint projects that make it an ideal place that gives it the character of an artist colony.