Anne Witsenburg (Baarn, Netherlands, 1972) is the director of Stichting Monumentenfonds (Monumentsfund) Aruba since 2012. Goal of the foundation is to preserve monuments by acquiring, restoring, renting and maintaining monuments in a sustainable way. In addition, the foundation aims to raise public awareness about cultural heritage. Currently the foundation is creating a revolving fund to provide low interest loans for private owners of monuments. She finished her studies of Architecture at the Delft Technical University (Master of Science) in 1997 and started a study of Public Administration (Master in Change Management) in 2000. Anne works at the interface of the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sector, particularly in real estate and organisational change. She started her career at an engineering consultancy for three years. After that she worked for over ten years for two municipalities, heading the departments of education & social affairs and real estate. In 2011 she founded Witsenburg & de Jong BV, a real estate consultancy for nonprofit institutions in education, health care, culture etc. She held the position of director until 2015.
Anne Witsenburg will be talking about the challenges surrounding the financing of heritage. Heritage conservation is relatively new in Aruba, compared to Curacao, Europe and America. In 1996 the first structure with organizations for monuments care was introduced, but despite the work of a few determined Arubans, development was slow. Fortunately, general awareness has been growing fast over the last 5-10 years, but subsidies were cancelled.
This situation has driven Monumentsfund Aruba to get creative. Anne will give an insight into how the foundation handled the following key questions: Where is the money? And how to get a hold of it? How to use your monuments as an asset? How to get investors interested?