Siart Smit is stepping down as CEO of Oerol Festival.

Portret Siart Smit, algemeen directeur van Oerol
® Nichon Glerum

Siart Smit is stepping down as CEO of Oerol Festival after five years.

“In light of the upcoming new funding period, it is important to reconsider what is good for Oerol and what is good for me personally,” Siart stated. “I am happy and proud of where Oerol stands now both in terms of content and organization, but to allow Oerol to grow in the right direction, I believe it is necessary to have a managing director with a different background than mine, in order to achieve a more diverse organization.”

“In a short time, I have come to know Siart as an inspired leader with a great Oerol heart, who stands day and night for the Oerol DNA. At the same time, Siart has given the development of the festival an important boost, which testifies within the given enormous power dynamics, expectations, and societal developments such as diversity and inclusion of leadership, vision, and courage. Personally, I regret Siart’s departure, but on behalf of the Board of Supervisors, I respect his personal considerations,” says Jerry Straub, chairman of the Oerol Board of Supervisors.

Siart started as an interim in October 2018 to prepare Oerol for Kunstenplan (2021/2024). Due to the corona pandemic and the challenges that followed, it was decided to extend the appointment. Also, old faithfuls said goodbye and founder Joop Mulder passed away. In this turbulent period, Siart ensured a financially healthy, renewed, and rejuvenated organization with strengthened roots on Terschelling. There has been more attention to the impact of the festival on the nature and inhabitants of Terschelling, and ties with various organizations on the island have been strengthened. A clear substantive change of course has been initiated. Oerol takes a stand more than ever and provides space for urgent societal issues. Oerol feels responsible for the accessibility and diversity of the organization, and the festival has become a leader in organizing a festival in an ecologically responsible manner, taking a stance with the ‘ecological compass of Oerol’.

In the next period of Kunstenplan, Oerol will further refine these important principles. Siart: “Oerol knows very well what its strengths are and where next steps need to be taken. I saw it as my task to set the right course for the future, supported by a strong collective. Now that this has been achieved, a new director with a different profile than mine can bring the right depth and take further steps.”

Siart will remain until a new person can take over and still bears responsibility for drafting the new arts plan (period 2025-2028). Oerol is immediately looking for a director who identifies with the ecological course, who will further advance Oerol in terms of diversity, and who either lives on Terschelling or is willing to do so.