Peter Berns (Hilversum, 1950)
A passion for art and culture forms a major source of motivation in my life and work. I have been deeply affected by music from an early age, starting violin lessons when I was ten. When later on, I started playing in all kinds of ensembles and orchestras, I also came in contact with matters like management and organisation. While reading law in Utrecht, I greatly enjoyed involving myself in music, but I was also active at the administrative level. In 1975, I graduated in Administrative Law and set my designs on working in the cultural sector.
In 1975 I became the first culture official of the Municipality of Oss, where I learnt the ‘nuts and bolts’ of civil service. Oss, a medium-sized industrial town had a modest cultural life at the time, but also had big plans. My projects included among other things the (re)establishment of Museum Jan Cunen, which opened in 1980. In 1980, I transferred from Oss to the Province of Gelderland, fulfilling policy and management-related positions in Arnhem at the Culture and Education department until 1995.
In this period, I further broadened and deepened my knowledge regarding art and cultural policy. I was also a member of the Council for Art of that period and served on the boards of various art institutes. At the end of 1994, I decided to establish my own consultancy, with the ambition to manage cultural projects for the government and cultural institutes. After being assigned to take on the project management for Museum Het Valkhof in Nijmegen, I once again, and more intensively than ever before, came in contact with the museum sector. The success of this project whetted my appetite for this kind of work and led me to primarily concentrate on the museum sector.