Bridge of 1,000 Dreams

Together with 1200 children from all parts of the city, the artist of Edition 11 - Studio Toer - builds a bridge of a thousand dreams. A bridge is wonderful. Adding paths where they weren't before, opens up new possibilities.

The project is part of a four-year collaboration between the festival and the City of Amsterdam. With this artwork and the workshop program we connect the festival theme with the history of the city, the origin of the canals and the restoration of the bridges and quays.

07.12.2022 - START WORKSHOP 4 - CRUISE!
Finally the time has come: all the studenst that have participated in the education project are going on a cruise, together with their classmates and parent(s)/caregiver(s). The children are the guides on board and of course, extra attention is paid to 'their' artwork; the bridge of a thousand dreams.

01.12.2022 - THE BRIDGE OF 1000 DREAMS!
There it is: the light artwork of the education project of Amsterdam Light Festival Edition 11: Bridge of 1000 Dreams. The artwork, designed by Studio Toer, consists of 1200 bamboo sticks painted by the students. The drawings of their dreams are lit up by UV light. Come and see the work for yourself from 1 December until 22 January!

14.11.2022 - START WORKSHOP 3
This workshop revolves around Amsterdam Light Festival. What sort of festival is it, who started the festival and for how long has it been around? All these questions and more are being answered by Jorie Wieriks (Juf op Straat). The students also learn more about Edition 11, to prepare themselves for their job as a guide during the festival cruise that is coming up next.

With the sketch book, the students think of 5 'dream clouds': (1) for themselves, (2) the future, (3) family & friends, (4) the environment and (5) Amsterdam. A small recap of some of their dreams:

  • Pet dreams
    Many children dream of having a pet. Cats, dogs and horses were the most popular dream pets.
  • Athlete dreams
    Some kids dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player, gymnast or basketball player.
  • Big dreams
    There were also bigger dreams, such as a perfect environment, becoming a doctor to cure cancer and having a big house for all of my friends.
  • Touching dreams 
    "I would like my sister to be home more often", "I want my mom and dad to get back together", "I want to have a good scholarship" were some more touching dreams.
  • Fantasy dreams
    And of course, the children let their imagination run free: being able talk to cats, having a magical wand that makes trees grow for a new tropical forest, being able to run faster than anyone in the world.

01.11.2022 - WORKSHOP 2
During this workshop the students make their contribution to the artwork. But, before they can get to work, they are introduced to the artists of Studio Toer and the art that they make. Light plays an important role in many of their artworks. But what exactly is light? And how does it work? Once you learn that light consists of waves that are absorbed or reflected, you can understand the functioning of neon light; that is the light we will use for the artwork!

25.10.2022 - START WORKSHOPS
After the autumn break, the first 'real' workshops will start. Quizmasters Daan and Jorik kick it off. The quiz is of course not a strict examination, but a way to transfer all kinds of knowledge and facts. Students are motivated to get a lot of points in the quiz so that they can proceed to the next round and can therefore participate as an artist in the light festival. The quizmaster presents, interviews and even does a ‘bridge dance’. The bridge builder tells from his own experience, shows how far pillars have to go into the ground to reach the solid sand layer and explains that triangles are the best construction for the bamboo bridge. It takes a while to figure out how to do that with those rubber bands, but the students create creative and inventive bridge constructions.

The class receives a signed certificate, an aptitude test: their knowledge of bridges and quays has been tested and they have passed!

You should always test a new project. This year we were again welcome at group 7 of the Dr. E. Boekmanschool. The students are tested on their knowledge about the origin of Amsterdam and the bridges and quay walls. Through an interactive quiz, the students learn all kinds of facts, such as “how many pillars are there under the palace on Dam Square?”. Or: “how many bridges are there in Amsterdam?”. There is a real bridge builder in the classroom for the answers. Many students think that the bridge builder on duty is not 'real'. But she doesn't wear a helmet for no reason. She works for the contractor Van Steenwijk on the Amsterdam bridges and quays. After the quiz questions, the students get to work and build a bridge of bamboo sticks.

After the break we continue with Workshop 2. Artists Wouter and Bart from Studio Toer enter the classroom. When you make light art it is important to first know what light is and how it works. Then they dive into the dreams of the children. Because a bridge not only takes you physically from one point to another, it can also be a bridge to your dreams and wishes. For yourself, your family or for the city. Elements from the dreams will be transferred in an abstract pattern on the bamboo sticks.

After the lesson, the students give tips and tops, which we take with us to all other workshops.

The luminous bridge is made up of bamboo sticks, which glow when neon light shines on it. Each student paints their own bamboo stick, with which everyone shares their dreams, ideas and fantasies with the visitors of the festival. What lights up are the markings and drawings made by the children. Together they form a bridge of light.

We zien een kind bij een beschilderde bamboekstok die oplicht in het UV licht.

Children are the central focus. And so a jury of 10 children from all over the city was allowed to pass the final verdict for the education project of Edition 11. They could choose between four concepts from four different artists. Bridge of 1.000 Dreams was put at the top of the list of favorites by 9 out of 10 children.

“It's a nice idea, because there are many bridges in Amsterdam and it's nice to pass on something like this to children in this way”, says Eva, 9 y/o, member of the kid's jury.

For a number of years, about 10 schools have included the education project of the Amsterdam Light Festival in their culture program. New schools are added every year. Very nice, because we want to involve as many children as possible from as many different schools as possible in our festival.

We zien de kaart van Amsterdam met daarop pins die de locaties van de scholen aangeven.

Various aspects of 'the bridge' are reflected in the workshop program. The first workshop focuses on technology and the underlying reason why there are so many bridges in Amsterdam. Amsterdam Light Festival introduces a quizmaster to the class who asks all kinds of questions about Amsterdam, bridges and the restoration of the bridges and quays. The quizmaster is assisted by the expert: a bridge builder who is actually working for the City of Amsterdam on the renovation and repair of the bridges and quaysides.

In the second workshop, the artists discuss their dreams with the students. Where do they want to go, what do they wish for themselves, their family, friends or for the city? There too you could make the impossible possible: build a bridge to your dream. The students draw their dream and use elements from the drawing to make a pattern on the bamboo stick.

In the third workshop, the students are introduced to the stories of the other artists of the light festival. They learn about all the history and background of the festival and what is involved in organizing and making the artworks.

When the festival starts, every group visits the festival and their own artwork during a canal cruise. The students themselves tell the stories of the artworks to their parents.



Gemeente Amsterdam
Juf op Straat
Hot Mama Hot
Beens Groep
Dura Vermeer
H.v. Steenwijk BV
Mocca Expertisecentrum
Stromma Nederland
Rederij Lovers
Rederij 't Smidtje
Blue Boat Company