Hein Kuiken has been an alderman of the Municipality of Leeuwarden since 2020, responsible for finances, poverty reduction and cultural policy, among other policy areas. Before this he was alderman in the nearby city of Harlingen, following a number of years as a city councillor. His professional life began in the shipbuilding industry in the port of Harlingen. Hein is a strong proponent of the importance of culture, even more so when it comes to ensuring that culture is accessible to all. In 2018, Leeuwarden was the European Capital of Culture, together with the surrounding Friesland region. In that year, the city had an exceptionally wide range of cultural activities on offer. There was something for everyone, young and old, from the eccentric to the widely accessible. "Through culture, you allow audiences to reflect consciously and unconsciously on certain issues, and it's great to start doing that at a young age." Within the municipality of Leeuwarden, culture is actively promoted as a way of developing the talents of young people - particularly those who would not normally come into contact with culture so easily. This is based on the idea of 'equal opportunities for all'. Hein is a big pop fan: his favourite band is The Stones.