To deal with the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Culture has drawn up a recovery plan for the cultural sector. More than four million will be allocated to revive the different cultural sectors affected by the crisis.
The Covid-19 crisis did not spare the cultural community. Although the sector has played an important role in many homes during confinement and has helped many people overcome this difficult milestone by reading, watching movies or participating in digital initiatives, cultural and artistic institutions. Today the sector is in a precarious, even difficult situation.
That is why the Ministry of Culture proposes a new recovery plan for the sector that complements the exceptional aid already allocated so far. Details were released Wednesday.
An inventory without glory
In total, more than a hundred closed exhibitions, more than a thousand concerts, festivals and other events canceled or postponed, and more than a million spectators who had to give up their ticket.
“We are going through a difficult period, with long-term consequences“, said Sam Tanson (Déi Gréng), Minister of Culture. “The financial impact is also very significant and the cultural infrastructures show a loss of 15 to 30% of their income, which is related to the sale of tickets or restoration. This loss may jeopardize the incomes of independent and intermittent artists of the show. In addition, the Ministry of Culture intervened from the beginning to support the sector, first by granting subsidies to projects that could be carried out in times of crisis, then by amending the law on social measures for intermittent entertainment workers and professional artists to support creatives better in times of crisis”.
Because we must not forget that culture is a real economic sector that employs more than 12,000 people, which represents 5.3% of jobs in Luxembourg. A sector that counts in the general economic balance, but which is also precarious, because a fifth of these jobs are self-employed and, therefore, are in a situation of great economic fragility. On May 20th, it was decided that these grants would last until June 30th, thus increasing the allocation reserved for artists and intermittent workers to 1.2 million in 2020.
From May 11th, libraries and museums can reopen, and from May 29th, rooms such as theaters, cinemas, cultural centers and concert halls can be opened.
However, these places must respect the general sanitary conditions, which does not stop raising many concerns: the use of compulsory masks in the places of circulation, sitting respecting the physical distance, distance also imposed for the speakers on stage, etc.
“Every three weeks, the situation will be re-evaluated, but at this time we still do not know when we can resume activities as we know them“, said the Minister of Culture. That is why the Ministry of Culture is providing a new set of funds to mitigate the effects of the crisis, prevent excessive precariousness of cultural workers, absorb collateral damage in neighboring sectors and allow structures to adapt to new measures to attract your audience again.
New help for better support
It is in this context that the agreed structures and associations may submit a claim for compensation to compensate for a financial loss related to the cancellation or postponement of an event, or the closure of the cultural institution. 1.5 million is reserved for these allocations.
The annexes of Bourglinster Castle already housed an artist residency program. This will be reinforced with a three-year mission for a group of artists financed up to € 100,000 for two years and who will be in charge of the management and animation of the place. The principle of residency will also be valued in cultural institutions that can host an artist for at least 6 months. To do this, they will benefit from aid ranging from € 15,000 to € 30,000, for a total of € 150,000 reserved for this action.
The ministry is also increasing its endowment for the acquisition of works of art by € 150,000 that can be used to buy works from galleries.
Regarding music, € 50,000 is reserved for eight new musicals. The theater will benefit from € 100,000 that will be used to write dramatic works that must later be produced on stage. The same amount is allocated to the search for new forms of entertainment that better satisfy the limitations of the sanitary conditions imposed by the Covid-19.
Finally, two very large budgets, each one million euros, are aimed, on the one hand, at supporting regional museums for the development and improvement of their offer, and on the other hand at cultural sites with a tourist vocation. Behind these last two grants, there is a sincere desire to develop these structures that are still underexploited and to enrich not only the cultural offer, but also to strengthen tourist attraction throughout the country. Enough to contribute to the long-term “Vakanz Doheem”.