International Best Practice

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Overview of foreign system measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on culture and the arts.

Updated to 2. 4. 2020

International good practice

Measures in European cities

The ATI portal Kreativní Česko, which maps cultural and creative sectors (CCS), brings a summary of potential measures and tips for programs and projects that can help the local/regional governments in the Czech Republic administer saving local culture and CCS. It prepared the ”rescue kit for cities”, with examples of good practice in European cities.

The European ECBN survey

If you want your voice to be heard at the European level, please fill in the survey carried out by the non-governmental organization The European Creative Business Network, which promotes the interests of cultural and creative industries in Europe. The ECBN wants to present the outputs to the European Commission and draw attention to the complicated situation of cultural and creative industries and the need for their support.

NESTA – PEC: How can the creative industries come together and share the impacts of the pandemic

The overview of the surveys and outputs of cultural and creative industries from Great Britain, the USA and other countries “How can the creative industries come together to share how COVID-19 is impacting the sector” was prepared by the PEC platform PEC (Policy and Evidence Centre for Creative Industries). The collection of data should help the politicians understand and react to the present crisis is available here.

The call of the PEARLE and other umbrella organizations

The call of the Performing Arts Employers Association League Europe, which represents more than 10 thousand managers, theatre productions, orchestras, opera, and ballet companies, festivals, promoters, etc. across Europe, including the Czech Association of Professional Theatres, appeals to the European Commission and EU members governments to support the performing arts sector to overcome the period of crisis, thus avoiding bankruptcy and downfall. The call lists a set of specific proposals for measures that should be amended during and after the crisis to help revive the sector. Proposals concern clarification of state aid rules related to COVID-19, setting clear instructions for the relation with customers as of the reimbursement of tickets, dates of the events, proposals in work relationships, tax reliefs, lower VAT on tickets, and others.

Other European umbrella organizations, with Czech ones included - European Theatre Convention or ENCATC – the network of academia and cultural organizations in arts management and cultural policy, appealed to European institutions and EU Member States governments regarding the rescue of the cultural and arts sector

Culture Action Europe

Culture Action Europe (CAE) associates cultural networks, organizations, artists, academics, politicians, and activities across arts and sectors and is the mediator between the cultural sector, and EU politicians and officers. It also actively monitors current events in arts and culture and, along with the European Cultural Foundation, it exerts pressure on the impacts of COVID-19 on the cultural sector in a survey focused on mapping the present initiatives and measures across Europe.

On the Move

The platform for cultural mobility, associating more than 50 organizations from 20 countries to support cross-border cooperation and mobility, now, in association with the network for contemporary circus Circostrada, gathers a lot of information about the present situation and initiatives in Europe, Asia, and North America, which are good to share, know or be inspired by them. Information is divided into sections, such as campaigns, specific information in fields, statements of organizations/networks, foundations, information about traveling, and surveys.


IETM (International European Theatre Meeting) is a network of artistic professional organizations, dealing with contemporary performing arts, which are interested in international cooperation in production, education, promotion, research, and support. At the end of March, IETM issued a short essay “Performing Arts in Times of the Pandemic – Status Quo and the Way Forward”, which, among others, quotes monitoring of the impacts of extraordinary government measures against the COVID-19 pandemic on the Czech independent arts sector the ATI carried out in mid-March. You can read the original essay here, conclusions are also summarized on the ATI website

Compendia of cultural policies and trends

The association based in Boekman Foundation (the Institute for Arts, Culture and Related Policy), focused on monitoring and examining political standards in culture, offers country overviews, there are currently reports from 12 European countries, including the Czech Republic.


The European National Institutes for Culture, which associates 36 members from 28 EU Member States with branches in more than 150 countries, monitors the present situation as well. The section “How is the European cultural sector responding to the current corona crisis” offers information about the situation and measures in Germany, France, Italy, Great Britain, Scandinavia, and Benelux countries. The information from the EU is available in the link of the EACEA statement on the projects funded from Creative Europe and the extension of the deadlines for Creative Europe and Horizon 2020.



Some international news


Barcelona, the metropolis of the country, which has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic the most, has adopted 10 measures to support culture: special subsidy of 1 million EUR with the special emphasis on the weakest parts of the independent culture structure, the modified program of the 44th international theatre and dance Grec Festival 2020, with the maximum number of productions performed by local companies and artists, which were canceled or postponed due to the state of emergency, financial advances for events that were postponed due to the pandemic, special subsidies of 1 million EUR for municipal libraries and their investments into buying books, or compensation of the real estate tax for operators of cultural institutions.


The Kone Foundation responded to the present lockdown with a special call for “home” art residencies. It is three-year-long grant support of residencies for Finnish artists (including those living abroad), which takes place at their own homes. The residence also covers access to the online working platform for sharing ideas.


The US Senate passed the highest Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act as of 2 billion USD. The list of all measures applies to the non-profit sector and can be downloaded at the National Council of Non-Profits website. The measures include new incentives and higher limits for tax assignments of the individuals and business corporations, as well as a budget of 75 million USD for the National Endowment for the Arts. The money has been also provided to the following agencies and institutions: National Endowment for the Humanities, Institute for Museum and Library Services, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts a Smithsonian Institution.

Many other foundations and organizations have brought relief mechanisms into action, such as grant proceedings and interest-free loans for artists and cultural organizations in the San Francisco Arts Relief Program, grant proceedings for artists in economic need, working in performing and visual arts at the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Rauschenberg Emergency Grants for one-time expenses and unforeseen expenses for the medical care or the support from the Musician's Foundation and MusiCares.

The current situation has also brought new issues related to the role of artists in society, the value of culture, and the future of live arts. One of the contributions to the discussion is the new program “Segal Talks” on life and art in the times of the coronavirus, broadcast by The Martin E. Segal Center from Monday to Friday at noon EDT since 30 March. Guests in the live interviews are curators, artists, academics, and researchers from all around the globe, such as Thomas Ostermeier, Toshiki Okada and Meredith Monk.


Updated to 26. 3. 2020

Germany has presented the new program “the Umbrella for Culture, Art Production, and Media”. They are planning aid as of 50 billion EUR. 

Which international festivals have been canceled and which have been moved to another date? The list you can update as well is on

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