Culture in Quarantine // The Fourth Edition

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In our fourth special newsletter we discuss the emergence of a research methodology for mapping losses in the cultural sector in which IDU participates together with VŠE and AMU. We also present an overview of new measures of the MIT and the MLSA aimed at mitigating the economic impacts of extraordinary government measures in the field of culture.

Aktualizováno k 2. 4. 2020

Mapping the losses

Methodology for mapping losses in the cultural sector

Extraordinary measures in fighting the coronavirus have a significant impact on the cultural sector and may result in devastating consequences for many subjects. The research project “Coronavirus and its Impact on the Cultural Sector” performed by the University of Economics, Academy of Performing Arts, and the Arts and Theatre Institute aims to identify and calculate the economic impact of extraordinary measures on selected cultural sectors in detail (music, theatre, visual arts, museums and galleries, film industry). Project outputs will be submitted to the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic as data for compensation measures.

Data collection and analysis will take place monthly at the level of cultural organizations, as well as independent artists and jobs that are not related to arts in culture. Cultural operators will be asked to participate in this project through online data collection in early April.


Measures to mitigate the impacts

Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) and Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MLSA) have issued measures to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic.

  • The state will exempt all self-employed people of payments for compulsory social security insurance retroactively since March 2020. The self-employed will not have to pay required prepayments from March to August, thus the total amount of insurance in the yearly statement will be lower in the amount corresponding with minimum prepayments for social security insurance per six months. Self-employed people will be released from the amount.
  • Prepayments for health insurance for self-employed people will be exempt for six months as well (prepayments are considered paid) in the amount of minimum insurance fee.
  • Nursing benefits will be paid to employees during the shutdown of schools and other facilities as long as the government’s extraordinary measures for fighting the COVID-19 epidemic are in force. Nursing benefits also apply for all children of 13 years of age or younger and for those who take care of older handicapped children attending the school. It is possible to take turns in receiving the nursing benefits and they will be paid retroactively for the past month.
  • The program of the Ministry of Industry and Trade will compensate for the cuts in income for the self-employed due to the children's care, based on the declaration submitted at the local trade office. The financial benefit for the self-employed will be 424 CZK for every day in the quarantine/taking care of the family member.
  • The Ministry of Culture is preparing the Rescue Program, yet we do not currently have any detailed information. We will keep you updated.

Information for legal persons

The Minister of Culture will submit the list of measures for saving culture

As said today (26 March), the Minister of Culture Lubomír Zaorálek wants to present a set of measures to the government. “I will ask for 1.5 billion crowns,” he said, adding that the state could compensate 80% of the salary for employees in non-operating theatres. He will also discuss help for the publishers.

The full text of the article is available here.

The ability to help

The Czech crowdfunding portal Hithit has presented the Hithit Antivir program for the self-employed and entrepreneurs affected by the coronavirus, to quickly receive money from their past, current and future customers and fans. Local culture can be supported through the international project Patreon.

Documentation of help

The Theatre Department of the National Museum has started documenting the engagement of Czech theatres in the crisis organization and helping people against the current pandemic.

Culture online

Performing arts

Klicpera Theatre in Hradec Králové has prepared Podkroví Live – it brings short audio meetings with actors every day at 8 p.m. Monitoring the online activities of the National Theatre companies pays off as well. National Theatre Drama allows for reviewing the leaving exam in Czech or to prepare for it in short education videos “Tahák” about international and Czech playwrights "Tahák". #Operanámprozpívá is a campaign of the National Theatre Opera company, in which they send regards.

Similar activities are available in online channels of the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc, they offer face masks, help with shopping for seniors and online education.

Laterna magika company organizes online pilates and modern dance lessons every day at 11 am at social networks and members of the National Theatre Ballet show in the funny short video Dance through It how they live in the quarantine.

Ponec Theatre has the online platform Pusťte si tanec domů with the stream of recordings of selected dance performances according to the theatre program.


Spotify has announced a new project, which should help the artists affected by the present situation. The streaming service wants to be in touch with charities specializing in the music sector and even up their contributions up to 10 mil USD.

Ochranný svaz autorský (OSA) has used the Solidarity Fund to pay a one-time subsidize for composers and lyrics writers for whom concert fees are an important part of their budget. For more information please refer to our pro-export music office SoundCzech.

Online music activities are also available in the new project Quarantine Session at Radio Wave, with Czech musicians’ live sets.

Czech Radio Jazz has mapped the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on jazz musicians and composers. What problems are they dealing with and what are their prospects? You can read about it here.

Prague collectives have founded they online project Virtual Healing, “to keep local culture alive in this complicated situation and to mitigate negative effects on the virus epidemic” – you can listen to DJ sets, live performances, interviews or virtual tours until further notice.


International affairs

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



26. 3. 2020


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