Culture in Quarantine // The Fifth Edition

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The fifth special newsletter brings you new and updated measures to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, as well as international good practice. The ATI portal Kreativní Česko prepared an overview of inspiring measures for municipalities and regions; we have also published an overview of European umbrella organizations and networks, engaged in monitoring the situation in the cultural sector and raising questions to the European Commission and EU Member States’ governments.

Updated measures to mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic

  • On 31 March, the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced the call for the nursing benefits for the self-employed. The attached documents in this link monitor the updated measures concerning the help for entrepreneurs and the self-employed.

  • On Tuesday 31 March 2020, the government passed the proposal for amendments in the Antivirus program. The detailed instructions for employers and other details updated as of 2 April can be accessed on the website of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. The program is also available for the self-employed, who employ workers.

  • On 31 March, the Ministry of Finance introduced the program of direct support for the affected self-employed. The Association of Independent Theatres does not agree with the present formulation of conditions for the one-time support of the self-employed, based on the comparison of the year-on-year drop in the first quarter of 2019 and 2020, the AIT statement is here. The proposal of the Ministry of Finance must undergo the legislative process.

  • The Ministry of Culture announced the preliminary information about subsidy recipients in the program of Kulturní aktivity v oblasti profesionálního umění/Cultural Activities in Professional Arts. The Ministry of Culture is also preparing the Rescue Program, said Minister Lubomír Zaorálek in his interview for Lidové noviny. We will keep you informed about the development.

The comprehensive overview of existing measures is in the previous edition of the newsletter.

Interview with the ATI director

At the introductory meetings at the Ministry of Culture, the ATI director Pavla Petrová pointed out the potential impacts of extraordinary measures linked to the pandemic in independent theatre, music, visual arts etc. Lubomír Zaorálek immediately authorized the ATI to monitor the impacts. In her interview for the Theatre Newspaper, Pavla Petrová explains what the current state means for the independent culture.
Originally from: Divadelní noviny / The Newspaper Theatre

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.

Mapping the losses

Methodology to map losses in the cultural sector

The previous newsletter announced the research “Coronavirus and its impact on the cultural sector”, focusing on the impacts of the coronavirus epidemic and subsequent measures for all areas of live art. It is a joint project of the University of Economics, Academy of Performing Arts, and the Arts and Theatre Institute, which guarantees and mediates professional consultations and materials through professional associations in its scope until 5 April. The methodology will be then sent for consultations to the Ministry of Culture, Czech Republic. The survey prepared by these institutions will focus on all subjects (institutions and individuals) with the content of theatre, dance, music, and visual arts. We expect the survey to be finished and commented on by the end of next week. Then it will be programmed and tested, so it can be distributed to the professionals on 14 April at the latest. The version being prepared will map financial impacts in March and estimations for the upcoming months.

 The ability to help

Ticket for NOTHING

Hana Třeštíková, the councilor for culture in Prague, and the online cultural portal GoOut have launched the project for the support of theatres, concert halls, clubs, and artists. Since 1 April, people have had the opportunity to buy tickets for NOTHING 2020, which takes place on 1 May.

We also provided information about how the general public can support culture in
previous newsletters.


Black-light theatres currently rank among the most endangered segments in Czech theatre. Apart from closing the theatres, the anticipated long-range drop in tourism will affect them most. The majority of black-light theatres had almost 100 % of international audiences, some theatres cut it back to approximately

75 % as they wanted to approach Czech audiences by staging plays for children and schools. Romana Vašek’s (ATI) analysis of the current state of black-light theatres is published on the blog of the Dance Career Endowment Fund.


Monitoring of culture online

Newton Media now provides free monitoring related to the topic of the coronavirus for the field of culture as well. You can subscribe here.

The portal ČT24 keeps updating the news on “what is (not) happening in culture”. The online overview is here.

The portal AlterEcho was trying to find about what quarantine means for music. They asked promoters of concerts and festivals, as well as independent organizers of the music life. Are you, your club or festival influenced by the present situation? You can send tips for the upcoming newsletter to Libor Galia.

The Knihex platform has released the announcement about the current situation of small publishers and independent booksellers on the Czech book market. You can read it on the cultural and information portal Culturenet, which provides information about culture, allows you to upload news, and offers an overview of job offers in culture.

All news in theatre is published on the ATI portal


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.

Cross-border art cooperation // ATI calls

The European Commission and the EACEA agency have decided to extend the deadlines for some of Creative Europe calls due to the present coronavirus situation. The new deadlines are:

  • Cultural Heritage in Action – peer-learning scheme: 27 April 2020
  • Associated projects in the west Balkans: 28 April 2020
  • Music Education and Learning: 28 April 2020
  • Co-Creation and Co-Production scheme for the music sector: 30 April 2020

The complete message from the European Commission and EACEA here.

Thank you for your support.
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Take care,
Your ATI


2. 4. 2020


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