Culture in Quarantine // The Sixth Edition

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The sixth special newsletter brings you information about the recently passed set of measures proposed by the Minister of Culture, a summary of more government measures related to people in culture, which was submitted by the Ministry of Culture. We also list reactions to the current state from the International Theatre Institute, Czech music representatives, and the National Theatre Drama. We would like to inform you about the launch of an extensive survey on mapping the losses, carried out by the ATI in association with the University of Economics and DAMU (Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts), we list more examples of international measures (we keep updating the information on the special site on our website International Best Practice), we present useful projects and links in cultural overviews, and the Focus section deals with the impacts of the coronacrisis on show business.

Information from the Ministry of Culture 

The Government has passed Minister Zaorálek’s set of measures to save the culture
Based on the current state and the outlook for cultural events related to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Culture prepared The Proposal of Some Measures to Mitigate the Impact of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic on the Cultural Sector, which was amended by the government today (9 April). The main goal of the proposed measures is to maintain the professional non-profit cultural infrastructure as it has no financial reserves. The total amount assigned to this program is 1.07 billion CZK.

The subjects in the independent arts (primarily those in the all-year subsidy groups of dance, theatre, music, visual arts, and small publisher) that have been providing public cultural services in the Czech Republic for at least 3 years without interruption can apply for the support, provided that they have been successful at least once in the Ministry’s grant procedures in the past three years (2018-2020). The Ministry will also announce the subsidy tender in the program Cultural Activities. The government endorsed the amount of 440 million CZK.

The subjects of independent non-established theatre, classical and alternative music, and dance and motion art will be able to apply for the support for making culture available through digital media, using multimedia platforms. The applicant shall submit the description of the project, including the budget. The evaluation criteria are the quality of the project. The Ministry of Culture has put aside 30 million CZK for this project.

Professional theatres, orchestras, and choirs may apply for support from the Ministry of Culture if they are perpetually part of the State Support Program for Professional Theatres and Permanent Professional Symphony Orchestras and Choirs. Museums and galleries, which are not state-budget organizations, can also apply for the support if their collections are part of the Central Register of Collections and are accessible for the public in the long term. The applicant shall submit the budget of the project, including the cost assessment, the description of the extent of activity restriction, and the way of dealing with the cut. The Ministry of Culture has 300 million CZK for this support.

First calls for the subsidy programs (see above) to be announced by the Ministry of Culture within weeks.

Apart from the set of measures, the Ministry of Culture has reimbursed subsidies of 750 million CZK for 2020. The subjects that got the subsidy from the Ministry of Culture, but their events will not fully take place, shall not return the part of the subsidy the beneficiary proves valid regarding the costs for the event preparation. The Ministry of Culture shall see the costs as realized.

State help for commercial profit subjects, such as commercial theatres, some of the summer events, and big publishers, needs to be coordinated at the government level because other sectors (gastronomy, tourism) are affected in the same way. They – like other entrepreneurs – can get help from the already government-approved programs, e.g. the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (Antivirus) and Ministry of Industry and Trade (COVID loans, suspension of rents).

Source: Press release of the Ministry of Culture, 9 April 2020

The Ministry of Culture has also prepared an overview of government measures associated with people in culture (employees, freelancers, self-employed, companies, etc.) that can be utilized now or shall be available for cultural subjects and individuals after the Chamber of Deputies passes it in the upcoming days or weeks. The list is available here.

The Ministry of Culture has also released the information from the Department of Art, Literature, and Libraries, concerning the statement of the subsidy and the conditions for the subsidy, see here.

We keep updating the overview of new measures and state help for culture

Reactions to the present state
  • Czech Centre of ITI (International Theatre Institute) sent the government representatives a letter with a request to release money from the EU Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative. “As culture and the arts are among the sectors hit the hardest by the current crisis, we request that, apart from the measures planned by the Czech government, they receive support through the Instrument as soon as possible.” You can read the letter here.
  • Representatives of Czech music have issued the statement and proposals for efficient and conceptual solutions to help the music sector.
  • The National Theatre Drama reacted to the current state as well and issued a declaration with hashtags #kulturajenarod #atzijedivadlo #atzijiknizky.
Mapping the losses

The launch of the survey on mapping the losses in the cultural sector

As we announced in the previous newsletters, the ATI, University of Economics and DAMU are preparing “The Coronavirus and its Impacts on the Cultural Sector”, with a questionnaire, focused on the collection of data about the impacts of the coronavirus epidemics and subsequent measures for all areas of live art. The methodology is being consulted with the Ministry of Culture. The data collection is associated with the hashtags #kulturnidata a #stojimezakulturou.

The survey will aim at all subjects (institutions and individuals) with the content of theatre, dance, music, and visual arts, and will map the financial impacts in March, as well as estimations for the following months. It will be distributed among the professionals on Tuesday 14 April and is ready to be filled in within 7 days.

We will send you the questionnaire in a special newsletter, you can also download it on our website, the website of the Ministry of Culture and ATI’s social networks.


End of fun in show business

The government restrictions applied in the coronavirus crises have affected show business as well. It is a rather broad sector, which cannot be easily defined, with the goal to be commercially successful in entertainment, leisure time and presentation of products and services. It is part of the culture and media domains and due to the business and advertising principle of the world today, it is also linked to other fields of the economic and social life – from industry, agriculture, tourism, education, health care, science, and research, to the state administration, local administration and political parties. All these sectors communicate and present themselves publicly through various kinds of events. According to Jan Kubinec, the head of the Czech Event Association (CEA), there are from 50 to 85 thousand people in the event business. The association started to monitor the crisis right at the beginning, with 416 respondents having taken part in the quick survey in March – that represents about 11–20 % at the event market.

The situation of the show business is monitored by Jana Návratová (ATI, DCEF) for the Dance Career Endowment Fund’s blog (DCEF), you can read the whole article here.

Culture online
  • ČRo Dvojka: The radio literary and theatre festival Long Live Theatre! Long live books!

Czech Radio Dvojka has reacted to the current situation with a special 12-hour-long marathon, which is now available on the Czech Radio website Long Live Theatre! Long Live Books! The marathon is an opportunity for Dvojka to provide space for the discussion about what it is necessary to do immediately and the way the listeners can engage. The editors also consider important to speak about topics the representatives of all cultural fields have to deal with in the upcoming weeks and months.

The program opens with the interview with Lubomír Zaorálek, the Minister of Culture, followed by the interviews with writers, publishers, theatre directors, representatives of festivals, actors, etc.

  • ČT24: What is (not) happening in culture

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

  • Opera Plus: How has the quarantine affected artists’ lives

The portal Opera Plus depicts the lifestyle of important people in Czech classical music, opera and dance in the involuntary interruption. You can read the interviews with the artists here.

  • AlterEcho: What they do and what they recommend. Musicians in the quarantine

Some of them work on new recordings, yet they have no place to present them, others are getting ready for new projects with other artists that cannot be realized now, some have not been affected much. The survey of the AlterEcho platform here.

  • an overview of updates in theatre

The ATI information portal, specializing in Czech theatre, has put together all news about the pandemic and theatre in the new section COVID-19.

  • Culturenet: updates and the list of jobs

The ATI portal Culturenet keeps track of the news in culture and recent information and provides the list of job offers in culture.

Cross-border artistic cooperation // ATI calls

Calls for three culture program areas in the EHP Funds and Norway Funds.

The Ministry of Finance has announced the calls for the support of projects in three program areas in culture:

  • Contemporary art
  • Art and cultural criticism
  • Increasing the capacities of umbrella associations, networks, and platforms

The deadline for all three calls is extended until 15 April 2020!
Details here.

Thank you for your support.
Previous newsletters are here.
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Take care,
your ATI


9. 4. 2020


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