Germany has a “rescue umbrella” for artists
Germany’s Minister of Culture Monika Grütters is convinced that the suspension of public life due to the spread of coronavirus is causing “irredeemable losses in the German cultural landscape.” Therefore, she has introduced a programme called “protective umbrella for the fields of culture, arts and media.”
“We know about the necessities, we know about the despair of those affected,” announced Gütters. “The cultural sector, in particular, is characterised by its high percentage of self-employed persons who are now experiencing financial problems. I am therefore pleased to say: Help is coming - as fast and with as little bureaucracy as possible. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the Minister of Economics, Finance and Labor for taking into account the concerns of artists and people from the creative and media sectors that we have tabled. This also shows that the federal government is generally aware of the unique importance of our values in the fields of culture, art and media.”
“Among other things, coronavirus is also an attack on the way of life of many of the artists who create and shape the German cultural nation,” Grütters stated. The freezing of social life has massively impacted cultural institutions and artists, just as it has all self-employed persons. “Due to low financial reserves resulting from low average incomes, the situation threatens their existence.”
Grütters estimates, that from March to May 2020, approximately 80,000 cultural events have had to be cancelled across the country. In this period alone, losses in the cultural sector are estimated at 1.25 billion euros. The Minister of Culture has therefore introduced a plan for rapid assistance with, if possible, a minimum of bureaucracy. “We aren’t leaving anyone down and out,” she said. To this end, Germany plans a package of assistance in the amount of 50 billion euros.
Apart from a billion for the support of self-employed persons and small businesses, Grütters is also planning to redirect funds from cultural projects which cannot be realised this year. As an alternative for cultural institutions with permanent employees, Grütters is also considering a flexible system of short term employment benefits for companies. The process for confirming new emergency loans for the cultural sector should also be expedited.