THE IMPACT OF EMERGENCY MEASURES ON CULTURAL SCENE IN BRATISLAVA
Bratislava, capital of the Slovak Republic, responds to emergency measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19 that do not allow for the organisation of public cultural events.
The current situation touches all levels of our daily and working lives. We are aware of the seriousness of the situation and how much it has affected the field of culture. None of us yet knows the scale of the impact, but we can already see that without systematic measures beyond the competencies and territorial scope of the city, it will not be possible to offer adequate measures to alleviate them.
The capital city of Bratislava is preparing several concrete measures that respond to the difficult state in which culture finds itself. The current situation may last longer, with implications for those shaping Bratislava’s cultural life, for the city’s cultural organisations and events run by the city and, last by not least, for the residents of Bratislava, who are at home or, where necessary at work.
We have thus decided to map the impact of the emergency measures connected with the occurrence of COVID-19 on Bratislava’s cultural sector via a short survey. The survey is addressed to individuals working in the field of culture and the creative industries. The data we obtain will help us to better estimate the extent of harm to individuals and cultural organisations and to more precisely formulate steps that the city can take to help improve the cultural sector’s situation.
At the same time, this year the Bratislava City Foundation will distribute the historic sum of €600,000 to support the sustainability of culture. Our priority remains unchanged – to support the independent and non-established entities shaping the city’s cultural life and to respond to the call that Bratislava is now facing.
The Foundation has adopted new measures for the current grant programme Culture, launched on 28 February 2020. The first is the extension of the deadline until the end of April. This allows applicants to reconsider the form of their planned activities; the additional time may also bring us more information on this evolving situation. With effect from 20 March 2020, the Foundation has stopped accepting hardcopy applications. We are preparing a special bursary programme responding to the current situation artists are facing. The Community grant programme responds directly to the new circumstances. More information is available on the foundation’s subpage.
The city’s contributory organisations are also affected by loss of income from ticket sales or rent and we will continue to monitor this situation. For now, however, we want to stay in digital contact with visitors to our organisations as much as possible. Follow Bratislava’s cultural organisations on social media and visit their websites — they will be bringing you lots of interesting stories about the history of Bratislava, as well as creative and educational activities.
Bratislava City Gallery and Bratislava City Museum will make recordings of their events available online and offer information on works of art and historic objects from their collections. Short creative activities for families with children will soon be available, along with guided tours of exhibitions. The City Library is preparing a series of readings for children, online talks with writers and tips from its librarians. The reading room of the City Institute for the Protection of Monuments and the Bratislava City Archive are now closed, but you can find many valuable archive materials (not limited to Bratislava-related topics) on several Slovak and foreign portals.
The current situation has also affected the planning and delivery of the city’s cultural events. The popular event Bratislava City Days will not take place this April. Like everyone in the field of culture, we’re facing the challenge of rethinking upcoming events and finding new forms of communication with the public. We will provide more information on upcoming activities and new events soon.