CORONA – Update

Dear Artists,

Dear colleagues!

Let us stand together in these difficult times!

The corona pandemic affects everyone. Especially artists, creative people, cultural businesses and cultural institutions.

The health crisis hits cultural mediators particularly hard due to precarious working conditions: many colleagues are currently in jobs that massively threaten their existence. Events have been cancelled, film projects put on hold, cinemas, concert halls, museums and theatres closed.

The livelihoods of a great many artists and people working in the cultural sector are being eroded. Income is completely lost.

Even before Corona, the cultural sector was characterized by precarious employment. There is a danger of long-term desertification of the Austrian cultural landscape. The task now is to save the much conjured up “cultural nation”. The measures currently announced are not sufficient to achieve this. In many cases, they are not suitable for the cultural sector either. What is needed is a rescue parachute for culture!

The cultural nation and cultural life in Austria is in danger – cultural institutions, artists, creative people and cultural enterprises need immediate support.

 

DIFFICULT SITUATION, ESPECIALLY FOR THE INDEPENDENT SCENE, SMALLER CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS AND INDEPENDENT

The situation is particularly dramatic for the independent scene, smaller cultural institutions and the self-employed. Many fear for their economic survival. Artists, authors, cultural mediators and cultural workers, presenters, promoters, agencies, film-makers, cameramen, sound engineers and many more see their existence threatened. The same applies to musicians, agencies, concert promoters and book publishers. In the coming weeks and months, they will all struggle for bare survival in the face of the cancellations.

With your online signature you are calling on the Austrian Federal Government to help employees in the arts and culture sector quickly and unbureaucratically.

>> #helpquickly <<

JOBUNDCORONA.AT  – T: 0800 22 12 00 80

Are you temporarily closed? Do you have problems with loss of income, project closures or similar? Tell us!

This data collection should provide a first basis for measuring monetary aid.

>> igkultur.at – Datenerhebung <<

Information on the rent reduction for business premises rents

Ministry of Justice shares legal opinion of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Chamber of Commerce provides sample letters

>> Information on rent reduction for business premises <<

 

Unbureaucratic help from the COVID 19 crisis management fund also for cultural businesses, creative people and cultural initiatives!

Simple regulations are needed to receive support from the COVID-19 crisis management fund. These must be designed in such a way that cultural businesses, artists, creative people and cultural initiatives also receive help quickly and unbureaucratically.
Expanding the artists’ social security fund to a comprehensive artists’ rescue umbrella – the money is there!
According to the 2018 Annual Report, the fund capital of the Artists’ Social Insurance Fund amounted to just under 20 million euros. This money must be used immediately to secure the existence of artists! The resources of the support fund are also far from being exhausted: in 2018, a total of €169,000 was approved in 51 cases. However, 500,000 € would have been available! In such a difficult situation, the money must not be hoarded, but made available to the artists immediately. It is also a matter of the hour to increase the sums granted in each case. There is enough money!

Creation of a Corona emergency fund for artists

The artists need their own Corona emergency fund immediately. This fund should also replace lost income in precarious situations. This could be financed at least partially from the reserves of the artists’ social security fund. This would require its own quick, uncomplicated and unbureaucratic procedure. At present, the Artists’ Social Insurance Fund informs that corona emergencies are considered an emergency for the Support Fund. However, it demands the full procedure. Even in “normal” times, this is too cumbersome to deal with emergencies. In the acute crisis it is completely unsuitable. Artists on the verge of existence cannot have to go through a procedure lasting for months until they receive help!
Comprehensive reforms to secure artistic existences in the long term – suspension of reclaims!
The situation for creative people will remain precarious in the long term. Therefore a comprehensive reform of the Artists’ Social Security Fund Act is needed: Removal of the lower income limit, expansion of the circle of recipients, consideration of art education and lecture activities, creation of a special instrument to avoid poverty in old age. Reclaims of subsidies paid out in previous years must be suspended immediately until the situation returns to normal!

Guarantee public subsidies – no repayments of subsidies!
The receipt of public subsidies is tied to numerous criteria, the fulfilment of which is not possible at present. In the case of cultural funding, for example, notification must be given immediately if activities are cancelled, postponed or redimensioned. In the event of cancellation, major problems can also be expected with the settlement of subsidies. Currently, the Cultural Section in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office points out that grants for cancelled events must be repaid. It is now absolutely necessary to do without this, the cultural institutions currently need every cent and cannot also make repayments!

Securing the existence of federal cultural institutions – making provisions in the budget
The Federal Theatres and Federal Museums will not be able to cope alone with the losses caused by non-received admission fees and events that do not take place. Numerous savings over the past two decades have not gone by without leaving their mark. What is needed here is a rapid guarantee from the federal government as owner for the continued existence of the federal cultural institutions. The necessary provisions must also be made in the budget

Aid programmes for the non-profit sector
There is a general need for support programmes for the non-profit sector: all the support available so far focuses on businesses and is not designed for the non-profit sector (which is often organised in legal entities with no intention of making a profit). But even these have to continue to pay employees, fixed costs such as rents & Co. This is particularly, but not only, true in the cultural sector. Aid measures must also be made accessible to non-profit organisations