Securing the free art scene in times of Corona

ZTB e.V., Letter, March 15, 2020

Dear Mr Lederer, dear Mr Wöhlert, dear Ms Köhncke,

Let us express our gratitude for your public acknowledgement of the difficult situation artists and cultural workers are facing at the moment.

The cancellation of planned fees for artists of all disciplines will inevitably result in the loss of vital sources of income. This applies to many dance artists and makers based in Berlin who are currently struggling due to the wave of cancellations or indefinite postponements of work within Germany and abroad. The majority of these people do not have financial reserves that can enable them to make ends meet in the coming months. In order to secure the cultural life of the city not only during but also after the crisis, we ask you to act quickly. Please keep in mind the needs and working conditions of artists already in precarious jobs when taking measures to cushion the consequences of the Corona pandemic!

It is urgently necessary to set up an emergency fund for freelance artists of all disciplines, as well as ensuring current project funds can still be accessed readily and in an as unbureaucratic manner as possible, that funding guidelines are adapted as required, payment and accounting modalities are amended to correspond to the current situation.

The emergency fund should cover all lost funds that result from cancellations of projects and performances (both at home and abroad); it should be managed in an unbureaucratic way and payouts from it should be made as non-repayable emergency payments. This ensures the fund is tailored to the specific situation and dependencies of freelance artists and workers in associated professional fields (such as freelance technicians, production managers, dramaturges, etc.).

Dealing with current project-oriented funds:

– Payment of approved funding in full, regardless of planned rehearsals and performances; This has to include rehearsal room rental costs, as otherwise the space-providers would go into insolvency

– Advance payment of project funds to mitigate foreseeable cases of hardship (see e.g. current press release 13.03.2020, Department of Culture Frankfurt >Weblink to press release Department of Culture Frankfurt)
– Reduction of number of compulsory performances in order to be able to make up for lost performances
– Acknowledgement of costs incurred due to cancellations
– Allowance for uncomplicated postponements into the next year
– Coverage of additional costs arising from the postponement of projects
We hope to get through the difficult situation together.

With kind regards,

Cilgia Gadola, Barbara Greiner, Jenny Haack, Moritz Majce, Kareth Schaffer, Kasia Wolinska

The Board of Zeitgenössischer Tanz Berlin e. V.