15 million euros to strengthen Greece’s Modern Culture due to the effects of the health crisis.
The Ministry of Culture and Sports dispenses 15 million euros to stimulate and enhance the resilience of Modern Culture and its creators with a comprehensive Plan of Development Measures and New Actions.
The cultural and creative sector employs more than 3% of the country’s employees: more than 100,000 employees and more than 40,000 businesses, most of them small and medium-sized, are active in the sector. The adoption of the necessary measures imposed by the suspension of the action of the coronavirus COVID-19, has multiple effects on both the bodies of Culture as well as its professionals – self-employed or not.
The Ministry of Culture and Sports, in order to support not only the Modern Culture sector, but also the creators and professionals, secured € 5 million from its 2020 Budget, and – in consultation with the Prime Minister – an additional € 10 million from the Ministry of Finance. These 15 million euros are added to the amounts already set in the horizontal measures announced by the Government, which benefit the cultural and creative sectors.
The 15 million euros are being channeled into the cultural market through the first phase of the Ministry of Culture’s Development Measures and New Actions Plan, which is being launched immediately, while a second phase is being prepared in the near future with additional actions and additional funding to boost needs that will emerge from the application of the first phase.
The first phase of the Development Measures and New Actions Plan of the Ministry of Culture includes the following:
- A special call, which has already been activated, for the development and funding of Digital Culture activities, with a dual purpose: On the one hand the stimulation of the market and the strengthening of related professions and on the other hand the creation of digital cultural products, which can be promptly available.
- A special call for the development of cinematographic plans (development) for a) short films and b) documentary production. The management of the invitation and the process will be carried out by the Hellenic Cinema Center with the disposal of the respective resources by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
- A special call from the Ministry of Culture and Sports for Municipal Regional Theaters (DIPETHE), in addition to their grant. The aim is to strengthen the regional culture policy and the local cultural institutions and creators.
- A special call from the Ministry of Culture, in addition to the ongoing one, to strengthen the theatrical productions of free theater, especially for small theaters. The primary goal is to empower artists and theater professionals.
- A special call, in addition to the one that is in progress, to enhance the companies of modern dance.
- Emergency support from the Ministry of Culture to the cinemas that interrupted the screening of films due to the measures taken to reduce the pandemic. Cinemas must meet two conditions: In the 2019-2020 season, they must have screened at least two Greek / European films and have up to two screening rooms.
- A special call from the Ministry of Culture for the field of Design, in all its manifestations with the aim of strengthening extroversion and the promotion of Greek Design and the support of creators.
- A special call from the Ministry of Culture for the field of Animation not only to strengthen the creators, but also for the extroversion and promotion of Greek animation to international markets.
- A special call from the Ministry of Culture for the creators of Greek Gaming with the aim of strengthening extroversion and its promotion to international markets.
- A special call from the Ministry of Culture for the creators of the Visual Arts (including cross-sectorial or inter-artistic projects) for the submission of proposals, with a two-year or three-year timescale, with the aim to support research, implementation and extroversion of contemporary Greek artistic production, but also support and promotion of new creators.
- Boosting the budgets of the Institutions of Contemporary Culture that are supervised by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, for the assignment of works to Greek artists (artists, directors, composers, actors, screenwriters, etc.).
- Supporting Art Galleries by further reinforcing Art Athina, with the aim of greater promotion of Greek artists inside and outside Greece.
- Disposal of additional resources from the Ministry of Culture to the supervised Museums of Contemporary Art for the purchase of works of Greek art.
- Direct purchase by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of works made by Greek Visual Arts, with the participation of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece.
- With an expense by the Ministry of Culture and Sports, digital titles of children’s and teenage Greek Literature (e-books) will become available through a special platform, in collaboration with the publishing community.
- Promotion of Greek Editions through a special platform, given the cancellation of international book fairs. This platform will be linked to the translation program that has already been announced. In addition, the Thessaloniki Book Fair will be redesigned, in a dynamic way, in order to make it more extroverted and efficient, both in terms of its commercial purpose and in terms of the wider encouragement of the love for reading.
- Enhancing online activities involving the love for reading with a dual purpose, supporting writers and actors-readers, but also creating digital material that can be made promptly available.
- The Fund of Archaeological Proceeds will announce a second call for artists, members of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece, for the creation of best-selling and imaginative works inspired by the cultural heritage, which will become available from the shops of archeological sites and museums.
Finally, the Ministry of Culture and Sports intends to immediately assign the conduct of a survey among professionals in the Greek cultural and creative industry to measure the impact of the crisis on Culture. The conclusions will be brought to consultation, while the results will be taken into account in the formulation of new policies and procedures to strengthen the resilience of Culture. This research will be the first in a series of studies to explore the potential of modern culture that will be developed on behalf of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
At the same time, the planning of structural reforms is precipitated, in order to strengthen the overall Modern Greek culture and the Greek creators.
It is noted that the Minister of Culture and Sports together with counterparts of other EU member-states have already requested the strengthening of the funding program for Culture for the period 2021-2027.
Measures taken by the Ministry of Culture and Sports in March 2020
From the moment the health crisis broke out, the Ministry of Culture and Sports took a series of support measures:
- The registration in the Register of Cultural Institutions has been extended and the period for submitting grant proposals for the current calls for modern culture, the process of which is progressing normally.
- The period of implementation of funded actions of the modern culture for the financial year 2019 has been extended.
- For the Municipal Regional Theaters (DIPETHE), in 2020, the maximum possible amount of the second installment of their grant will be paid directly by the Ministry of Culture, regardless of the criteria on the basis of which they are usually evaluated.
- The amount awarded at this year’s State Theater Writing Awards has increased by 40%.
- The Greek Film Center will expedite -where the necessary conditions are met- the payments for films that are in the production stage. It is noted that the GFC also accepts the necessary supporting documents digitally, if they have been certified by a chartered accountant.
- The Greek Film Center is expediting the examination of the pending production files, as well as the process of approving the files that have been examined and which concern the development of films, provided that the required supporting documents have been submitted.
- The Greek Film Center is extending the funding schedules for the completion of the films it finances.
- The Fund of Archaeological Proceeds has approved and already signed contracts with artists (painters, sculptors, engravers), copy producers and suppliers, while assignment of contracts for similar subjects have already been planned, including contracts with Greek artists and members of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece.
- The distribution of rights to creators by the Special Service of Emergency Rights Management (E.Y.E.D.) is expedited and extended. The process of submitting supporting documents is simplified, while at the same time a new distribution is planned.
All of the above are in addition to the horizontal economic and fiscal measures taken by the government and announced by the Ministries of Finance and Labor, which include, protect and cover professional groups of artists and employees in the wider creative and cultural sectors, as well as the companies and other organizations that are active in them.