Czech government approves extension of COVID-19 relief fund for culture

750 million crowns are earmarked to aid artists and venues in the culture sector affected by the anti-epidemic lockdown measures

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 14.10.2020 16:27 (updated on 14.10.2020)

Prague, Oct 14 (CTK) - The Czech government has approved a continuation of the COVID Culture program, aiding artists and entities in the culture sector affected by the country's anti-epidemic lockdown measures. An additional 750 million crowns of aid have been earmarked, Culture Minister Lubomír Zaorálek stated at a press conference.

Individuals can apply for a one-off subsidy of 60,000 crowns by the end of the year, while businesspeople may seek up to ten million crowns within their eligible costs, Zaorálek (junior government Social Democrats, CSSD) said, adding that he would release full details on Thursday.

The extension follows the previous COVID Culture program, in which 900 million crowns were allocated. However, it did not cover many potential applicants, such as film distributors.

Zaorálek said today that support for audiovisual producers was not included in the new program either, and that he would submit it separately, through the State Cinematography Fund.

State support in the new program will be paid as a retroactive subsidy to cover the expenditures spent in vain on culture events and projects from October 1, 2019 to November 20.

It will also cover expenditures on continuous activities in the sphere of culture from March 1, 2020 to November 20, 2020, which were considerably restricted, postponed, and cancelled due to government measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.

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The subsidy should cover up to 50 percent of the eligible costs of postponed or cancelled culture events, and up to 80 percent in the case of ongoing cultural activities.

The support is designated for active artists and performers, technical professionals, and entities running business in the field of culture to cover the costs spent in vain on organizing cultural events and on continuous activities from March 10, 2020 to December 31, 2020 that have been restricted, postponed or cancelled during the lockdown measures.

The one-off subsidy is for individuals in professional performative art, such as music, theater, and dance. A far as business entities in culture are concerned, state support is to cover their lost expenditures from October 1, 2019 to November 20, 2020.