28 March 2020 - The crisis generated by COVID-19 also affects Barcelona's cultural network. Ten city measures are being implemented to mitigate the effects and keep culture alive, with the Catalan and Spanish governments also being urged to implement others.
The measures are intended to give an opportunity to arts companies, cultural programmes, and shows which have been cancelled and to mitigate the effects of the crisis in the cultural sector.
The ten measures:
- Special subsidy of one million euros, with particular attention on the weakest structures linked to grassroots culture.
- Festival Grec 2020. This year’s festival will include as many productions by local companies as possible which have been cancelled since 15 March or while the state of emergency lasts. The Grec 2020 will also be extended until August to cater for more reprogrammed events.
- Quinzena de la Dansa Metropolitana. Street dance shows will be reprogrammed for July and included in other municipal programmes such as the Grec and Barcelona Districte Cultural.
- Advance payments for programmed shows. Companies and artists with programmed shows which have been postponed due to the crisis will receive down payments.
- Special investment sum of one million euros for the city’s libraries to purchase books.
- Sant Jordi and Món Llibre. Facilitation of street calming in the city and bookstall permits for the book guild when Sant Jordi is finally held this year. The literary fair Món Llibre, held at the CCCB and the MACBA, will be held on 20 and 21 June.
- If necessary, the calendar of large events and music festivals in Barcelona will be reorganised to help avoid cancellations.
- Barcelona Districte Cultural expanded. The programme will be expanded to allow as many productions cancelled during the state of emergency as possible to be included.
- Tax exemption for filming in the city, up until 31 December 2020.
- Prioritisation of ordinary support for the cultural network, such as subsidies, programmes and public communications.
Support from the Catalan and Spanish governments
The municipal government will also be calling on the Spanish and Catalan governments to implement measures to help the cultural network. The Spanish government will be urged to use the 25 million euros earmarked for the agreement between governments to cut VAT on culture and in the sphere of education to 0%, at least until December 2020, and to establish criteria for the new force majeure circumstances and enable cultural events to be rescheduled without any party losing out.
The Government of Catalonia will be urged to reach an agreement with the Catalan Finance Institute to open up a line of microcredits of up to 20,000 euros at zero or low-interest rates, to meet the needs of SMEs in the cultural sector.