Featuring new writer Shangyuan Chen!
If you are multilingual, you may read about a lot of negative news these days, especially articles in which authors criticize other countries. However, there is still good news in such a situation that will show that although the virus may not have boarders, gratitude and appreciation don’t either.
On my end, the German Federal Government is providing an aid package for the country’s creative and cultural sectors. The three-part package, according to the ministry’s statement and a report in FAZ, includes up to €50 billion ($54 billion) in aid for individuals who are self-employed as well as for small businesses, including artists and small cultural companies.
This news from the ministry came in less than two weeks after Germany first made its promise of support. “We know the hardships, we know the desperation,” said culture minister Monika Grütters in the statement. “The cultural sector in particular is characterized by a high proportion of self-employed people who now have problems with their livelihoods.” She said that the federal government is “wholly aware” of the importance of the creative industries, adding that “help is coming as quickly and with as little bureaucracy as possible!”
GOOD NEWS: I have Chinese friends who are freelancers and artists living in Berlin. They really struggle with uncertainty about their income, even in their normal lives, due to the nature of their professions. About two days ago, two of them told me that they had received 5000 Euro each within a week of applying. This was a huge help for them as a surviving source of financial stability for the next few months of possible lockdown.
“Our democratic society needs its unique and diverse cultural and media landscape in this historical situation, which was unimaginable until recently,” said Grütters. “The creative courage of creative people can help to overcome the crisis. We should seize every opportunity to create good things for the future. That is why the following applies: artists are not only indispensable, but also vital, especially now.”
But this is not only happening in Germany; countries all around the world are helping out artists. England’s art council announced a package of $190 million in support of the arts. In New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is calling on the government to give US museums a 4 billion dollar bailout. It’s great to see that the world has taken measures, even in such a difficult time, to realize the importance of art in human society and support those who contribute to it.
I hope this kind of good news will be seen in all countries that need it. When scientists have yet to discover a cure, when politicians are causing friction, and when the economy has fallen to a low, art is something real and beautiful that we can hold on to. Keep art thriving and keep it alive!
Brown, Kate. “Germany Has Rolled Out a Staggering €50 Billion Aid Package For Small Businesses That Boosts Artists and Galleries” Artnet News, Artnet News, 27 Mar. 2020, news.artnet.com/art-world/german-bailout-50-billion-1815396.
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