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Artists call for help for Bulgarian culture

Culture is part of the Bulgarian economic life. What is lost now will be difficult to restore. In the medium term, there will be consequences for the diversity of the national cultural landscape that we cannot even imagine.

United and motivated, we insist on financial compensations, in the context of losses and many other business sectors, write to the state institutions the organizers and artists engaged in the independent cultural sector in Bulgaria.

They asked for support and financial assistance from the state so that they could survive the crisis caused by the measures against the coronavirus.

We insist on the development of a mechanism for support and compensation of cultural organizations and freelance artists who are not staffed with state and municipal cultural institutions.

Many of us are left without income indefinitely, which seriously affects the personal and social status of us and our families, many of those employed in the cultural industries work without an employment contract and on a project basis. For some of them, the cancellation of events means not only a loss of income, but also a loss of project funding because part or all of the costs have already been incurred, they wrote in the letter.

It proposes to set a grant for independent cultural organizations and freelancers, starting on March 8 and continuing until the ban on events lasts.

Minister Boil Banov proposed the closure of the theaters among the first measures and even caused controversy over the need for this, but the topic of compensation and what will happen to the independent cultural sector has not been officially commented by the authorities.

Such mechanisms are being developed in the countries of the European Union and around the world, and your colleagues have already issued official statements that they will not abandon people working in the cultural industries, regardless of whether they are from state, municipal or private structures.

Support with your signatures the petition “For urgent measures in support of the independent cultural sector in Bulgaria”: HERE

Illustration: iStock by Getty Images / Guliver Photos

Full text of the letter and the signatories:

Dear Mr. Minister,

In connection with the ban on holding cultural events, we insist on the development of a mechanism to support and compensate cultural organizations and freelance artists who are not permanently affiliated with state and municipal cultural institutions. Many of us are left without income indefinitely, which seriously affects the personal and social status of us and our families.

Such mechanisms are being developed in the countries of the European Union and around the world, and your colleagues have already issued official statements that they will not abandon people working in the cultural industries, regardless of whether they are from state, municipal or private structures. We insist on responsible and solidary attitude and care on the part of the Ministry of Culture for all working professionally in the field of culture!

We propose to determine a monthly gratuitous financial compensation for independent cultural institutions and organizations actively working at the moment, as well as for freelancers affected by the situation, starting from March 8, 2020 for the period of ban on holding cultural events.

We consider it necessary to make an analysis of the projected losses of the independent cultural sector in Bulgaria by the end of the first half of 2020 in order to cover the amount of damage suffered by the sector.

Culture is part of the Bulgarian economic life. What is lost now will be difficult to restore. In the medium term, there will be consequences for the diversity of the national cultural landscape that we cannot even imagine. United and motivated, we demand financial compensation, in the context of losses and many other business sectors.

Atanas Maev, Zhivko Zhelyazkov, Milena Videnova, Isabel Mitkova, Derida Dance Center / Art Link FoundationVesselin Dimov, AST Free Theater AssociationAsen Assenov, ONE Foundation for Culture and ArtsVessela Kondakova, Bulgarian Music AssociationPetar Todorov, For the Rhodopes FoundationMira Staleva, Executive Director of Sofia Film Fest and Head of Sofia MeetingsStefan Kitanov, Director of Sofia Film FestVeselka Kuncheva, SNC “Puppets Lab”Petya Stoykova, Dance BG AssociationMaria Banova, Art Land EOODRosen Mihailov, Heteropodi Production CompanyZhana Pencheva, Alexander Georgiev, Association “Garage-collective platform for independent artists” / “Steam Room”Kole Kitanov, Male-Male Association,Dimitar Stefanov, Corsair Theater FoundationEmil Yordanov, “Small Theater Company” Ltd.“Organization for Contemporary Alternative Art and Culture – 36 Monkeys” – Gergana Dimitrova (Chair)Vesselin Dimov, MOMO Theater CompanyBoris Zafirov, Theater of ResponsibilityIva Sveshtarova, Villi Prager, Brain Store Project Foundation, Nomad Dance Academy Bulgaria AssociationStefan A. Shterev, Informburo Foundation, Nomad Dance Academy Bulgaria AssociationGalina Borisova, Etude FoundationEkaterina Petrova, Tsvetelina Panova, Iva Todorova, Emanuila Zhivkova, Taratantsi FoundationDimitar Bakalov, “Théatro” / “Stripe Media” EOOD,Svetoslav Nikolov, Atelier Plastelin FoundationNikolina Bogdanova, Atelier Plastelin FoundationMartin Noev, Atelier Plastelin FoundationYavor Kostov, Atelier Plastelin FoundationYanko Velkov-Yanets, Atelier Plastelin FoundationAlexander Manuilov, Radar SofiaManuela Manukova, AST Free Theater AssociationKalina Wagenstein, Art Office FoundationAlbena Tagareva, Art Bureau FoundationMarion Darova – freelance artistCosta Karakashyan, freelance director and choreographerBoyan Kracholov, directorJoanna Robova, freelance artistJuliana Saiska, freelance artistMargarita Petrova, freelance artistVioleta Vitanova, choreographer and dancerAnna Dankova, director

Support with your signatures the petition “For urgent measures in support of the independent cultural sector in Bulgaria”: HERE

The petition will be open for additional signatures until 29.03.2020 (Sunday) inclusive.

Questionnaire designed for individuals and organizations involved in the independent arts and culture sector in Bulgaria, which you can fill out HERE


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