The criticism of the demand of artists in the corona crisis, considered insufficient, does not rub off. For former federal interior minister gerhart baum (FDP), it is flawed. Two artists’ initiatives addressed the federal government and lander in open letters.
"There is no comprehensive demand for the arts in the crisis," baum, who is also chairman of the cultural council in north rhine-westphalia, told dpa in berlin in a statement. "This in no way corresponds to the meaning of art in a free society, especially now in the crisis."
Baum accused state minister of culture monika grutters (CDU) of failing to respond to nationwide protests from the arts community. "Why doesn’t mrs. Grutters do anything to "readjust" here"??", asked baum. Grutters misses a gross opportunity to help culture. Art and culture are systemically relevant in their own way. "Art is not an industry like any other. Their "product" is unique. It is protected in a special way by the basic law."Furthermore, from baum’s point of view, federal cultural policy does nothing "to trim the arts through a temporary federal emergency aid fund now and in the transition to more normal times".
Grutters had recently announced that the government would "constantly review and, if necessary, readjust" existing aid measures.
An initiative of cultural workers in germany published an open letter to the federal and state governments on monday, pointing out the "dramatic and existentially threatening situation". The paper, which is reported to have been signed by more than 5,000 artists so far, calls for, among other things, "a uniform federal procedure for direct and special support". For solo-self-employed and freelance cultural workers, an immediate aid is necessary to compensate for existence-threatening losses. A standardized federal program should ensure a monthly living requirement of 1180 euros.
Another open letter was written by violinists anne-sophie mutter and lisa batiashvili, conductors christian thielemann and thomas hengelbrock, and singers rene pape and matthias goerne. In it, she also asks on behalf of lesser-known artists: "are we only popular when times are rosy??"In the letter published in "welt", they demand "to enable artists to survive the next eight, nine, perhaps even twelve months without slipping into misery, into total depression, through no fault of their own and without merit".
Bavaria wants to support artists in the state with 1000 euros a month. This was announced by minister president markus soder in munich. Admittedly, there is one group that "falls through the cracks," said the CSU chairman. The 30 or so players are to be.000 artists, who are also organized in the artists’ social insurance fund. Similar procedure already followed by baden-wurttemberg.
Dagmar schmidt, chairwoman of the federal association of fine artists (BBK), recently called for a similar regulation nationwide.