The regulations related to the national state of disaster and the subsequent lockdown which have limited movement and gatherings of people have had a devastating impact on the arts, culture, heritage and sport sector due to cancellations and postponement of events.
The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS)has developed relief options for the Cultural, Creative and Sport industries we serve in the province, in addition to the national Department of Sport Arts and Culture (DSAC) options. Focusing on the Business Continuity and Recovery phases of the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak, the Provincial Relief options also foregrounds two of the three pillars of the national response: Social Relief and Economic Recovery pillars. Aware of the very complex and evolving COVID-19 environment, the relief options target areas of relief which can be achieved quickly focusing on categories where support is most needed and most helpful.
Motivated by Ernesto Ottone, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture as he noted, “COVID-19 has brought into stark relief, as crises often do, the necessity of culture for people and communities. At a time when billions of people are physically separated from one another, culture brings us together. It provides comfort, inspiration and hope at a time of enormous anxiety and uncertainty. Yet even as we rely on culture to get us through this crisis, culture is also suffering. Many artists and creators, especially those that work in the informal or gig economy, are now unable to make ends meet, much less produce new works of art. Cultural institutions, both large and small, are losing millions in revenue with each passing day. As the world works to address the immediate danger of COVID-19, we also need to put in place measures to support artists and access to culture, both in the short and long-term”.
Closer to home, the unprecedented actions taken to flatten the curve have resulted in the cancellation or postponement of events, limited opportunities for creatives to make an income especially in the gig and live performance economy and as such a loss of income for creatives along the entire value chain of the Cultural and Creative economy. There is a complete lockdown of museums, galleries, cafes, cinemas and restaurants all of which provide platforms for services in the Arts and Culture sector.
Further to this, reports have informed that the lockdown has resulted in uncertainty among South Africans, particularly when it comes to spending. Even in the recovery phase when the lock down is eased, it is expected that the uncertainty will have an impact on households’ consumption behaviour, particularly willingness to spend on high value goods, events, travel and discretionary spending. Under such conditions consumers will defer major purchase decisions due to the uncertainties for 6-12 months or in a worse case, because of fears of recurrence of the outbreak in the next season, consumers may defer major consumption decisions because of uncertainties for 12- 18 months. Consumption will focus on essential items because of this experience. In response to this, government has come up with a number relief options for various sectors of the economy.
The national government through a statement by the national Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture on 25 March 2020 informed that:
Minister Anroux Marais in welcoming the initiative by national government, said, “Granted that the application process and criteria are transparent and managed by an independent body, the bulk of these initiatives announced by the national Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture by their nature cover activities that have a national footprint and not those in provinces which are crucial for the provincial and national GDP. It is therefore important for provinces and in this case the Western Cape Government, to make similar efforts in support of the creative economy given the significant impact that it has on the economy of the province as well as its significance in building a socially inclusive society, a key component to our productivity as a region”.
Our Provincial Relief options are inclusive of the following:
ARTS CULTURE AND HERITAGE INITIATIVES FOR WHICH THERE IS A PUBLIC CALL FOR APPLICATIONS:
Event cancellation support
Who Can Apply:
1. DCAS funded events/project cancellations. The funds in this form of relief can be used for the following:
i. Towards cancellation fees to artists
ii. Towards committed funds in relation to production elements of the event – inclusive of artists upfront fees, costume development etc.
2. Arts Venue* and Production Cancellations: This also includes (1) Arts Venues and Productions not funded by DCAS and (2) cancelled Western Cape productions scheduled to be presented outside the Western Cape and internationally. The funds in this form of relief can be used for the following:
i. Towards cancellation fees to artists
ii. Towards compensation to cover upfront fees to artists
a. *Examples of arts venues includes theatres, dance venues, live music venues, community art centres, art galleries etc.
3. Artists/Creatives: The funds in this form of relief are targeted at freelance workers and independent contractors for fees for creatives whose events have been canceled and who have not been paid cancellation fees or have lost income because of the cancellation as a result of the national state of disaster. This is inclusive of session musicians, buskers, visual artists, stage managers and other creatives along the value chain.
4. Community Arts Education and Training Organisations: The funds in this form of relief could go towards direct costs related to the development and delivery of course/training content.
5. Humanitarian Relief - Legends Grant: Data from China, where the outbreak began in Wuhan in December, shows that elderly people aged 60 years and above are the most vulnerable to COVID-19. This means that we need to make a special effort to support artists in this age category given that they are disproportionally and negatively impacted by the virus and therefore cannot take risks even after restrictions have been lifted. This also means that they will be the last off the starting blocks and will be kept out of work significantly longer than younger artists after the mandatory lock down period.
i. Applicants must be practicing artists, 18 years of age and older.
ii. Relief Funding is for creatives who do not have a regular salary source and whose sole income source is their creative work.
iii. Relief funding is currently for organisations and individuals based within the boundaries of the Western Cape.
iv. It is specifically for those impacted on for the period March - June 2020.
v. One application form must be completed per project/event
vi. All relevant documentation requested must be submitted together with application (see checklist)
vii. All applicants will need to be compliant in terms of the legislative requirements.
viii. Further information is available on the Departmental website www.westerncape.gov.za/cas
CRITERIA PER CATEGORY FOR APPLICATION
1. DCAS Funded events/project cancellations
Where a MOA exists and tranche payments have been made or are yet to be made, the following criteria will apply:
a. Submit documentation that does not deviate from the existing MOA requirements (narrative report, invoices, valid compliance documents etc.).
b. Supporting documents: e.g. cancellation letters/notices, proof of payments made to artists/participants/service providers etc. involved and proof of contracts and payment due.
c. If funds were not spent by the time of cancellation, the organisations may apply to repurpose the funds within the project as per the signed MOA.
d. For approved projects without a signed MOA but with a grant letter, all valid compliance documents and action plan (April – June) should be submitted.
e. Projects/events that were affected during March (after the State of Disaster Announcement), will also be considered.
2. Arts Venue* and Production Cancellations (incl. non-DCAS funded venues/ productions):
In order for relief assistance to be considered for cancelled productions/projects, submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:
a. Projects/Productions/Arts Training taking place in the Western Cape and using artists based in the Western Cape
b. Western Cape Productions being presented outside of the Western Cape and using artists based in the Western Cape
c. Relief will be considered for the period March to June 2020 and for production/training programmes specifically canceled to meet requirements of the national state of disaster;
d. Proof that the production/training was scheduled during the period of the national state of disaster.
e. Proof of cancellation.
f. Artist line-up and contracts or agreements including performance fees.
g. An Income Statement showing direct costs related to canceled activity.
3. Artists/Creatives: Freelance workers and independent contractors
a. Proof of loss of income – should demonstrate that the creative worker was contracted with signed contract; formal letter indicating a standing arrangement with other party, and that the other party will not provide for compensation.
b. Compliance for organisations: CIPC documents, valid Tax Clearance
c. Compliance for individuals: Copy of ID, Tax number and tax clearance certificate (if applicable).
d. Buskers need to have a valid permit from the relevant local authority or a letter of support from the municipality or letter of support establishment where work was undertaken.
e. Any other information outlined in the application form.
f. Relief will only apply to the projects/events/productions that have been cancelled.
4. Humanitarian Relief - Legends Grant
a. Copy of ID
b. Must be resident in Western Cape Province.
c. Must be 60 years or older.
d. Proof of contractual work impacted between March – June 2020.
e. Concepts of any new works being produced.
f. Evidence of training material being developed in specific discipline.
g. Evidence of collaborative work – if any.
Application forms are above and can be found on www.westerncape.gov.za/cas
Applications should be emailed to: DCAS.ReliefFunding@westerncape.gov.za
The deadline for applications is 19 May 2020 at 16h00.
Spokesperson for the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais
083 504 1171
Head of Communication for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
076 093 4913