We are heading for bad times.
Weakened by the pandemic, we are facing rising energy prices that will affect citizens, industry, the public sector and cultural institutions. Based on data collection among cultural operators, we can already make an educated guess that at least 30 per cent of music clubs, independent cultural centres, non-established theatres, cinemas and other cultural institutions will close down if there is no help from the Government on energy prices. As representatives of the cultural community, we therefore appeal to you to remind you that the energy crisis also threatens cultural institutions.
Let us take this opportunity to put forward three fundamental demands that will be most helpful to the survival of culture in these difficult times.
1) Prompt assistance in stabilising energy prices at a level that will allow cultural institutions to function fully.
We are aware that the energy crisis will affect everyone. As responsible building managers and operators, we do not rely solely on the state for help and are therefore implementing extensive measures to save energy consumption. However, we all know that saving alone will not be enough.
2) Increase the budget of the Fund for the Promotion of the Arts (FPU) by EUR 10 million, increase the budget of the Audiovisual Fund (AVF) by EUR 3 million from 2023, and enshrine in law the annual indexation of the state contribution to the FPU, AVF and FNKNM according to the rate of inflation.
Since its creation in 2015, the FPU has redistributed around €20 M annually to support live culture. This contribution has not been valorised since the creation of the fund. The inadequacy of the FPU's resources is evidenced by the constantly increasing gap between the demands of the cultural community, as expressed by the amount of funds requested in the submitted projects, and the real financial possibilities of the Fund. This gap has been steadily widening in recent years, with negative consequences for the quality of the Fund's grant-making activities, but especially for the deteriorating conditions for applicants.
The situation of audiovisual producers, distributors and cinema operators is also worsening as a result of the crises and the consequent increase in costs. The increased AVF resources will help to at least partially remedy the impact of the crises on this sector.
3) Adopt the sponsorship law for culture as soon as possible.
Sponsorship contributions from private companies are one of the significant sources that can supplement the budgets of cultural organisations in the long term, but the legislative conditions for this are not currently in place. We believe that the possibility of reducing the tax base by the amount invested in cultural support would significantly help to increase investment in culture from private sources. At the same time, the absence of tax incentives to support culture by private entities shifts the burden of investment onto public resources. We consider this trend to be unhealthy and needs to be reversed.
We believe that in the near future we will hold meaningful and constructive negotiations on these demands, at the end of which there will be a real result in favour of the development of culture in Slovakia.
In Bratislave, October 5th 2022
List of signatories:
Akadémia divadelných tvorcov, ADT
Anténa – Asociácia nezávislých kultúrnych centier
Asociácia divadiel a orchestrov Slovenska, ASDO
Asociácia kultúrnych inštitúcií miest a obcí Slovenska, AKIS
Asociácia Hudobných klubov Slovenska AHKS
Asociácie nezávislých producentov, ANP
Hudobná únia Slovenska, HUS
Klub nezávislých divadiel, KND
Platforma pre súčasný tanec, PLAST
Únia filmových distribútorov, UFD
Združenie prevádzkovateľov kín, ZPK
Slovenské národné múzeum