Coronavirus: Emmanuel Macron's plan for culture

Published by Caroline J. · Photos by My B. · Updated on 7 May 2020 at 11h23 · Published on 6 May 2020 at 15h45
Since this past March 17th, the culture world is seriously hit by the health crisis. In order to support this sector and artists that keep it alive, on Wednesday May 6th, French President Emmanuel Macron met several culture players. Reopening museums and bookstores, rehearsals resuming, creation of a temporary compensation fund for shots cancelled and extension of temporary show business workers' rights to August 2021... Here's an update.

This past March 17th marked the first day of confinement in France and the beginning of issues for many economical sectors. The cultural sector being especially hit as museums, movie theaters, venues shut down. As deconfinement is coming, many people wonder when and how museums, movie theaters, concert venues and other night clubs and festive places will reopen.

Emmanuel Macron's first statements to support culture

This May 6, the French President had a video call with several culture world players such as singer Catheirne Ringer, conductor Sébastien Daucé and actor and director Stanislas Nordy. The goal of this meeting? Finding solutions to help the culture world, struggling since the beginning of the health crisis.

First, Emmanuel Macron reminded the importance of places of creation in France. "These creation places must live again" by fitting to the constraints of this health crisis. The French President also announced the reopening of several cultural places starting from May 11th, such as museumsbookstores, as well as art galleries that will have to respect health rules. "We shall reopen bookstores, museums - without having too many people coming in and out - record stores, art galleries... as well as places of creation such as theater to start rehearsing with the constraints and the right distancing rules" he added.

Reminding that festivals and gatherings of over 5,000 people are banned up to September, the Head of State has insisted on the necessity of inventing new interactions with the audience. "We will have a bigger view in late May, because we will have this 3-week perspective, and in early June, we will look at how things are hoing and how we can make things with the audience. There too, we will have to come up with new ideas. It should be the mix of common sesne and innovation, and this is what you know to do" he said to his different interlocutors. Emmanuel Macron invites players to come up with new interactions with the audience such as appropriation for instance. "Nothing forbids you from inventing something with a smaller audience" he said.

As for shootings cancelled, Emmanuel Macron proposed to create a temporary compensation fund. "It will be difficult to resume shootings before late May. We can adapt in June/July but it will be on a case by case-basis. The idea is to create a 'temporary compensation fund' in relationship with the CNC and insurances... A whole ecosystme lives of cinema. Soficas (company for the financing of the cinematographic and audio-visual industry), banks, insurers chould come help compensate. We will not make it alone" he said.

Last but not least, the French President did not forget about temporary show business workers to whom he says their rights are extended up to August 2021. "I want us to commit for artists and technicians be extended to a year beyond the six months they have not be able to work" he said.

Other statements from the Head of State to help culture? A "solidarity fund open for very small businesses" that companies in the cultural sector will enjoy, and a big program of public orders with the ambition if inventing an uncommon season. Last but not least, Emmanuel Macron wishes to relaunch European coproduction in order to have "a stronger cultural Europe".

The culture sector struggling since March 17th

During his deconfinement plan presentation, the head of government Edouard Philippe said that events over 5,000 people were banned until September. All major summer festivals were to be cancelled, jeopardizing then many temporary show business workers, usually working on summers for these major events.

Mid-March, the government unveiled measures to help artists and technicians hit by the Covid-19 crisis and unable to work. The government also decided not to take the weeks from March 15th and until the end of confinement into account for the right opening and grants period for temporary show business workers.

By the way, we have been told that the France Télévisions group and Audiens wish to launch a relief monetary fund for all temporary show business workers hit by the health crisis. France Télévisions president Delphine Ernotte wishes this fund to be ready from mid-May.

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