Kunsten '92: Culture and Corona, one year later

  • policy & politics
  • landelijke instellingen

In March 2021 Kunsten '92 published Culture and Corona, one year later which explains how the impact of the coronal crisis differs widely within the literary, creative, performing, and film/avo industries. The various analyses show that the greatest victims of the crisis are the makers, freelancers, and artists.

The sector has been hit hard by the one and a half metre measures and lockdowns. "The support that has flowed to the sector so far has been successful in keeping the visible players afloat: museums, companies and venues. But this support is often generic and does not reach a large part of the sector," say Marianne Versteegh and Edo Dijksterhuis in the foreword to the publication.

According to Versteegh and Dijksterhuis, the cause of the differences in the effects of the crisis is to be found in the serious flaws in Dutch art and culture policy. The large differences in impact are explained in five chapters.

In BK Information We will limit ourselves to a review of the chapter on the visual arts.

Fine Art

Support measures have ensured that virtually the entire infrastructure is still standing, but under the surface erosion is taking place. Dijksterhuis speaks of 'a chronicle of delayed implosion'. Moreover, the heaviest burden falls on the makers.

The creators

After a year of coronary crisis, the damage to the visual arts sector does not seem to have been too severe. The museums are still standing and the presentation institutions are retreating to the sidelines. Galleries remained open by appointment and turned to digital platforms. Art fairs eventually skipped a year and are now focusing on the next edition. The artists themselves, however, are not doing as well, with beginning artists in particular having a hard time. "The opportunities to show and possibly sell art have decreased. In addition, the side jobs that artists often have - guest lecturing, art handling and of course the hospitality industry - have also been hit by corona."

After a year of coronary crisis, the damage to the visual arts sector does not seem to be too bad. However, the artists themselves are not doing as well

CBS calculated that the average income of self-employed people in the arts in the third quarter of 2020 decreased by 68.2% compared to the year before. That average income amounted to € 18,340 per year. Government support measures, especially the Tozo, help a little but certainly do not provide enough relief for everyone.

The sellers

Some of the sellers of visual art are doing well. "Turnover in the so-called secondary art market, where art is sold that has had at least one previous owner, is the same or higher in coronation time than before." In addition, supply has increased as people use their time at home to clean up. Sitting at home also means that many people have time and money to spare, which means that more bids are made and more art is bought, especially at online auction houses.

Some sellers of fine art are doing well. The picture is more varied among the galleries.

The picture at the galleries is more varied. The top layer is still doing well. Since the start of the pandemic 62% of the galleries have seen their income drop, but their costs have also gone down. The art fairs have all moved on, but because the public is generally a bit older and cautious, sales there will also be lower than before.

The toners

Despite government support, the museum infrastructure is beginning to show its first cracks. Already last year, museums had terminated a third of temporary contracts. In early January 2021, 10% of the museums said they will also cut permanent contracts. The workload will increase further and the younger generation will not get a job. In the end, the knowledge about the collections will be lost: a brain drain is threatening.

Last year, the museums had already terminated a third of their temporary contracts. The workload of the permanent staff who remain is also increasing at the presentation institutions.

With a few exceptions, the presentation institutions are dependent on support from local governments, funds and private individuals. An annual increase of 5.5 million euros is needed in order to be able to operate according to the rules of the Fair Practice Code (De Zaak Nu, April 2019). At presentation institutions, the workload is also increasing for the permanent staff that remain. In addition, the lack of perspective is undermining.

The Supporters

The distribution of the second support package from the state is slow, moreover, 270 million euros (120 in 2020 and 150 million until July 2021) spent through municipalities is not earmarked. There are also concerns about the so-called trickle down effect From OCW: the support for BIS institutions would automatically flow through to smaller institutions and eventually to the makers: this does not seem to work. "The support money remains almost entirely in the institutional structures and the permanent jobs that go with them. The artists, who are listed as self-employed for 94%, are missing out."

There are concerns about the so-called trickle down effect from OCW. The support money remains almost entirely in the institutional structures and the permanent jobs that go with them.

"If the generic support measures soon cease and there is no more Tozo, many artists will have to give up their studios. Last year, the Mondriaan Fund provided an additional € 3.5 million in individual support and in 2021 it will provide an additional € 7.5 million. The effect of this aid is limited, but the money will give over 800 artists six months breathing space. That number is in addition to the approximately 3,600 artists who were supported in 2020 through one of the fund's regular schemes."

 The publication Culture and Corona. One year later You can download it here

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