Upper Austria extends the hardship fund for cultural workers and the art @ home funding program for online projects. As part of the Upper Austria Plan – a five-year investment package by the state with a volume of 1.2 billion euros – a total of 13 million euros have been reserved for culture. The money should go into the culture budget this year and 2022. Cultural advisor LH Thomas Stelzer (ÖVP) presented details on how it is used on Friday.
Image: APA (archive image)
The 13 million euros from the Upper Austria Plan are used to fund investment projects from cultural initiatives and institutions, including clubs and small cinemas. Measures for digitization, maintenance or corona measures such as the installation of plexiglass panes or ventilation are supported. Depending on the amount of the investment, a maximum of 40 to 75 percent will be replaced, but not more than 300,000 euros.
In addition, there should be a restart bonus for events. This affects both the implementation of the annual artistic program and projects with festival character or regional cinemas. Festivals that have been moved from 2020 to 2021 can apply for funding for the postponed program this year, although they have already received them in 2020.
The hardship fund for Upper Austrian cultural workers, which would have expired in March, will be extended until the end of June. Likewise, the special fund art @ home, which supports artists who have been looking for new presentation formats – such as online – in view of the Corona restrictions, will continue to run in 2021.
The culture platform (KUPF) Upper Austria was pleased in a press release: “The additional money is important so that the cultural sector can also invest out of this crisis”, says Managing Director Thomas Diesreiter. He sees it as “a good sign from Governor Stelzer that the long-term austerity program will be suspended for this year”. For a real turnaround, however, more basic financing is needed from 2022, this tab would be for an increase of five million euros.