20 March 2020
The current state of Affairs
Dear artists, dear colleagues, dear audience,
social life has almost come to a halt due to the COVID19 pandemic. But the retreat into a home office with continued secure working conditions is a privilege that many people do not have. The Sophiensæle work exclusively with freelance artists, many freelance technicians and other freelancers, without whom our regular theater schedule would not exist. We would like to express our solidarity with all those whose precarious situation is getting worse every day: In addition to the general strain imposed on their personal situation, the loss of income due to cancelled shows poses a very acute threat to their existence.
We appreciate that the Senate agreed yesterday on immediate aid measures for small businesses and freelancers from various sectors, among them the cultural sector. We hope that the information on the funding conditions, the application forms and the procedure will be published quickly and that the funds will reach the needy self-employed persons in the cultural sector (artists, freelance technicians, production managers, dramaturgs etc.) in a purposeful, fast and unbureaucratic way.
In addition, as a concept-funded institution, we are confident that the Senate Administration for Culture and Europe will make quick and unbureaucratic decisions that will enable us to pay all artists, freelancers and those employed on a part-time basis the full amount of the fees that were planned to be paid until 19 April.
We endorse the requests and suggestions of the professional associations and organisations of art and culture, which are working on practical recommendations and calls for action. We would like to thank them for their quick response, the continuous flow of information and the many helpful links and information materials.
In its newsletter, LAFT Berlin e.V. regularly provides information and links on how to deal with the pandemic.
The Dachverband Tanz continuously maintains an overview of information from associations and initiatives, the legal situation and advice, social insurance for artists, measures, aid funds, petitions and handling of funding.
The ZTB Berlin and the Koalition der Freien Szene have addressed open letters to the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe.
The Deutsche Kulturrat is calling for an emergency fund for freelance artists and other self-employed persons from the cultural and media sector and provides regular information on political updates.
Information and updates on the Corona crisis in the cultural sector are also provided by the Bundesverband Darstellende Künste e.V., the ZMB and the Deutsche Bühnenverein.
We wish you much strength in these difficult times, strong nerves for the days to come, humour and hopefully always surprisingly beautiful experiences as well.
Best wishes and stay in good health!