Draft report: Culture, cities and the COVID-19 pandemic. Part 1: Documenting the initial measures and drafting some of the challenges ahead

Republished by ECBN from: Agenda 21 for culture

COVID-19 crisis has extraordinarily affected the cultural life in cities, with implications on the already existing inequalities to access, participate and contribute to culture, access to public spaces, and the financial sustainability and the flow of cultural goods and services. The impact of the crisis on freedoms and values are impossible to calculate at this stage. This crisis has led to the mass closure of libraries, community centres, museums, galleries and cultural venues, and the cancellation of concerts, shows, festivals, exhibitions and many other cultural activities. Similarly, due to physical distancing and travel restrictions, cultural events and performances have been suspended and projects have been put on hold. The numbers speak for themselves: by 22 April 2020, 95% countries around the world had closed or partially closed their museums to the public, and 128 countries had entirely closed down all their cultural institutions. 

This report is an attempt to document the initial initiatives and measures initiated and implemented by cities and local governments in order to address the impact of the crisis in the cultural life of cities. The document also drafts some of the main challenges that are being considered to ensure culture is at the heart of the response to the Covid-19 crisis.

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