Highlights from EUROCITIES city dialogue on culture – cities respond to the Covid-19 crisis

Republished by ECBN from: Eurocities

90 representatives from 68 large European cities met online on 14 May to discuss common challenges related to the COVID-19 crisis, exchange on cultural measures to respond to the crisis and share lessons learnt so far. As we are experiencing cities where cultural venues are closed, the argument in favour of more culture in cities has never been so strong. Now is a crucial moment to build the argument on why culture needs to be part of the response to the crisis. To do so, data capture is particularly relevant. Amsterdam, for example surveyed over 370 local cultural organisations. Their responses gave an insight into the financial effects (short and long term) on the cultural sector.

Moreover, the cultural and creative sector is key for local economies. In Amsterdam, the creative sector represents 10% of local employment. The crisis highlights the fragility of employment conditions of artists and freelancers. In London, where 1 job out of every 6 is a creative one and 90% of grassroots venues face a risk of closure, the local ‘culture at risk’ office has been supersized since March and has mobilised to provide crucial support services to the sector; these include mediating disputes and providing capacity-building resources.

The video of the full discussion is available here.

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