ONE YEAR OF CULTURAL LOCKDOWN: CULTURAL CRISIS GROUP DEMANDS REOPENING FROM 13 MARCH

13 March 2021 marks the one-year anniversary of the lockdown. Hardly a cause for celebration, as the cultural sector has been almost completely shut since that day. Apart from a short period of limited easing of restrictions over summer, most public events in the past year have been cancelled. The cultural crisis group (Crisiscel Cultuur) asks the government to make (public) activity possible again from 13 March, under strict safety precautions. KVS supports this demand.

The cultural sector itself has not been sitting idly: it was one of the first to agree on safety protocols with the government. Behind the scenes, thousands of artists and cultural workers have been creating projects in COVID-proof circumstances. Hundreds of projects are ready to start interacting with the public.

This is why the cultural crisis group urgently asks the government to allow the sector to start working publicly again from 13 March 2021, the one-year anniversary of the lockdown. Needless to say, this would be under strictly refined safety protocols and based on a clear, mutually agreed-upon framework.

This reopening should be the first step in a phased restart, during which visitor numbers are slowly increased as we move closer to summer and start focusing on outdoor activities. This can all be done according to protocols that have already been approved by the government and public health experts.

We are aware that not every institute will be able to open with limited audience numbers. That’s why we wish to work according to the rule that those who can work safely, should get to work safely. But support is also needed for those who cannot yet return to public performances. We count on the government to extend the support measures currently in place for the entire duration of the crisis.

The Cultural Crisis Group (Crisiscel Cultuur) is a coalition of advocacy groups, artists and art sector workers, organisations and institutions from the Flemish subsidised and unendowed cultural and events sector. The Cultural Crisis Group is an incubator that wants to use its collective powers to guide the cultural sector through the Corona crisis.

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