An Anti-Crisis Shield for Culture?

Author: Wiktor Rainka / Managing Partner

Some elements of the anti-crisis shield have been recently modified. The changes were introduced Act of 31 March 2020 on Amending the Act on Special Solutions Related to the Prevention, Counteracting and Combating COVID-19, Other Infectious Diseases and Crisis Situations Caused by Them and Other Acts (available herein Polish). The most significant modification was introduced to the Article 15m(5), which now contains information on an authorization for the Minister of Culture and National Heritage to issue a regulation defining conditions for granting support to people and entities if their activity is connected with audiovisual production or with culture and conducted under the state’s patronage within the scope of executive regulations issued based on Article 9a of the Act of 25 October 1991 on Organizing and Conducting Cultural Activities (Journal of Laws, 2020, item 194).

The possibility to issue such a document was indeed recognized. The Minister issued the Regulation of 2 April 2020 on financial support for natural persons, legal entities or organizational units without legal personality to change the form of dissemination of creative or artistic activities during the period of the epidemic risk or pandemic (available under this linkin Polish),

according to which:

  • Support is granted upon request submitted to the Minister or a designated cultural institution (and possibly other authorized persons) only within the framework of programs announced in the Public Information Bulletin on the website of the Minister’s office or a designated institution, i.e. on the websites of the Ministry or other cultural institutions.
  • Support can be provided either to a natural person in the form of a grant (grants) or to a legal entity or organizational unit in the form of an earmarked subsidy (earmarked subsidies).
  • Support will be provided if the following prerequisites are met: (1) compliance of the measures indicated in the application with the scope of the measures and objectives of financial support allocation specified and announced in the program; (2) free and public availability of the effects of activities conducted with the financial support given during the artistic activity and after its completion.
  • The maximum amount of the grant can not exceed three times the average monthly salary for the previous year. Its amount is published by the President of the Central Statistical Office (GUS) in the Official Journal of the Republic of Poland ‘Monitor Polski’ in accordance with Article 5(7) of the Act of 4 March 1994 on the Company Social Benefits Fund (Journal of Laws, 2019, items 1352 and 1907, and issue from 2020, item 278), i.e. three times the amount of PLN 4,294.67* (data from the Central Statistical Office).
  • The maximum amount for the earmarked subsidy can not exceed 100% of the expenses for changing the form of dissemination of creative and artistic activities, which may potentially be interesting for those who intend to change their form of expression into, e.g. an online one. If so, it is possible to get support for current expenses.

Interestingly, at least one call for proposals is scheduled for the duration of the state of epidemic emergency or pandemic, and the next one within 12 months from the announcement of lifting the declaration of emergency.

So it is definitely worth following the websites of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritageand various cultural institutions as well as find programs that would support our work.

The procedure for awarding the grant is relatively formal and involves, inter alia, submitting an appropriate application, concluding an agreement, and fulfilling other conditions specified in the regulations or conditions of specific support programs.