On July 20th, the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, in collaboration with the Czech Ministry of Culture, approved a program they’re calling COVID kultura, a subsidy for individuals and organizations suffering financial losses due to limitations on live events. On August 11th, the Ministry of Industry and Trade finally publicized a call for applications. Cultural organizers who have lost money during the pandemic can now learn about whether they are eligible for the subsidy and how they can apply. The government set aside 900 million CZK (about 34.5 million Euros) for the program. Each participant can receive up to half of their lost income, with a cap of 5 million CZK (about 191.5 thousand Euro) for each applicant. Applicants can submit their requests online from August 18th to September 18th 2020.
The subsidy is designed to support event organizers who have spent money between October 1st 2019 and May 17th 2020 on events that were to take place between March 10th and August 31st and which had to be canceled or postponed due to pandemic precautions. Eligible expenses are considered to be expenses which cannot be used for another, or postponed, event. A canceled event is any event which could not take place on the same calendar year.
Who can apply? Businesses who make the bulk of their profits through live events, organizers of film, music, art festivals and exhibitions, music clubs, galleries, museums, theaters and even individual artists. Some restrictions apply concerning individuals who suspended their status as independent contractors or applicants who had been late on certain payments.
Those interested in the subsidy will have to provide several statutory declarations and various documentation (invoices, contracts, accounting books etc). All required forms are on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Last April, the government approved the first stimulus package for the cultural sector of 1,07 billion crowns (over 41 million Euro). It was aimed, however, at organizations that work for the Ministry of Culture or those who have received grants from it. Some privately owned theaters criticized the minister of culture, Lubomír Zaorálek, for the fact that cultural organizations who receive no financial support from the ministry also received no support during the pandemic.
Despite many restrictions being lifted, cultural events are still running up against limitations. Since July 27th, indoor events have been limited to 500 participants. This significantly limits theaters, particularly those presenting opera and ballet.