TALLINN – In a joint appeal, the Estonian theater, film, music, museum and art community is asking for a 20 million euro recovery package to be included in the supplementary budget for 2022 to compensate for the losses incurred by them since the autumn of 2021.
"The security crisis now underway has once again dealt a blow to both tourism and culture in what is another setback for the sectors already weakened by the pandemic. The operating restrictions and uncompensated losses of the last six months have created a financial shortfall that severely undermines our ability to support, encourage and unite both our own people and the war refugees in need of support," KNOPKA, a joint initiative of the Estonian theater, film, music, museum and arts community, says in a letter to the government.
Estimates by the cultural sector suggest that the cultural and creative sector lost around 115 million euros in 2021 due to COVID-19 related measures and restrictions. The rate of decrease in its turnover last year, compared to 2019, was 42 percent. In 2020, the decrease in turnover compared to 2019 was 48 percent.
In the field of culture, cinemas and concert venues have suffered the most, as the reduction in their turnover in 2021 was even greater than in 2020.
The theater, film, music, museum and art community said that a situation has been reached where businesses have run out of reserves, whereas instead of a normalization of the situation, a new crisis has set in.
"We are therefore asking for a state compensation for the sector for the nine-month period from July 2021 to March 2022. The reduction in turnover for this period is 66,967,197 euros. The sector's need for compensation is 20 million euros, the rest will be borne by the sector," the letter adds.
"The cultural sector feels its responsibility as a force that encourages and unites the people, which is why many organizers have led actions in support of the people of Ukraine and the war refugees since the first days of the war, including fundraising campaigns and concerts. We are convinced that the weak must be helped and we will do everything in our power to do so, but in this we are still the weaker parties and the domain needs the help of the government to continue to function," the representatives of the cultural sector noted.