Cultural councilors are calling for a festival fund

Cultural councilors are calling for a festival fund
The Salzburg Festival is a flagship for Austria (archive image)

“We need a fair, future-oriented, sustainable instrument for festival financing,” emphasized Burgenland’s governor Hans Peter Doskozil (SPÖ) at a press conference. Another requirement of the federal states relates to social security for artists.

With the festival fund, the cultural officers want to handle federal funding in a more uniform and structured way in the future. They are currently different: “They range from legally guaranteed financial contributions, such as at the Salzburg Festival, to long-term funding agreements, as in the case of the Bregenz Festival, to individual funding decisions, for example under the Federal Art Funding Act,” said Doskozil.

The Burgenland governor wants to discuss a new model with the federal government – ​​“so that the states don’t have to be petitioners every year and then just look at the other person again – how much does he get for this festival and for this event,” emphasized he. However, the fund should not interfere with existing funding agreements or laws.

The federal states also demand that the social security benefits for artists and cultural workers be adjusted to the reality of their work and that disadvantages be compensated. “Because most artists and cultural workers are not protected by collective agreements and only rarely work in continuous employment,” said Tyrolean Governor Anton Mattle (ÖVP). Many are not continuously insured, which leads to problems with illness, unemployment and pensions and sometimes leads to poverty in old age.

On the initiative of the Viennese City Councilor for Culture, Veronica Kaup-Hasler (SPÖ), the federal states also spoke out in favor of additional funds to cushion the rise in prices in the cultural sector. Other topics at the conference of cultural advisors in southern Burgenland were the new ORF law and the establishment of a joint Shoah center to counteract anti-Semitic tendencies in Austria.

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