Letter from IETM to the Greek Ministry of Culture

Brussels, May 25th, 2020

Attention: Minister of Culture & Sports Ms Lina Mendoni
CC: Secretary-General of Contemporary Culture Mr Nicholas Giatromanolakis

Dear Ms Minister,

I am addressing you on behalf of IETM – International Network for Contemporary Performing Arts, one of the oldest and largest European cultural networks, representing over 500 organisations and individual professionals all over the world.

The cultural sector, in particular, the performing arts, has been the first to suffer from the measures taken in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, while they most probably will be the last ones to resume their regular activities, once the measure are softened.

The current crisis has had a detrimental effect on the already extremely vulnerable ecosystem of the cultural sector all over the world, and the Greek arts sector is, unfortunately, not an exception. The continuous exchange among our members, representing 50 different countries, reveals big gaps among the measures taken by different governments to support culture.

Based on the input from our members regarding the measures recently announced by Greek government, the majority of workers, businesses and non-profit entities in the cultural sector are left without vital support to secure their survival and continued existence. Additionally, a well prepared short and long-term plan for re-opening the cultural sector seems to be lacking while intellectual property rights remain insufficiently protected. We hope that the Greek government will address these problems and that the Greek Ministry of Culture in close cooperation with relevant authorities, will make any effort to take full advantage of the European programs available to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 to the cultural sector.

The Greek community of performing arts is a vital part of our network and its contribution to the international scene is valuable. Therefore, we hope that you will do everything you can to protect the field of performing arts as well as the Greek cultural space as a whole, as it represents a dynamic social resource, with exceptional intrinsic value, which contributes to the greater good.

Yours sincerely,

Ása Richardsdóttir
Secretary-general of IETM

The main photo is from the IETM Athens Plenary Meeting 2013 with the theme of “Tomorrow”, curated by the cultural manager Kelly Diapouli and the non-profit organisation “busart”. © Vassilis Panagiotopoulos, IETM