Fair treatment of freelance artists during the COVID-19 crisis


Fair treatment of freelance artists during the COVID-19 crisis

This petition made change with 1,327 supporters!
Dr. Guy Cools started this petition to All stakeholders: venues festivals companies funding bodies.

Open Letter to the international arts community and the different local funding bodies and governments to spread the financial burden more evenly and to protect those who are in the most vulnerable position, that is the freelance artists.

The impact of the current crisis is becoming clearer with every hour, with the exception of how long it may last. As is the realization that it will be the most vulnerable, who will suffer first and most. In the case of the arts community, these will be the individual, self-employed, freelance artists. In the past days in countries such as Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, the UK, Ireland and Canada valuable initiatives have already been taken, but there is more to be done.

We have an important proposal to add to this, for which we would like to create a large, international consensus so that it is not only left to individual or local initiatives.

We don’t believe it should be the responsibility of the individuals who have had an engagement canceled to look for compensation. Since this would only imply more work, a lot of administration and probably long waiting times to receive it. This added labor and uncertainty will only put more stress and pressure on those who are already vulnerable.

Instead of a trickle-down effect that puts the burden on the most vulnerable individuals, the burden should be passed on up the economic ladder to those who have the resources to carry it. The governments and funding bodies must allow the venues and companies to cancel or postpone existing events or projects without asking for their funding back. The venues and festivals must pay the companies and artists they invited. The companies must pay the individual artists they employ, also when only a freelance basis.

We thus propose that all funded institutions and projects pay out all the engagements they have committed to (in written or unwritten form) within the original time frame agreed.

A similar policy of taking care of the most vulnerable, that is the freelance workers must be followed in arts education, which is for many artists an important, secondary source of income. The academic institutions have both the means and institutional security to commit to the engagements they made.

Exceptions will always be possible as in the case of freelance artists engaging their peers or for organizations or projects whose own existence would be threatened. Nobody should make their own situation more precarious when supporting each other. But these exceptions need to be fairly negotiated with everyone involved. If projects are postponed, they will also have to be renegotiated again and thus do not simply compensate for the loss of income in the present but also for future work and time to be spent.

We believe this proposal will save of a lot of unnecessary work and money since it will avoid new, complex administrative procedures as the money that will be distributed in this way was already allocated in the first place.

We ask for the official bodies to implement and facilitate this proposal and for all organizations, big or small to apply it in their own organizations. We are happy to note that many organizations have already committed to this publicly in the past days.

We also realize this proposal only deals with existing engagements and if this crisis lasts long enough so that no new engagements can be made, a secondary, more fundamental support system, such as for instance the proposal for a basic income which could also be applied to other sectors, need to be put in place. However, we believe this proposal would solve a lot of the most urgent problems for many people and it would buy everyone the necessary time to create larger and more durable support systems of solidarity. As such this letter is not directed against anyone, but rather is an appeal that everyone takes their responsibility within their resources in order to spread the financial burden of this crisis, instead of laying it down with the people at the bottom of the economic system. As an arts community, we should be exemplary in this.

On March 22, 2020, already more than 800 people signed this letter on-line.

The names on the list mentioned below are just a sample of them to show their diversity, also geographically, including at the moment more than 30 countries, world-wide.

Michaël Abbet, Director at Petithéâtre de Sion, Switzerland

Fabienne Abramovich, Author, Cineaste, Choreographer, Geneva, Switzerland

Jean Abreu, Choreographer, London, UK

Peter Aerts, Administrator, aifoon, Gent, Belgium

Jaskaran Anand, Performance maker, Pedagogue, Linz, Austria

Luke Baio, Dancer, performer, Vienna, Austria

Esther Baio, Dancer, performer, Vienna, Austria

Isabelle Barth, Actress, Manheim, Germany

Daniel Abreu Bello, Dancer, Choreographer, Madrid, Spain

Tamar Blom, Freelance artist, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Goran Bogdanovski, Dance teacher, choreographer, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Marc Boivin, Dance Artist, Montreal, Canada

Adriano Bolognino, Choreographer, Napoli, Italy 

Federico Bonelli , Director of trasformatorio stichting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Florence Boyer, Choreographer, La Réunion, France

Allison Brown, Professor Ballet & Contemporary Dance Academy of Music and

Dance Cologne, Frankfurt, Germany

Imre Lichtenberger Bozoki, Musician, Composer, Director, Vienna, Austria

Rosa Braber, Actress, Performance artist, Writer , Vienna, Austria

Camille Brogaard, Artist, Berlin, Germany

Dani Brown, Performing artist, Berlin, Germany

Szymon Brzoska, Composer, Brussels, Belgium

Zdenka Brungot Svitekova, Dance Artist, Educator, Researcher, Czech Republic, Slovakia

Clément Bugnon, Choreographer & dancer, Artistic director company Idem, Sainte-Croix, Switzerland

Felix Bürkle, Choreographer, Performer, Düsseldorf, Germany 

Michael Caldwell, Dance Artist, Toronto, Canada

Dominique Cardito, Dancer, Basel, Switzerland

Barbara Carli, Performerin, Die Rabtaldirndln, Graz, Austria

Miquel Casaponsa, Musician, Barcelona, Spain

Lukasz Chotkowski, Dramaturg, Theatre director , Warsaw, Poland

Magdalena Chowaniec, Choreographer, Activist, Vienna, Austria

Sara Coffin, Co-Artistic Director, Mocean Dance, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Guy Cools, Dance dramaturg, Vienna, Austria

Anette Asp Christensen, Performer, Puppeteer, Copenhagen, Denmark

Stephanie Cumming, Dancer, Actress, Vienna, Austria

Das andere Theater, IG Freie Theater Steiermark, Graz, Austria

Dena Davida, Curator and educator, Montréal, Canada

João da Silva, Artist, educator and research fellow, Duisburg, Germany.

Barbara Demaret, Dramaturg, Bruxelles, Belgium

Evie Demetriou, Dance Artist, Limassol, Cyprus

Lucas Devroe, Choreographer, Tilburg, Netherlands

Stijn Dickel, Artistic director, aifoon, Gent, Belgium

Rosaria Di Maro , Dancer, Napoli, Italy

Fabritia D'Intino               , Dancer, Choreographer, Foligno/Roma, Italy

Vânia Doutel Vaz, Dancer, Lisbon, Portugal

Deborah Dunn, Dance Artist, Montreal, Quebec

Arianna Economou, Director Dance Gate/Echo Arts, Lefkosia, Cyprus

Matteo Fargion, Composer, London, UK

Veza Fernandez , Choreographer, Performer, Vienna Austria

Lucrezia Gabrieli, Dancer, Verona, Italy

Inge Gappmaier , Choreographer, Dance-pedagogue, Researcher, Vienna, Austria

Elio Gervasi, Choregrapher, Artistic Director Tanz Company Gervasi, Vienna, Austria

Monica Gentile, Dancer, Choreographer, North Italy

Marcela Giesche, Lake Studios, Berlin, Germany

Dana Gingras, Choreographer, Performer,Teacher, Montreal, Canada

Barbara Giongo, Nataly Sugnaux Hernandez, Co-directors Le Grütli-Centre de production et de diffusion

des arts vivants, Geneva, Switzerland

Alexander Gottfarb, Dancer, Choreographer, Vienna, Austria

Viviana Gravano, Contemporary Art Curator, Bologna, Italia

Claire Granier Blaschke, Cultural Manager, Tanz die Toleranz, Vienna, Austria

Marijn Graven, Theatre director, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Kathelin Gray, Producer, Writer, Santa Fe, US, London, UK

Eleonora Greco, Dancer, Napoli, Italy 

Nicolas Grimaldi Capitello, Choreographer, Napoli, Italy 

Dietrich Grosse, Director Mondigromax/Opera initiative OBNC, Barcelona, Spain

Dominik Grünbühel, Performer, Choreographer, Vienna, Austria

Leopoldo Guadagno, Dancer, Napoli, Italy

Akos Hargitay, Choreographer, Dance Pedagogue, Vienna, Austria

Lia Haraki, Artist, Limassol, Cyprus

Chris Haring, Choreographer, Vienna, Austria

Annie Hanauer, Artist, USA

Barbara Herold, Regisseurin, Bregenz, Austria

Dylan Holly, Dance Performer & Teacher, Tilburg, Netherlands

Sophia Hörmann, Performer, choreographer, Vienna, Austria

Anna Huber, Choreographer, Dancer, Bern, Switzerland

Bauke Lievens, Circus dramaturg & scholar, Lovendegem, Belgium

Salvo Lombardo , Choreographer, Rome, Italy

Claudia Lomoschitz, Choreographer, Vienna, Austria

Giorgia Longo, Dancer, Catania, Italy

Emese Horti, Choreographer, Dancer, Producer, Graz, Austria 

Simone Leona Hueber, Actress, Artist, Healer BIGmagicNOTHING productions, Berlin, Germany, Ikaria, Greece 

Michael Hulls, Light Designer for Dance, London, UK

Magda Jędra, Dancer, Choreographer, Gdansk, Poland

Gilles Jobin, Choreographer, Artistic director Cie Gilles Jobin, Geneva Switzerland

Steffi Jöris, Artistic leader, Choreographer, Vienna, Austria

Emmanuel Jouthe, Performer, choreographer, Artistic director Cie Danse Carpe Diem, Montreal, Québec

Mayumi Lashbrook, Co-Artistic Director, Toronto, Canada

Mylène Lauzon, Directrice La Bellone, Bruxelles, Belgium

Christina Lederhaas, Performance Artist, Graz, Austria

Lina Lev , Dancer, Hamburg, Germany

Milan Loviška, Artist, Territorium KV, Vienna, Austria

Laura Karreman , Assistant professor Theatre Studies Utrecht University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Matthias Kass, Choreographer, Dancer Artistic director, company Idem, Markdorf, Germany

Swantje Kawecki, Bachelor student of Circus Art, Tilburg, Netherlands.

Denise Kenney, Head of Creative Studies, UBC Okanagan, Performance Artist, Kelowna, Canada

Maria Kefirova, Choreographer, Dancer, Montreal, Canada 

Bea Kiesslinger, Projektleitung kulturpolitischer Dialog TANZPAKT STADT LAND BUND Dachverband Tanz, Berlin, Deutschland

Marie Kinsky, Director SE.ST.A, Festival KoresponDance, President of Vize Tance, Prague, Czech Republic

Kaya Kołodziejczyk, Choreographer, Performer, Movement director, Belgium, Poland

Nanina Kotlowski, Dancer, Vienna, Austria

Ilya Krouglikov, Dance dramaturg, Montreal, Canada

Przemek Kaminski, Choreographer, Berlin, Germany

Otto Krause, Artist, Territorium KV, Vienna, Austria

Yvona Kreuzmannova, Founder and Director of Tanec Praha, Prague, Czech Republic

Robyn/Hugo Le Brigand, Dance Artist, Vienna, Austria

La Ribot, Artist/ director La Ribot-Geneve, Geneva, Switzerland

Claire Lefèvre, Choreographer, Vienna, Austria 

Daniel Linehan, Choreographer, Artistic Director Hiatus, Brussels, Belgium

Lau Lukkarila, Choreographer, Performer, Vienna, Austria

Max Makowski, Dancer, Berlin, Germany

Hannah Mahler, Dancer, Performer, Teacher, Choreographer, Tilburg, Netherlands

Raul Maia, Choreographer, Performer, Austria, Portugal

Gudrun Maier, Performer, Graz, Austria

Katinka Marac, Lighting designer, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Andrea Merendelli, Theatre director, Storyteller, Anghiari, Tuscany, Italy

Katharina Meves, Dancer, Actress, Berlin, Germany

Joshua Monten, Choreographer, Bern, Switzerland

Sabine Molenaar, Choreographer, Brussels, Belgium

Daniel Mroz, Professor of Theatre Directing & Acting, Ottawa, Canada

Emma Murray, Performer, Choreographer, Bern, Switzerland

Jochem Naafs, Dance Dramaturg, Lecturer ArtEZ, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Nanako Nakajima, Dance Dramaturg, Researcher, Kyoto, Japan

Andrea Nann, Artistic Director, Dance Artist, Toronto, Canada

Morgan Nardi, Choreographer, Düsseldorf, Germany

Marta Navaridas, Dancer, Choreographer, Graz, Austria

Kotomi Nishiwaki, Choreographer, Performer, Barcelona, Spain

Laura Neyskens, Choreographer, Dancer , Gent, Belgium

Anna Nowak, Dancer, Choreographer, Vienna, Austria

Mary Nunan, Dance Artist, Limerick, Ireland

Mike O’Connor, Choreographer, Dancer, Vienna, Austria

Sara Ostertag, Director, Dramaturge Vorstandsvorsitzende IG Freie Theater,Vienna, Austria

Maartje Pasman, Dancer, Vienna, Austria

Suzana Phialas, Choreographer, Performance, Visual Artist, Limassol, Cyprus

Amanda Pina, Choreographer, Vienna, Austria

Frans Poelstra, Performer, Vienna, Austria

Marlies Pucher, Freelance Production Manager, Vienna, Austria

Patrick Redl, Dancer, Vienna, Austria

Inés Sauer, Theatre Dramaturg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Sina Saberi, Dance Artist, Cultural Manager, Tehran, Iran

Anabel Schellekens, Choreographer, Teacher, Leefdaal, Belgium

Sophie Schmeiser Production manager, Mollusca productions, Vienna, Austria

Franziska Schrammel, Production Manager, Vienna, Austria

Konstantina Skalionta, Choreographer, Dancer, Limassol, Cyprus

Thea Patterson, Performance Artist, Edmonton, Canada

Karin Pauer, Choreographer, Performer, Vienna, Austria

Nyko Piscopo, Choreographer, Napoli, Italy

Marc Ribot, Composer, Musician, New York, USA

Natalie Richardson, Producer KonzepArts&Ideas  , Torino, Italy, UK

Hahn Rowe, Musician, New York, USA

Francesco Russo, Dancer, Napoli, Italy

Rafaela Sahyoun, Artist, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Arno Schuitemaker, Choreographer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Lin Snelling, Dancer, Choreographer, Professor, Edmonton, Montreal, Canada

Ben Spatz, Senior Lecturer University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK

Gregory Stauffer, Artist, Choreographer, Geneva, Switzerland

Laura Taler, Artist, Filmmaker, Ottawa, Canada

Hannah Timbrell, Dancer, Vienna, Austria

Katalin Trencsenyi, Dramaturg, London, UK

Claudia Toggweiler, Arts Manager, Ballett teacher, Zurich, Switzerland

Lucie Tuma, Choreographer, Zurich, Switzerland

Steriani Tsintziloni, Dance scholar, curator, Athens, Greece

Tedi Tafel, Choreographer, Teacher, Mentor, Montréal, Canada 

Lieven Thyrion, General Manager, les ballets C de la B, Gent, Belgium

Stephanie Thiersch, Choreographer, Director, Cologne, Germany

Peter Trosztmer, Dancer, Choreographer, Montreal, Canada.

Annelies Van Assche, Dance scholar, Antwerp, Belgium

Jade van den Hout, Dance performer, Maker, Teacher,Tilburg, The Netherlands 

Alexis Vassiliou, Artistic director Dance House Lemesos, Dance Artist, Limassol, Cyprus

Gerarda Ventura, Artistic director Anghiari Dance Hub, Anghiari, Italy

Benjamin Verdonck, Artist, Antwerp, Belgium

Julian Vogel, Technician, Vienna, Austria

Mojra Vogelnik Skerlj, Performance maker, dancer, Breda, The Netherlands

Arnd vom Felde, Theater pedagogue, Langenfeld, Germany

Rodia Vomvolou, Dance dramaturg, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Joost Vrouenraets, Choreographer, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Alexandra Waierstall, Choreographer, Artist, Germany

Naishi Wang, Dancer, Choreographer, Toronto, Canada

Jeanne Werner, Actress, Vienna, Austria

Angélique Willkie, Assistant Professor, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada

Mary Wycherley, Dance Artist, Limerick, Ireland.

Scheherazade Zambrano, Choreographer, La Malagua Cie, Lille, France

Mirna Zagar, Executive Director, The Dance Centre, Vancouver, Canada

Zeitgenössischer Tanz Berlin Association's board


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