With more than €7 billion in losses in 2020, the artistic creation sector, made up of performing and visual arts, was particularly affected by the health crisis. The Ministry of Culture has set up a series of aids and schemes to support actors in this sector.

In 2020, more than €176 million was mobilized by the Ministry of Culture during the health crisis to support the most vulnerable institutions, teams, artists and creators, in addition to the transversal aid schemes set up by the Government.

Measures were taken in the spring, during the lockdown, to urgently help the most affected actors, up to €92 million

  • Establishment of emergency funds for performing musical and theatrical companies in financial difficulty, managed by the National Music Centre (CNM) and the Association pour le Soutien du Théâtre Privé (ASTP), for a total of €66 million;
  • Implementation of an emergency plan for the visual arts to the tune of €3.27 million, to support the art market, which has been heavily impacted by the measures to close down public spaces, grant emergency aid to plastic artists and support the treasury for unlabelled structures throughout the country;
  • Payment of urgent aid to national start-up operators at risk of cash-outs (€13 million);
  • Establishment of a festival fund endowed with €10 million in PLFR3 to support festivals weakened financially by the cancellation and postponement of the 2020 editions;
  • Payment of all ministry grants to labels, locations and teams in advance from the first days of lockdown, regardless of the recipient’s activity.

In addition to these measures taken during the lockdown, the Ministry is strengthening its support by introducing €84 million in measures this fall:

  • Full thaw of the precautionary reserve (€27 million), to continue the financial support of the most fragile networks, labels and artistic teams, taking into account their financial situation and the effect of other public mechanisms (partial activity, exemption from employer contributions). As part of this unfreezing of appropriations, three measures are implemented: 
  • The partial activity compensation for the State Institutions for Cultural Cooperation (EPCC) which have been excluded from it: this measure is being evaluated between the DRAC and the institutions concerned; it will be paid in October;
  • Specific support for theatres not covered by the emergency fund entrusted to ASTP (Bouffes du Nord, Rond-Point, etc.);
  • Strengthening the resources of the professionalization fund managed by Audiens, to the tune of €5 million, to support show professionals who have not been able to benefit from the “white year” (whose cost is estimated at €949 million).
  • A fund to compensate for the loss of box office revenues related to physical distancing sanitary constraints: announced by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Culture on August 27, 2020, this mechanism aims to facilitate the resumption of activity of theatres and cinemas, despite the uncertain and difficult context related to the health situation. It has a total budget of €100 million, of which €50 million will go to musical (€40 million), theatrical (€8 million) and authors (€2 million) theatrical venues, allowing for direct payment of copyright to collective management bodies (SACD and SACEM) in case of failure of the diffusion structures.
  • A specific compensation fund to support the resumption of the activity of classical and contemporary music structures despite the limitation of the gauges: established at the CNM, this fund will benefit from a first endowment of €2 million that will be mobilized in autumn 2020.
  • Finally, the State supports authors by contributing to the extinction of the copyright debts that were created in 2020, before the establishment of the compensation fund. An envelope of €5 million will be implemented for this purpose and will allow SACD and SACEM to pay the unpaid copyrights, relieving the structures indebted and benefiting the authors.

As of January 1, 2021, thanks to the Recovery Plan, the priority of the State will be given to reviving the activity of the creative sector and supporting artistic employment, with €469 million in loans mobilized over two years, including €353 million from 2021 

These measures are of several types:

2021 extension of emergency assistance to the sector:

  • Contribution from the solidarity fund for intermittents not covered by the white year (€7 million);
  • additional emergency facilities for creators and exhibition spaces for the visual arts (€6 million);

Measures to support recovery:

  • encouragement for the resumption of activity of private theatres through the replenishment of the emergency fund for ASTP’s non-musical performing arts (€10 million);
  • strengthening the CNM’s resources to the tune of €200 million for the music sector as a whole.

Support for artists and creators through an exceptional artistic commission program in all fields (visual arts, literature, live performance, etc.) to the tune of €30 million over two years, to give a new impetus to creation, dedicated primarily to young creators.

The relaunch of the programming of live shows throughout the territory, thanks to an accompaniment of labels and networks, venues, companies, in consultation with local authorities. This €30 million envelope over two years will be structured around three main areas:

  • One support for the production and distribution of shows by labels and other venues, geared primarily to the subsidised structures most financially dependent on their own resources (ticket sales, commercial receipts);
  • More sustained financial support independent teams most weakened by the crisis, to compensate for their losses in own resources (related to cancellations of tours, or the decline in sales proceeds) and to relaunch their creative activity by an exceptional increase in project aid;
  • Support for festivals to support the organization of the 2021 editions of festivals most affected by the health crisis and thus extend the financial support provided in 2020 to festival organizers (€5 million).

A complementary €30 million envelope will be dedicated specifically to the revival of the classical and lyrical musical living show. Led by the DRAC, this two-year plan will accompany the resumption of activity of artists, ensembles and orchestras to promote the implementation of ambitious programming, the financing of new musical creations, and revive the employment of artistic teams.

Support for the resumption of activity and investment by public institutions and creative operators (Opéra national de Paris, Comédie Française, Philharmonie de Paris, Palais de Tokyo, etc.) who have been hard hit by the covid-19 crisis19 like other creative institutions. The Ministry of Culture will ensure in particular that the aid granted (totalling €126 million over two years) to national institutions, places and operators also supports the employment of artists and show technicians, as well as their fair remuneration.

A specific fund will also be deployed to promote the restoration to standards and the green transition of the buildings of creative institutions in the regions, for €20 million over two years. These investments will also help finance the digital transition of performance halls and visual arts exhibition spaces.

Beyond these exceptional measures of support and recovery, the State will continue under the PLF2021 to strengthen the presence of artists in all territories, with 22 M€ of new measures 

With an envelope of €15 million (€12 million for the live show and €3 million for the visual arts), the priority for 2021 will be to reconstitute the artistic margins of the labels, continue the accompaniment of current labels, and to progressively reach the levels of commitment that the State has set to labels for the proper implementation of their missions, in the field of live performance and visual arts.

In this context, the Ministry of Culture will also accompany the reform of aid to independent teams which should be finalised at the end of 2020 by ensuring a diversity of aesthetics of the accompanied artistic teams, and to better adapt funding levels to artistic projects.

The means granted to the policy in favour of artistic residencies will also be strengthened in order to give greater legibility to the offer of artistic residencies, encourage longer term residencies and the development of stronger co-production partnerships.

In addition, the resources allocated to the National Fund for Sustainable Employment in Entertainment (FONPEPS) will be increased by an additional €5 million in PLF 2021 on the 131 programme. These additional resources will help support the rise in power of the new system reformed at the end of 2019, and aimed at reducing the precariousness of artists and intermittent technicians, in particular by promoting permanent hiring and the extension of contracts.

In 2021, an additional €375 million will be mobilized for live entertainment and creation.