Culture ministers provide extra funding for Nordic Region’s crisis-hit culture sector

28.05.20 | News
Drive-in koncert Mads Langer
Camilla Lundbye/Gonzales Photo/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish artist Mads Langer plays an alternative drive-in concert in Århus in response to the restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the Nordic Region’s culture sector with cancelled performances, closed museums, and cultural practitioners and artists out of work. At a digital meeting on 28 May, the Nordic ministers for culture decided to support the Nordic culture sector by providing additional funding to alleviate the impact of COVID-19.

The focus of the first ministerial meeting of the year was “culture at a time of crisis”, with discussions and the exchanging of experiences on how to support and stimulate the Nordic Region’s culture and media sector going forwards.

“The coronavirus crisis has turned day-to-day life on its head. It challenges the ways in which we come together, and is forcing us to rethink how we can meet. So it’s natural that at this time of crisis we discuss together how best to support the region’s diverse culture sector,” says Danish Minister for Culture and chair of the Nordic ministers for culture Joy Mogensen.

Additional support given directly to cultural practitioners

Although there have been significant national efforts in the culture and media sector in recent months, the ministers for culture point out the importance of maintaining the opportunities for artists and cultural practitioners to work together and engage in dialogue across borders even in times of crisis. They also stressed the need for further knowledge on the impact of COVID-19 in the Nordic Region’s culture sector.  

At their meeting, the ministers agreed an additional DKK 3 million in support for the Nordic culture sector by increasing the annual budget for the art and culture funding programme, administered by Nordic Culture Point. 

“I’m really pleased that we the Nordic ministers for culture have agreed to provide additional financial support to keep the Nordic culture sector alive during COVID-19. Art and culture are so important for bringing communities together. These additional funds give artists and art projects extra support for collaborations and networking,” says Mogensen.

It is proposed that the additional funding will be awarded as part of this autumn’s usual round of applications, which commences in August.

Nordic culture at a time of change

The coronavirus crisis has also forced the industry to come up with new creative solutions. The pace of change has been high, with the emergence of various digital experiences and cultural mediation around the Nordic Region. Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers Paula Lehtomäki notes that despite turbulent times, culture is an important bridge-builder in Nordic co-operation:     

“The culture sector is an important part of Nordic co-operation. It is positive to see how art and culture have brought the populations of the Nordic countries together during this period despite the closure of borders as a consequence of COVID-19”