Bailouts for Cultural Workers Across Asia-Pacific
By Pamela Wong
In the United Arab Emirates, following the cancellation of Art Dubai, the Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs purchased more than USD 400,000 worth of local art. The minister of state, Zaki Nusseibeh, told The National that the acquisitions are to show support to Emirati artists, as “it is a message that demonstrates our deep appreciation and support for the local arts, and acknowledging that they are a critical part of the national identity.” Works purchased as part of the ongoing initiative, known informally as Artists in Embassies, will be displayed within the UAE’s embassies worldwide.
On March 26, Australia Council for the Arts (ACA) announced its “response package,” to provide financial support to artists, art practitioners, groups and organizations, including the repurposing of all available uncommitted funds for new programs. Adjustments will also be made to prioritize helping members of the sector throughout the coronavirus crisis over other current investments. The list of the package also includes aid in online learning, First Nations support, digital support, and research and analysis on the immediate and long-term impact of Covid-19 on the country’s cultural sector.
Covid-19, which has ravaged regions in Asia since January, continues to increase in severity and spread across the globe, with Europe and, more recently, the United States becoming new epicenters. The United States's National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) will also be distributing funds of USD 75 million from the USD 2 trillion economic bailout package—representing just 0.00375 percent of the government's massive stimulus, or approximately USD 0.23 per resident nationwide.
Pamela Wong is ArtAsiaPacific’s assistant editor.
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