City takes applications for three million euros in special grants to help cultural sector

The Culture and Library subcommittee of the City of Helsinki decided on 3 September to offer a series of special grants to members of the arts and culture industry who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. An additional three million euros in special coronavirus recovery grants will be made available for the 2020-2021 period, and will be issued in November 2020. The application period for the special grants began on 7 September 2020. 

The application period ends 2 October 2020 at 16:00. The Culture and Library Sub-committee will decide on the allocation of the grants in its supplementary meeting 24 November 2020.

This is a one-time special grant for supporting the continuity of arts and culture in exceptional times and making the city more vibrant. The grant is a part of Helsinki’s recovery plan regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

The special cultural grant of three million euros will be directed at starting, maintaining, and reforming operations as the restrictions, uncertainty, and slow recovery connected to the coronavirus continue.

The special grant is intended for arts and culture operations open to the public. It can be sought by Helsinki-based, legally competent organisations, such as associations, business proprietors, foundations, co-operatives and limited liability companies. The grant cannot be sought by private persons, individual artists or unregistered work groups. The grant also cannot be sought by institutions for basic education in arts or operators owned by the City of Helsinki or within Helsinki Group.

The allocation of the special grant will focus on professional operators. The grant will be allocated to applicants who have not received substantial grants related to the coronavirus pandemic via the state or foundations for the same purpose. The proportion of the organisation’s own income must min. approx. 50% of the total income.

The grants are discretionary. The evaluation criteria for cultural grants previously decided by the Culture and Library Sub-committee will be used in the comparison between applications. In addition to this, supplemental evaluation criteria will be used for this application round due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the summer, municipal administrators gauged the situation of the City of Helsinki’s arts and culture community by interviewing and sending questionnaires to recipients of earlier express funding.

”Our analysis of the situation made it clear that there are certain groups in the cultural sector whose status is very precarious, due to these unforeseen developments. We will try to target our assistance to those groups that haven’t been able to secure other forms of aid from the state or other foundations and whose ability to generate income has been hit hardest by the restrictions and customer wariness. In addition, Helsinki will seek to support endeavours that will provide employment to the city’s expansive field of freelancers, both now and in the future, as they are vital to the well-being of the industry,” says Helsinki’s head of  cultural promotion Veikko Kunnas.

Special coronavirus recovery grant for members of the arts and culture industry 2020-2021
Application instructions, grant criteria and grant terms and conditions are available at this link

Photo above: Hannamari Vahtikari