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Corona crisis: assistance for artists and self-employed persons from the cultural and creative industries

Artists, companies and self-employed persons from the cultural and creative industries are being hit to the core by the Corona crisis. At this point we give you an overview of emergency aids and more. The list will be updated continuously. However, we would like to point out that the information is not legally binding, but we hope that we can help you here.

Selection Of Current Corona Aids:

(1) Bridging Assistance (Überbrückungshilfe), 2nd phase, (supported months September to December 2020): Application deadline October 20 to December 31, 2020.
(2) Digital Allowance (Digitalprämie) (subsidy for digitalisation projects): Application from  November 2, 2020 until  March 31, 2021.

This list does not claim to be complete and focuses primarily on Corona Emergency Aids that can be applied for on a temporary basis and which could be relevant for artists, cultural workers and creative companies.

Our advisory center of Kreativ Kultur Berlin provides information on the various Corona aid and support measures of the state of Berlin and the federal government, in particular on the programs of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, such as the Emergency Aid IV 3.0 (Soforthilfe IV 3.0).
As an official consulting partner, Kreativ Kultur Berlin answers questions that go beyond the IBB's FAQ catalogue via the IBB contact form in the context of the Emergency Aid IV 3.0.

All other important information about our own events within the framework of Kreativ Kultur Berlin can be found here, all other important questions and answers about the Berlin Corona help can be found in our FAQ section

CONTENT:

1. INFORMATION FOR THE INDIVIDUAL CREATIVE SECTORS

2. EMERGENCY MEASURES 
    FINANCIAL AID
    ARTISTS' SOCIAL INSURANCE (KSK)
    SERVICES OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY
    SHORT-TIME WORK
    SUSPENSION AND REDUCTION OF TAX PAYMENTS
    FAILURE DOCUMENTATION
    CREDIT COLLECTION

 3. HANDLING OF SUBSIDIES
    PROJECT FUNDING
    CORONA AIDS

 4. LEGAL RIGHTS AND COMPENSATION
    OBLIGATION TO FILE FOR INSOLVENCY
    CANCELLATION FEES
    COMPENSATION FOR QUARANTINE, BAN ON ACTIVITIES OR...
    RENT PROTECTION
    CONSULTING ASSISTANCE
    RESIDENCE PERMIT
    FAQ

 5. FURTHER INFORMATION

 6. WHERE ELSE YOU CAN FIND SUPPORT IN BERLIN
 


1. INFORMATION FOR THE INDIVIDUAL CREATIVE SECTORS

- architecture: Architektenkammer Berlin
- fine arts: Bundesverband bildender Künstler*innen
- design and fashion: Allianz deutscher Designer and Internationales Designzentrum Berlin, Fashion Council Germany
- film and cinema: Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Bundesverband Schauspiel and HDF KINO
- games and interface: Game-Verband der deutschen Gamesbranche
- music: Berlin Music Commission, Club Commission and Deutsche Orchestervereinigung
- dance und theater: Tanzraum Berlin and LAFT Berlin
- advertising & PR: Gesamtverband Kommunikationsagenturen
- literature & publishing: lettrétage



2. EMERGENCY MEASURES 
 

FINANCIAL AID

(1) The NEUSTART KULTUR program aims to strengthen the infrastructure of small and medium-sized cultural enterprises after the break caused by the Corona virus. The facilities include museums, exhibition halls, memorials, venues for concert, dance and theatre as well as socio-cultural centers. Click here to get in touch or for further information. An overview of the program is also available on the website of the Kulturförderpunkt.

(2) The German Orchestra Foundation has set up an emergency aid fund from which musicians can apply for immediate aid of up to 600 euros. There is also the possibility of making donations to support musicians of opera and concert houses. Further information can be found here

(3) The two-stage programme "Schutzschirm LIVE" of GEMA is primarily aimed at composers and lyricists who are also performers and have run into financial difficulties due to cancellations of events throughout the country. Further information here.

(4) Child supplement: If the income is not enough for the whole family, parents or guardians can receive a child supplement in addition to child benefit. However, the application for the child supplement must be submitted separately to the family fund. Further information here.

(5) The magazine "Oper" and the Manfred Strohscheer Foundation have founded the emergency aid fund "Sängerhilfe". Singers and employees of music theatres can apply for help of up to 2,000 euros if they are in economic distress due to the Corona crisis. The donation fund has already been paid out, but the continuation of the campaign and further applications are possible.


ARTISTS' SOCIAL INSURANCE (KSK)

The Artists' Social Insurance Fund (KSK) has taken various measures for insured persons to cushion financial hardship. More details can be found here.


SERVICES OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY

Self-employed persons have the possibility to register as unemployed, provided that they have taken out unemployment insurance. Those who do not have unemployment insurance can also apply for basic security (Arbeitslosengeld II), also known as Hartz IV. In addition, the rules on the protection of assets have been simplified. Further information can be obtained from the Federal Employment Agency. Kreatives Sachsen presents instructions for application in a video. In cooperation with Verdi, we have collected information and instructions for the application process in this document. The video and the document are only available in German. 


SHORT-TIME WORK

Companies with at least one employee can apply for short-time work compensation. In the case of short-time work compensation, the Federal Employment Agency pays 60 percent of the lost net wage if a company sends its employees on short-time work. Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance


SUSPENSION AND REDUCTION OF TAX PAYMENTS

Upon application, current advance payments for income tax or corporation tax may be reduced or suspended. Tax payments due can be deferred and late payment surcharges can be waived. Enforcement measures can also be waived temporarily. Please contact the tax office responsible for you directly. More information here


FAILURE DOCUMENTATION

The Association of German Writers recommends all artists to document cancelled events so that they can be submitted in case of emergency funding. A sample template for the documentation can be found here.


CREDIT COLLECTION

The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) is currently providing an aid package that facilitates access to cheap loans for companies (also applies to freelancers and the self-employed). Further information can be found here.


3. HANDLING OF SUBSIDIES
 

PROJECT FUNDING

If corona-related projects cannot be carried out as planned, the question arises: How will already approved subsidies be handled? Project sponsors who have to cancel events or trips should contact the funding agency directly to find out how to deal with already approved funding. For all those who have already received funding from the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, there is an information sheet on how to deal with funded projects affected by Covid-19. In any case there is an obligation to inform the institution. In addition, information from the Federal Cultural Foundation helps project sponsors affected by the Corona crisis in dealing with funding. 


CORONA AIDS

For grants paid out within the framework of corona aid, the permissible maximum limit has been temporarily adjusted. You can find more information about this in this article.


4. LEGAL RIGHTS AND COMPENSATION

CANCELLATION FEES

Whether you receive a cancellation fee from the client depends on your individual contract conditions. Agreements made verbally or via SMS/WhatsApp are also valid. When concluding new contracts, make sure that there are regulations on contingency fees. If you have already provided partial services in a project, you are entitled to at least a pro-rata fee. Further important information can be found here. In addition, cultural institutions and projects supported by the federal government pay cancellation fees of up to 60 percent for agreements concluded until 15th of March. Affected people must contact the relevant institution directly. More information can be found here.


COMPENSATION FOR QUARANTINE,  BAN ON ACTIVITIES OR CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS AND KINDERGARTENS

In the case of an ordered quarantine and activity ban or school and daycare closures, financal compensation is in principle possible. This applies to employers and employees as well as to freelancers. Important information on this can be found here. In Berlin, applications are submitted to the Senatsverwaltung für Finanzen. Here you can find the online applications for quarantine and activity bans and here you can find the application forms for school and daycare closures. Further information are presented in a video by Kreatives Sachsen. The video is only available in German. 


RENT PROTECTION

Tenants and leaseholders cannot be terminated for the period from 1 April to 30 June 2020 due to non-payment of rent due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The rent remains due for this period; interest on arrears may also be incurred. Rent debts from the period from 1 April to 30 June 2020 must be paid by 30 June 2022, otherwise the tenants may be given notice of termination. Further information can be obtained from the Federal Ministry of Justice.
 

RESIDENCE PERMIT

Due to corona, the Berlin Immigration Office has decided that the residence permit will not become invalid if short-time work benefits, SGB II (Hartz IV), SGB XII (social assistance) or AsylbLG (Asylum Seeker Benefits Act) are received between March 18th 2020 and June 17th 2020. More information can be found here.


FAQ

- Employment law implications of Corona: What do I need to know?
- Handling and processing of applications during the Corona pandemic: Information from the Berlin State Office for Immigration
- Is Corona a case of force majeure? What is the legal situation? 
- Härting Helpline: free initial telephone consultation on legal issues


5. FURTHER INFORMATION

- Information from Kultursenat, Wirtschaftssenat and Berlin Partner
- Overview of Deutscher Kulturrat of all federal and state programs concerning Corona 
- Handout for the support of independent and freelance cultural workers from ver.di
- Handouts for internationally active artists from Touring Artists
- Tips for startups from Gründerszene.de


6. WHERE ELSE YOU CAN FIND SUPPORT IN BERLIN

(1) Many small businesses in Berlin are run by people with a history of migration. In order to ensure that they too are specifically informed about the Immediate Action Programme, the Integration Commissioner has launched an information initiative. In cooperation with business associations and clubs, she provides information in various languages about the Emergency Aid II programme. The organisations also offer support in translating and filling out the forms. More information here. The Federal Employment Agency also offers easy access to information in foreign languages or easy language.

(2) Berlin (a)live is online: The new digital platform brings culture into the living room and supports cultural workers due to cancelled gigs, empty facilities, and missing fees. Berlin (a)live is a project of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Berlin agency 3pc. 

(3) The Clubcommission has launched a crowdfunding campaign to preserve Berlin clubs and created www.unitedwestream.berlin. In addition to live broadcasts of DJ sets, live music and performances, United We Stream is also a platform for discussion rounds, lectures and films on club-cultural topics.

(4) CityLAB Berlin has set up an ideas platform called "Hack the Crisis", where projects, proposals and challenges can be shared with others and comrades-in-arms can be found for their implementation.

(5) The Siemens Arts Foundation intends to support freelancers at public museums and collections with up to 25,000 euros.


CURRENT NEWS, SURVEYS AND PUBLICATIONS:

You can find them daily on Creative City Berlin here.

Creative Sector: Industry news & Market trends


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