Recommendations regarding the EU Creative Europe

Recommendations regarding the EU Creative Europe successor programme Who we are Stronger Together, a constantly growing network of national umbrella organizations and representation structures for the independent performing arts, has been established in 2016 to represent the interests of professional independent performing artists in Europe, to share knowledge and create synergies. The general agenda will include a copious and regular exchange of knowledge and data about the living and working situations of artists, the specific projects and best practice models. Additionally, the association’s members will agree on joint cultural policy goals with the intent to create a common and comparable structural network for the independent performing arts across Europe. The independent performing arts community is a designation which includes the totality of all professional freelance theatre makers, artists, ensembles, independent institutions and structures working in the genres of dance, theatre, performance, music theatre, children’s and youth theatre as well as all interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary artistic work. Currrently, the network is in preparation for the founding of a European Association for Independent Performing Arts in June 2018. Objectives – In accordance with The New European Agenda for Culture’s objective of promoting the extensive cultural dimension, mobility and diversity of the European cultural landscape, the revised Creative Europe programme should focus more on contemporary performative art practices which mainly operate on a cross-sectoral, cultural inclusive, digitally competent and linguistically and gender diverse basis and thus encourage future models of cultural exchange and diversity. – In accordance with The New European Agenda for Culture’s objective of new sector specific actions, the revised Creative Europe programme should provide amendable criteria for each individual segment of the arts. Especially, the mobile nature of the contemporary performing arts’ framework for touring productions and/or co-productions requires a funding scheme which supports small and medium-sized bilateral projects. – Instead of funding mainly large institutions at the current rate of approx. 80% of the total programme’s budget, the revised Creative Europe programme should be open to more small and medium-sized projects, institutions and organisations, i.e. micro-organisations (less than ten employees) or bilateral partnerships operating for a 2 to 3-year period with an approximated budget of up to € 250.000. – The revised Creative Europe programme should focus more on artistic development than audience development. Freedom of the arts, cultural diversity and skills development can only be guaranteed if artistic licence is free of obligatory formal requirements or a funding body’s preference for style or content. – In accordance with The New European Agenda for Culture’s pilot action on the mobility of artists, the revised Creative Europe programme should support social welfare schemes and Recommendations ‚Creative Europe successor programme c/o stronger together 25/05/2018 cross-border employment for artists and help avoid double taxation or increased non-resident taxes for artists. – National associations for independent arts should have a say in the programme’s development and revision in order to prevent market fragmentation, to provide direct information on the insufficient access to finance and barriers to the mobility of artistic professionals and to point out interactions between cultural management and other expert areas such as health and welfare, innovation and urban policy. – In order to get reliable data on the quantity of currently working independent artists and art organisations and the quality of the working conditions, national associations for independent arts should receive additional funding to be able conduct a thorough and professional research into the independent arts sectors and to establish (digital) archives. – In accordance with The New European Agenda for Culture’s objective of increasing collaboration methods, EU funded schemes for structural exchange of artistic staff should be implemented to encourage cooperation between artistic groups, institutions and organisations of the different EU countries, to share knowledge of legal and financial frameworks and to strengthen and develop coherent operational frameworks at a European level. Organisation – The equity ratio for eligible funding should be significantly reduced in favour of the subsidised project. – There should be an advance or allowance on overhead costs estimated in accordance with the project size and funding sum, i.e. small and medium-sized projects, groups and organisations should have available more funds prior to the actual completion of the project to support them in the early stages and help settle operational expenses during application, research, coordination and development. – Expenses and time required to complete the application process, to fulfil every administrative detail and to collect all accounting data should be reduced significantly and remain at an appropriate rate to the funding sum. Especially, micro-organisations lack the financial and organisational resources needed to meet the wide-ranging demands of the programme’s administrative requirements. – Accounting control and depreciation should be simplified, i.e. lump sum calculation of travel expenses and staff costs. – The costs of the external audit required for each project should not exceed the amount being audited. Generally, costs regarding the audit should be covered by funding separate from the creative budget. – There is a need for support services in the EACEA which offer non-financial support and give expert advice on all specific concerns that may arise during a project, ranging from application procedure and the application’s evaluation process to operational difficulties and accounting guidelines

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