The Ministry of Culture of Colombia and the National Council of the Orange Economy have taken on a full commitment to protect and strengthen the cultural and creative industries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and of the declaration of "Economic, Social and Ecological Emergency", made by President Ivan Duque Marquez in early March 2020. The two entities will implement the measures outlined below, issued through Decrees 475 of March and 561 of April 2020, as well as other actions coming from different directorates and technical areas of the Ministry to counteract the restrictions demanded by the emergency and avoid a major impact on the cultural sector.
These measures seek to maintain the liquidity of the sector, while protecting jobs and tracing a strategy for sustained economic reactivation to be implemented once health crisis is overcome.
1. Decree 475 of March 2020
* Social security for cultural agents and creators: the government will allocate about $ 80,000 million Colombian pesos (19,898,814 USD) through the Periodic Economic Benefit programme (Orange BEPS - Beneficios Economicos Periodicos). Likewise, mayors and governors shall appropriate and transfer 20% of the Procultura Stamp tax and direct it to the social security funds of cultural agents and creators, no later than April 30, 2020.
* Benefits for public spectacles of the performing arts: More than $ 40,000 million Colombian pesos will be allocated, 9,949,407 USD of which will come from the parafiscal contribution derived from the ticket sales to such spectacles.
All resources transferred by the Ministry of Culture to the municipalities and districts up to December 31, 2020 may be re-allocated up to September 30, 2021 to support the sector of the performing arts in all activities of creation, virtual training, production and circulation, in any modality (remote or in-person).
* Extension of deadlines in parafiscal payments:
o For permanent producers:
# January-February two-month period: until September 30, 2020
# March-April two-month period: until September 30, 2020
# May-June two-month period: until October 31, 2020
# July-August two-month period: until October 31, 2020
o For occasional producers:
# The parafiscal tax derived from tickets and attendance rights marketed and delivered between March and June 2020, may be declared and paid up to September 30, 2020.
o Film sector:
# The deadline to file and pay the Film Development tariff, corresponding to the activities carried out between March and June 2020, is extended until September 30, 2020.
# Given that nearly 1,200 movie theatres are closed, the requirement of screening national short films will go from 15 days to 8 days.
* Extension of dates for holding events supported through the national stimulus and concerted venue programmes : legal representatives of cultural organizations of the non-profit private sector, of public entities, of indigenous reservations and councils, and community councils of Black communities, may request the Ministry of Culture for a time extension in order to modify activities and schedules as necessary.
2. Decree 561 of 2020
Transitory allocation of the resources marked for culture from the national consumption tax: the tax revenue obtained in this manner during the 2019 period and that to date is neither committed for other purposes nor executed, and that revenue from 2020 redirected by the Ministry of Culture to the departments and the Capital District, shall be temporarily allocated to contribute to the sustenance of artists, creators and carriers who are most at risk.
* Economic incentives for artists, creators and cultural managers: those responsible for culture in the departments and the Capital District shall establish unconditional cash transfers or other monetary incentives to artists, creators and carriers who demonstrate their economic vulnerability and are not affiliated to one several social assistance programmes (Familias en Accion, Colombia Mayor, BEPS for cultural agents and creators, Jovenes en Accion, Ingreso Solidario, or sales tax compensation).
Likewise, at least three percent (3%) of such unconditional cash transfers or monetary incentives will go to artists, creators and cultural agents with disabilities.
3. Other actions:
* Ingreso Solidario Programme: In conjunction with the entities responsible for culture in the regions and department capitals, it was possible to identify during the emergency eligible cultural creators and agents for this programme, that provides a monetary aid of 160,000 pesos (39.15 USD); they belong to the informal sector and aren't covered by other social assistance programs of the National Government that target families, youth and senior citizens, such as Familias en Accion, Jovenes en Accion and Colombia Mayor.
* Retina Latina: Free public streaming platform for Latin American productions, with more than 230 films in the fiction and documentary genres. https://www.retinalatina.org/
* Early Childhood: Parents and caregivers have at their disposal the platforms https://maguare.gov.co/ and https://maguared.gov.co/, specifically targeted to early childhood, and holding a vast array of educational content, videos, stories, music and more. There are more than 700 possible activities available to awaken creativity through culture.
* Museums: The digital strategy #MuseosEnCasa and #TuCasaesColombia, by the Museum Group of the Ministry of Culture, offers the general public an interactive and varied virtual tour through many Colombian museums. Through its social network presence, this initiative shares information about itinerant and temporary exhibitions, presents interactive activities that can be shared with family and friends, as well as guided tours and days devoted to science and research. This initiative has also allowed the National Museum Round Table to complete the registration of institutions in the Colombian Museum Information System (SIMCO).
* Teatro para Todos: The Colon Theatre shared online the radio drama 'El perro del hortelano', starring Kepa Amuchastegui, Consuelo Luzardo and Cesar Mora, at http://bit.ly/ElPerroDelHortelano. The piece was available through June 2020.
Within the celebrations of the International Theatre Day, the classic German play Woyzeck will be broadcast through the online channels and social networks of the Colon Theatre and the Ministry of Culture. This version is performed by Teatro Sobre Agua, with the direction of Jimmy Rangel and starring Carolina Ramirez and Felipe Botero.
A virtual tour of the Colon Theatre was made available at: https://teatrocolon.gov.co/recorrido-virtual-teatro-colon-bogota. Any one can now experience the architectural and decorative details of this emblematic venue.
* Art, science and literature: The National Library of Colombia (BNC) has a large catalogue of content available on its website, https://bibliotecanacional.gov.co/. The Digital Library, for example, contains rare sound, video and graphic collections that are in the custody of the BNC, among other documents and publications. It also has several virtual exhibitions that offer insights into art, science, literature and history, all of them available at: http://bit.ly/3b2fmwY. Other collections and exhibitions include:
o 'Poemas y cantos': Critical Anthology of Afro-descendant Authors from Latin America, a project with works by female writers from 13 countries, http://bit.ly/38ynx2n.
o Basic Library of Colombian Culture - BBCC, which includes more than 140 titles with the most representative of our culture in various subject areas, such as gastronomy, history, economics, travel, botany and art, with forewords by contemporary authors like Pilar Quintana, Gonzalo Catano, Antonio Caballero, Claudia Steiner, Piedad Bonnett, Adolfo Meisel, Miguel Rocha, Melba Escobar and Fernando Urbina, among many others, to read and download for free (available at bit.ly/BibliotecaBasica).
o !Leer es mi cuento en casa!: Offers a collection of 38 titles from the Leer es mi cuento (Reading is my Story) series of books, which includes classic texts from children's and youth literature in new versions, with illustrations by some of the most important artists in the country. The series is available for reading or free to download on the MaguaRed portal. Additionally, the following link can be downloaded for free:
The Reading Guide for the Leer es mi cuento series, which includes step by step activities for reading as a family, is available here: https://bibliotecanacional.gov.co/es-
o La Gaboteca is a portal that showcases the life, work and legacy of the Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez through media, book collections, chronicles, novels and interviews; available at http://bit.ly/2IQ6tur.
o The Soledad Acosta de Samper Digital Library is a project carried out in conjunction with Universidad de los Andes, which can be consulted at http://bit.ly/3czwPOK.
o Public online readings of works by Colombian authors, especially Manuel Zapata Olivella, one of the most important thinkers of Afro-Colombian culture (100 years of his birth are commemorated in 2020); available at www.bibliotecanacional.gov.co
o Digital products related to the collections of the BNC, such as the project derived from a grant from the 2019 stimuli call, which recorded on a Colombian magazine the flu pandemic that hit the world and Bogota in 1918 (www.bibliotecanacional.gov. co).
o Virtual reference service. For researchers and users who need guidance on the digital resources of the National Library, there is a devoted work team that will respond through the email firstname.lastname@example.org or through the chat window on www.bibliotecanacional.gov.co.
* Dance: The Ministry of Culture created with Senal Colombia the series Danza Colombia Trayectos, that brings to the public expeditions to different regions through the lens of dance (https://bit.ly/2U4kRW5); Danza Colombia en escena is a further Mincultura series that presents the experiences and creative processes of some of the most important dance companies in the country (https://bit.ly/2QsgXn).
Likewise, the Danza Viva Programme of the National Dance Plan has created and open content bank and virtual library, available at https://bit.ly/2UjOyRY and https://bit.ly/3b8QaER.
* Music: within the framework of the National Music Plan for Coexistence (Musica para la Convivencia), the 1,042 municipal music schools of the country were encouraged and given support to continue their musical training in a remote modality. Likewise, music teachers can access the publications of the virtual library at:
https://www.mincultura.gov.co/proyectoeditorial/Pages/default.aspx and https://simus.mincultura.gov.co.
Additionally, the Music for Reconciliation programme was renewed through the Batuta Foundation and the digital tool: www.viajerosdelpentagrama.gov.co
* Archives: The General Archive of the Nation (AGN) offers courses, training and videoconferences to the public, and has strengthened its promotion of the use of digital channels (https://bit.ly/3dKv8i4) in order to reduce the risk of contagion derived from the interaction in a public space. Furthermore, the AGN invites citizens to avoid unnecessary travel and send their requests, complaints, suggestions and requests for public information to the email email@example.com. Similarly, the AGN will be providing personalized guidance in the new chat enabled on its website.
Virtual courses: Making use of all available ICTs, the AGN commits to an increasing offer of virtual courses to continue with the mission of advancing archival training and expertise throughout the national territory.
* Actions with a differential approach:
o Native Languages: The Ministry of Culture produces educational and informational material in 15 of the 69 native languages of Colombia. This digital strategy encompasses 12 indigenous languages, and the Ri Palenque, Creole and Romani languages; for all of them there will be written and sound material available for free on the ministry's website and social networks.
o Mujeres Narran su Territorio (Women Narrate their Territory): Within the framework of this programme, the digital strategy Relatos de Mujeres en su Territorio seeks to disseminate fragments of literary works by women authors who create from their own regions; these will be posted every Friday throughout the day on the social networks and website of the Ministry of Culture.
The aim of Relatos de Mujeres is to offer these authors the possibility of bringing their stories to a wider audience, sharing their worldview and experiences through different literary genres (short stories, novels, poems, oral literature, chronicles, among other expressions), while also opening spaces for exchange between the writers and their audience. The authors will read passages of their work in their own voices, sometimes in their own native languages.
o "Comparte lo que somos, un abrazo de esperanza nacional 2020" is an open call for projects that highlight arts, culture and heritage as instruments of social cohesion. These may involve training, creation and circulation initiatives aimed at the protection, promotion and celebration of cultural diversity, with the hope of mitigating the impact of social distancing measures.
The manifestations and expressions covered by the call include all artistic, cultural and heritage activities: music, dance, theatre, literature, puppetry, circus, visual arts, plastic arts, fashion and design, traditional cuisine, training in traditional and/or ancestral knowledge, and media or digital production. The call has an allocation of USD 3,252,236 and will benefit 8,000 participants.
The policies and measures listed here have not yet been evaluated, because they were adopted within the framework of the declaration of Economic, Social and Ecological Emergency caused by COVID-19.