Successful scholarship programme by GVL in Neustart Kultur
Due to the pandemic, earning money in their field of work continued to prove difficult for many creatives in 2021. The GVL scholarship in the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR amounting to EUR 5,000 each served to support performers to weather this period of hardship. In total, about 5,500 performers benefited from the grant scheme.
Hardly anyone was hit by the COVID-19 lockdowns as hard as freelance performers and artists: Nearly all events, ranging from rock concerts to operas, were cancelled. Many studio productions or film shooting could also not be executed.
In order to revive the creative and cultural sector, the Commissioner of the Federal Government for Culture and Media (BKM), launched a scholarship programme for the collective management organisations in NEUSTART KULTUR, amounting to a total of €90m. In the music sector, GVL and GEMA received €30m each for allocation purposes; moreover, VG Wort and VG Bild-Kunst allocated €15m each.
Supporting freelance performers
Whether soloist or choir singer, dubbing artist, actor or dancer, GVL supported self-employed performers who are hired for the duration of the production only with the grants, independent of any categories or genres. The support covered a wide range of artistic measures such as performances, productions and online formats, but also research projects and creative further education measures. The stipends amounting to €5,000 in total were put in place for four months each and paid out in two instalments. Several independent juries of experts decided on the approval of the scholarships.
BKM entrusts GVL with €30m
From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had been of great importance to all GVL employees to counteract the drastic impact that particularly hit freelance performers. Tilo Gerlach, Managing Director of GVL, said after the official announcement: “We are extremely happy about the trust that the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media is placing in us by letting us participate in the implementation of the scholarship programme in NEUSTART KULTUR.”
Quick payout of the first scholarships
Our central task consisted of passing on the supporting funds of €30m to the recipients that needed them most. GVL directed the allocation of scholarships and saw to a targeted and quick implementation of the scholarship programme. As a consequence, one of the first tasks was to create an application portal for the performers.
As early as at the end of August, thus in much less than four weeks after the launch of the application period, GVL managed to pay out the first scholarships to creatives. Up to the end of 2021, about 5,500 performers received their first instalment of €4,500. “One advantage was that we know the target audience of NEUSTART KULTUR well because many of them are our rights holders,” said Stefanie Radke, leader of the GVL allocation team which had been entrusted with implementing the programme.
A new start for many creatives after the lockdown
What was special about NEUSTART KULTUR was that a total of more than €2.5bn was invested by the Federal Government to revive the culture and creative landscape after the tough lockdowns of the pandemic. The scholarship programme of the collective management organisations was then “the biggest new building block under the umbrella of Neustart Kultur”, as the former State Minister for Culture and Media, Monika Grütters, said at the presentation of another promotion period in July 2021.