A post Covid-19 Action Plan, spelling out 13 emergency measures to help preserving cultural life and supporting artists to sustain creativity in these difficult times, has been elaborated by the Ministry of Arts and Cultural Heritage.
The Plan, approved by the Cabinet last week, aims to mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cultural industry. The authorities have also agreed to the drafting of the Status of the Artists legislation and reviewing the Copyright fees as charged by Mauritius Society of Authors (MASA)
The drafting of the Status of the Artists legislation is expected to be instrumental in establishing the professional status of artists and improve their economic, social and working conditions. A consultation with all relevant stakeholders will run alongside the drafting exercise. As regards the review of the Copyright fees, these new charges were worked out by MASA and will be applicable as from 1st July 2021.
Measures of Post Covid-19 Action Plan
The temporary measures will be valid over a six-month period. These measures are:
• Online concerts
The holding of concerts behind closed doors at the Serge Constantin Theatre, on a weekly basis. These concerts will be broadcast on the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) channels and on digital platforms. Artists will be paid for their show, for a maximum duration of 30 minutes per group and per performance. This financial support has a ceiling of Rs 60 000.
• Online theatre and other performances
The holding of plays behind closed doors on a monthly basis. These concerts will be broadcast on the MBC channels and on digital platforms. The artists will be paid a sum of up to Rs 200 000 (including costs of costumes, rehearsals and other accessories). Other artists working in hotels will also be able to perform at the Serge Constantin Theatre on a weekly basis and will be paid up to Rs 40 000. Their performance will be broadcast on the MBC channels and on digital platforms.
• Review of other support to artists (for the production of CDs and DVDs)
For the production of albums, an amount of Rs 40 000 will be allocated and an additional Rs 20 000 will be provided for the use of visual support. An amount of Rs 10 000 will be allocated for the production a single and an additional Rs 10 000 will be made available for the use of visual support.
• Television programmes
A television programme, Lil Moris nou kiltir, nou talan, will be designed to promote Mauritian art and culture, as well as its history on a monthly basis. Artists will be paid for their collaboration. Moreover, Literary exchange, a television programme, will be launched to promote literature and works of local authors.
• Online artistic training and storytelling for children
The Ministry will collaborate with professional dance schools and other choreographers to develop virtual lessons. A mobile app will be developed for this project. Dancers and choreographers will be paid for their services. Through the same mobile app, a storytelling for children project will be launched.
• Acquisition of works by local authors
An amount of Rs 25 000 (per author) will be offered to purchase the works of local authors published during a defined period.
• Publication of a coronavirus anthology in e-book format
A call for texts will be launched to publish a compilation of short stories or poems on the experience of the lockdown in relation to Covid-19. Each author will be paid varying between Rs 5 000 to Rs 10 000 according to established criteria.
• Street Art
Forty sites will be identified and a list finalised over the coming days to allow artists create the wall frescoes. The theme of these frescoes will be on the consolidation of national unity.
• Exhibitions and virtual exhibitions of painting and photography
Painters and photographers will benefit from a financial support from the National Arts Fund to hold fairs and virtual exhibitions of painting and photography
• Acquisition of works of art
The works of local artists will be purchased by the Ministry according to criteria established.
• Heritage sites virtual tour
A platform will be set up to allow virtual tours, at an initial stage, of the following sites: Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site; Le Morne World Heritage Site; and Trou Chenilles Open Air Museum.