Here’s the translation of an email sent by State Secretary for Culture Andrea Mayer to heads or arts ensemble, expressing empathy for their situation under lockdown and a determination to help them return:
Dear representatives of the Austrian art and culture companies, dear artists,
…I want to inform you directly about the acute developments in connection with the Covid 19 crisis and not through the media.
In the past few months we have jointly managed to contain the spread of the corona virus. This enabled us to restart social, economic and cultural life to an acceptable level. These relaxations were right and important because art and culture are an essential part of our lives.
I would like to express my thanks once again to all those involved in the art and culture industry for their tireless work on the security and prevention concepts and for their exemplary implementation by the bank. Together they have made a lot possible – moments and experiences without which our lives would definitely have been poorer.
In view of the rapid increase in new infections in Austria, we are faced again with a very difficult situation. A further increase in the spread of the virus would have effects on our health system that we must avoid at all costs.
In the next few weeks – until the end of November – we will unfortunately have to do without a large part of the cultural life again. I deeply regret that because I know how important culture is for our lives. Closed cultural establishments are a disaster. But they are currently necessary to prevent an even greater catastrophe. That’s why my heart is bleeding too. However, it now takes a joint effort by the entire population to get the spread of the virus under control again.
I am continuing to work with all my might to design support measures in the arts and culture in such a way that Austria’s art and cultural landscape can survive this difficult phase. It is my declared goal to preserve this landscape in all its creative power and diversity. Doors that are now closed must open again.
The last few months have shown us that we can achieve a lot in Austria if we pull together. I know how challenging these new measures are. These are cuts in our lives that nobody wants – you and I don’t. But they are, unfortunately, necessary in the current situation.
My team and I are by your side and we will get through this difficult time together.
Thank you for your understanding and continued commitment.
Yours, Andrea Mayer
PS: Please share this message in your area of activity.