+++UPDATE: Germany announces €50 billion aid package for sole traders and casuals targeted at creative sector

Angela Merkel and Monika Grütters (Photo: Christian Marquardt/Getty Images)

The German federal government has announced an impressive €50 billion aid package for sole traders, freelancers and casual workers, targeted at the country’s creative and cultural sectors.

“Our democratic society needs its unique and diverse cultural and media landscape in this historical situation, which was unimaginable until recently,” said culture minister Monika Grütters in a statement. “The creative courage of creative people can help to overcome the crisis. We should seize every opportunity to create good things for the future. That is why the following applies: artists are not only indispensable, but also vital, especially now.”

Read about the details of this well-considered relief package via ArtNet.

+++UPDATE: USA: Survey and resources provided by Philadelphia Arts, Culture and Creative Economy Office

Image via Pexel

The Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy is providing and promoting information and resources for artists and arts organizations to help them through the COVID-19 health crisis, including available financial relief, and potential work opportunities.  

The Office has also just launched an important impact survey. All creative industry workers are urged to complete it, so an accurate assessment of required support can be made.

Survey and resources can be found here.

+++UPDATE: Australian artists can fast-track merchandise sales

Australian initiative The Merch Desk is about to make it a lot easier and faster for artists of all kinds to design, create and sell merchandise, with profits available within hours.

Conceived and launched by Brisbane musician Joseph Knox-Wheeler, the new site is “designed to remove all barriers that would otherwise stop artists offering merch to their fans and supporters… With a print on demand service, we only print a product when an order is placed. This means no waste, no upfront costs, & no financial risks for artists.”

The Merch Desk has teamed up with Brisbane-based company The Print Bar for production, and graphic designer/illustrator Jimmy Patch, who can assist with designs if artists need.

It costs nothing to get going, and artists will receive the large majority of sales, with a small portion being deducted to cover The Print Bar production costs, and $1 of each sale going to The Merch Desk.

Artists can sign up here. We encourage fans to check back on the website in a few days and start supporting your favourite creatives!

+++UPDATE: Aus music industry announces Sound of Silence support campaign

“The Australian music industry is sending out an SOS”

An Aus music industry taskforce made up of radio stations, including triple j, record labels, tech companies, government groups and promoters has just announced a new initiative, aiming to maintain a basic income for artists you love during the lockdown of live music brought about by the coronavirus outbreak.

Read about the first Sound of Silence announcement on the triple j website, which highlights immediate ways to help Australian musicians. We will keep you posted on the initiative’s next steps.

+++UPDATE: Global: Sign On to Resident Advisor’s #SaveOurScene

via Resident Advisor

Resident Advisor today published an open letter calling for collective action from the electronic music community. The letter, with 1200 signatories from 5 continents at the time of this writing, inaugurates the #SaveOurScene campaign, which draws together concrete actions for industry professionals and audiences alike to support artists and nightlife communities, sign on to petitions and political actions, and attend the thousands of virtual events popping up worldwide.

An excerpt:

Dance music provides exactly the sense of safety, community and connectedness we’re craving right now. It has given so much to so many. For many of us, it’s how we know our best friends and our partners. It is our main source of day-to-day pleasure, whatever form that takes: listening to mixes on the train, combing Discogs late at night with 25 tabs open, mixing records with friends or playing a gig, counting down the days to a festival or dancing at clubs till dawn. It is one of the things that makes our lives worth living. We believe the world is better because it exists.

Our scene is in more danger now than it ever has been. But it’s also never been more worth fighting for. Whenever coronavirus finally passes, we will return to a world different from the one we left behind. It’s impossible to say what that world will look like, but the people in it will need the values dance music enshrines: inclusiveness, open-heartedness, peace, love, unity and respect.That’s why, even as so many of us face personal hardship, we call on you, the dance music community, to help #SaveOurScene.

—”Save Our Scene: An Open Letter” | Resident Advisor

Visit the campaign page, and sign the open letter.

+++UPDATE: Seattle: GoFundMe and Mayor’s Arts Recovery Package provide some relief

Ijeoma Oluo’s GoFundMe has so far raised 180k on behalf of Artists Relief Fund.

American author and journalist Ijeoma Oluo is among the organisers of a GoFundMe campaign set up in support of artists in the city hardest hit by COVID-19 in the US, Seattle.

At time of writing funds topped 180, 000, with 100% of this to be distributed to artists who have lost income due to cancellations and work stoppage during the pandemic.

The Seattle mayor’s office has augmented this fundraiser with $50, 000, and announced the Mayor’s Arts Recovery Package, investing $1 million in an Arts Stabilization Fund, and offering a further $50, 000 in available grants.

Seattle and 4Culture Announce New Funding Relief Packages for the Arts | The Stranger | 17th March 2020