The Norwegian cultural sector takes measures due to the Covid-19 crisis
Arts Council Norway will not be demanding repayment of funds that have been used to plan events cancelled as a result of the coronavirus. This will apply until April, or until further restrictions/guidelines from the authorities.
Other arts and culture organizations in Norway such as Kulturtanken (Arts for Young Audiences Norway), Music Norway and NORLA have also chosen not to demand repayments of allocated funds. Regional authorities have made similar guarantees.
Special grant schemes
Arts Council Norway has been tasked with managing a new compensation scheme of NOK 300 million on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Culture, directed towards the arts and cultural sector. This temporary scheme is aimed at stakeholders who have had to cancel or postpone events due to restrictions and bans imposed by the healthcare authorities or the government. Cultural institutions receiving subsidies from the government are not included in this scheme. Arts Council Norway is aware of the impacts of the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis on these institutions and is following the situation closely.
Arts Council Norway is establishing a separate grant scheme for arts- and culture projects in Norway addressing the current situation related to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The first of what is envisaged to be two calls, guidelines and application status will be finalized during the Council meeting Tuesday 31 March and Wednesday 1 April 2020. The documents will then be made available in Norwegian on the website of the Arts Council. The deadline of the first call is expected to be in the first half of May. The second call is expected to be published this summer.
Grant application evaluation and the payment of grants will continue as usual within the structures of the Arts Council.
Arts Council Norway has established an emergency group that collects input and facts from the artist's organizations and the rest of the sector to find adequate crisis measures. Arts Council Norway forwards these inputs to the Ministry of Culture, for continuous evaluation of the situation.
Several general provisions have also been undertaken: The Norwegian Parliament has adopted a scheme where freelancers and the self-employed will receive temporary income protection. It is equivalent to 80 per cent of their average income over the last three years, up to a specific limit. The compensation occurs from day 17 after the loss of income. The Ministry of Finance has requested the Norwegian Parliament to allow for self-employed persons and freelancers to receive emergency financial, social assistance in anticipation of income compensation.