UNESCO Aschberg programme for artists and cultural professionals

At a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has considerably weakened the creative sector and greatly disrupted the production and distribution of cultural goods and services, UNESCO is giving a new impetus to the UNESCO-Aschberg Programme for Artists and Cultural Professionals to support States and key actors in their efforts to promote the status of the artist and the diversity of cultural expressions.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the entire cultural ecosystem and has further highlighted its fragility.

As the recent UNESCO report on cultural and creative industries in the face of COVID-19 demonstrates, job losses in this area are conservatively estimated at 10 million worldwide, suggesting a rapid decline in employment that is profoundly affecting the livelihoods of creative workers”, stresses Ernesto Ottone Ramirez, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture.

The mission of the UNESCO-Aschberg programme is to improve the social and economic protection of artists, decent employment and the balanced circulation of cultural goods and services.

This is a crucial issue, widely documented by the ResiliArt movement, launched by UNESCO in 2020, with more than 270 debates involving artists, policymakers and cultural organizations from 110 countries.

These consultations highlighted the gap in legal, policy and regulatory frameworks related to the status of the artist. They also reaffirmed the importance of the status of artists for economic growth, social cohesion and sustainable development.

Such recognition has direct implications in terms of fair remuneration, access to social security and taxation, freedom of movement and artistic expression, etc.

“With this call for projects, UNESCO aims to reinforce its technical assistance through a cutting-edge expertise to support the development of a more robust creative sector in line with the objectives of the 1980 Recommendation concerning the Status of the Artist and the 2005 Convention on the Protection and the Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions,” said Toussaint Tiendrebeogo, Secretary of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

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