The contemporary art sector joins forces in Spain to demonstrate his outrage and discontent in an open letter addressed to the Minister of Culture, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, for his disregard for the area of visual and plastic arts, which constitutes the third sector in terms of economic contribution to cultural GDP. Royal Decree Law 17/2020 approved by the Executive on May 5, which includes a package of specific measures for the cultural sector endowed with 76.4 million euros against the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus, dedicates the amount of a million euros for plastic and visual arts, and also introduces a structural modification that suppresses the General Sub-directorate for the Promotion of Fine Arts.
The Sectoral Table of Contemporary Art, made up of the Association of Directors and Directors of Contemporary Art of Spain (ADACE), Consortium of Galleries of Contemporary Art, State Federation of Associations of Cultural Managers (FEAGC), Institute of Contemporary Art (IAC), Women in the Visual Arts (MAV) and Union of Contemporary Artists of Spain (Union_AC), announces its “disappointment and amazement” at “ridiculous measures compared to those that have already been launched from numerous autonomous communities and municipalities.”
“The amount of 1 million euros for the plastic and visual arts is clearly insufficient for the needs and size of the sector”, points out the Sectorial Table in this open letter, which highlights not only the “lack of sensitivity” of the ministry towards professionals, institutions and companies linked to the plastic arts but, above all, “a profound ignorance of contemporary art as a fundamental element of cohesion and projection of our culture and our identity as a nation. “
To this discontent is added the modification of the organic structure of the General Directorate of Fine Arts carried out in recent days, which involves lA disappearance of the General Sub-Directorate for the Promotion of Fine Arts, which implies that contemporary art appears blurred in a brief line in the BOE of May 7, 2020. In this regard, the Sector Table considers that the ministry has missed an excellent opportunity to create a General Directorate that would really serve to strengthen and protect one of the sectors hardest hit by this world crisis: that of art and living culture.
The six associations of the Sectorial Table remind the minister that, as stated in our Constitution, the function of the public powers lies in “promoting that the professionals, true protagonists of the cultural event, have the necessary means (…)” since “The Constitution understands culture not as a luxury aimed at the elites, but as a backbone of democratic society.” To this shift towards the sector are added the comments that artistic teaching is going to be relegated in the new education law that the government is preparing. For this reason, the open letter includes several of the proposals transferred to the ministry before the Royal Decree-law, both in reports and in the two meetings held between the ministry and the associations, and calls for a new immediate meeting to resolve this problem.