First, I would like to thank you for your dedication and commitment concerning this unprecedented situation. I´m fully aware that you´ve been functioning in very difficult and adverse circumstances, particularly those working in artistic sector, connected to the organization of cultural and entertainment activities.
The impacts of COVID-19 on the Arts and Culture sector are quite significant as direct impact from the cancellation and postponement of shows, and the closure of museums, theatres, libraries and monuments.
During these challenging times, I want to assure you that the Regional Government is committed to supporting, protecting the local population in matters of health, housing, economy and culture, which is the greatest asset of any community.
I would like to reiterate that it is our intention to support Madeira’s creative and cultural areas, so that no association is impaired in terms of the means provided for its 2020 business plan, conscious of the imperative need to postpone and suspend many activities.
The Regional Government has approved an important set of measures destined for both individual and collective taxpayers.
Just recently were announced, more actions regarding important tax, social security, and regional government aid obligations, available to various sectors particularly affected by the epidemiological emergency state. Several and relevant governmental measures are been implemented in the Culture sector, destinated to self-employed workers - categories B. In addition to the Social Security - IAS (Regional health department) Social Support index -, there will a complementary IAS proceeds supported by the RAM Budget, assigned by the Employment Institute.
Certain that most of you, in your confinement period, continue to create and generously share your work with us, we appreciate your effort in demonstrating the importance of Culture and the Arts for a healthier society.
We know that artists and associations dedicated to the world of Arts and Culture are already suffering the impact of these cancellations and postponements. These are especially difficult circumstances for independent artists and organizations that rely on box office revenue. On behalf of the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture, rest assure that we'll do everything we can to ensure the immediate processing of these payments, in accordance with the government contracting program protocols, key factors, for the support of both Arts and Culture sectors, in guaranteeing the revenue for many associations in Madeira.
After COVID19 subsides, we will do our upmost, to guarantee the planning of more events and a cultural programmes and highlight the cultural and creative potential of our Region, through its cultural agents and art creators, in order to reopen theatre auditoriums, stages and other venues, once more, contributing to sharing your talents with the general public, when they need it most. That's why we can't stop.
During these difficult times when we are asked to confine ourselves, I express my gratitude for all that has been done by the artistic community in Madeira and Porto Santo, creating content, promoting our Culture, fighting for the preservation of our society and our values.
We must all do our part to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, so I ask everyone to follow the public health guidelines issued by the competent authorities. For that, I relay on everyone, with those who still must attend work, and with those who in their homes will not cross their arms but will continue to work and produce for the sake of Culture and Madeira.
I encourage everyone to take care of yourselves, your families and your friends during the difficult days ahead. I am certain that we´ll overcome this challenge, all obstacles will disappear, and the conquests will present themselves, even if they were handed down by another means.
Regional Secretary for Tourism and Culture