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Spanish campaign highlights value of culture to society

The Union of Business Associations of the Spanish Cultural Industry is pushing for increased support as it declares that culture reveals the “socio-cultural and economic level of a country.”

Under a new campaign, #LaCulturaDebeContinuar (Culture Must Continue), a group of industry professionals have come together to express their “deepest concern” about the current situation.

Its backers include the Association of Musical Promoters of Spain, the Spanish Association of Classical Music Festivals, the Association of Theaters, Festivals Lyrical Seasons and the Association of Music Festivals, among many others.

The group claims that the Government has “not responded proportionally to the magnitude of the crisis that plagues the sector.”

In its joint statement, the union states: “Culture is a vital element for a country. An essential indicator of society, its social level, the development and quality of its system. The level of modern society today corresponds directly to that of its cultural industry.”

It states that in order for culture to move forward following the detrimental impact of COVID-19, the sector “urgently needs specific measures that help and contribute to maintaining the business fabric.”

It adds: “Like everything, reinvention has a limit, and right now continuity without help is nothing short of impossible. But no matter how difficult the context, the culture of a country is vital, as is the oxygen to keep going.”

The group highlights measures initially indicated by the Spanish Commission for Social and Economic Reconstruction of the Congress of Deputies, which include recognising culture as a strategic sector in the productive model and the social model.

It also hopes to see culture recognised as a basic good, which implies both guaranteeing its access and affirming the labour rights of those who work within it.

The commission also indicated measures such as promoting a ‘State Pact for Culture’, which protects and promotes cultural activity, contributes to the development of cultural and creativity industries, allows the sector to increase its weight in GDP, consolidates a sustainable model of growth and supports young creators.

The statement from the group reads: “From the Union of Business Associations of the Spanish Cultural Industry, we claim the value of culture for society. Its importance for the health of citizens and the country.

“Because culture is a faithful marker of who we are and what we will be, of our customs and behaviour, of the values of the society in which we live. The impact of culture goes beyond a theater, a cinema or a concert, and reveals the socio-cultural and economic level of a country. For all this, we need help, because #LACULTURADEBECONTINUAR.”

Spain imposed one of the world’s strictest lockdowns at the pandemic’s peak back in March, as the number of fatalities exceeded more than 800 on a daily basis. The outbreak eventually was brought under control, but the number of new infections has steadily risen since the country began relaxing restrictions in July.

This week, Spain has become the first nation in Western Europe to exceed a half-million COVID-19 total infections.