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Zwei Promille sind nicht genug!

Zwei Promille sind nicht genug!

About a year ago, the independent scene in Linz sent an open letter entitled "Linz is dying - without independent culture!" to the City of Linz's cultural officer, ÖVP Deputy Mayor Erich Watzl, and to the city senate. At the time, help was promised in talks with the leading politicians, but there were no more than a few improvements. The independent performing arts community is still waiting for the big deal, for a redistribution of funds towards independent arts and cultural work that would enable the dozens of initiatives to operate with dignity. This is why we have once again written an open letter this year, in time for the upcoming budget negotiations. 46 independent cultural initiatives and 42 individuals, including myself, have signed the letter, the text of which you can read below:

Dear Mr. Mayor,
ladies and gentlemen,

It is time to take concrete steps to improve the situation of Linz's independent arts and culture scene. The first drafts of the new cultural development plan point in the right direction. However, a city of culture not only needs strong public institutions, but also a strong independent scene. This makes it all the more important to set the course now for substantial changes to the funding structure. The budget allocated to the independent scene in Linz is still stagnating. The independent scene receives around three percent of the entire cultural budget or only two per thousand of the entire city budget, in absolute figures around EUR 1.4 million.

The three-year contracts were intended to provide cultural initiatives with stable framework conditions and planning security. However, as these basic grants have not been increased since their introduction nine years ago, they are worth a quarter less than they were at the beginning due to uncompensated inflation. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that savings measures at state level, such as the fixed credit freeze, are also expected to primarily affect the independent scene.

At the same time, it has become much more difficult for young initiatives in the arts and culture sector in particular to obtain subsidies to finance their fixed costs or even their work. While employees of municipal cultural institutions are justifiably paid according to collective agreements, the social situation of freelance cultural workers and artists continues to deteriorate.

Your colleague, city councillor Johann Mayr, has recognized this. In an interview with ORF in May of this year, he advocated that the city should focus on supporting Linz artists and cultural workers from the independent scene. We take him at his word and call on you, too, to commit to strengthening the independent scene and to work politically to fundamentally improve the situation.

"Those who are satisfied with the status quo in culture will regress" - this is what the program of the SPÖ Linz says. So let's be dissatisfied together and develop Linz's cultural policy further! The first rough drafts of the new cultural development plan give us hope that Linz is serious about becoming a city of culture. However, it would only be cosmetic if cultural policy were to withdraw to the promotion of formats with a strong audience and marketability. We don't need any more frenzy. We need a sober analysis of our times in order to stop the madness that is destroying our society and our world in the guise of capitalism. To do this, we need space, time, resources and your support.We are therefore calling for a gradual increase in the budget for the independent performing arts community to at least three million euros by 2015. This should be achieved by expanding basic subsidies, project subsidies and special funding programs. Furthermore, we demand a binding inflation adjustment of the basic subsidies for cultural initiatives in order to prevent the creeping erosion of budgets. Finally, a binding list of criteria should make the awarding of funding more objective and comprehensible.This statement is supported by numerous initiatives from the arts and culture sector and backed by many individuals:

Initiatives: afo - architekturforum oberösterreich, Aktionsgemeinschaft Social Impact, Backlab Collective, bb15 - Raum für Gegenwartskunst, bRANDjUNG - Kollektiv für Raum und Inszenierung, City Kino, Collective Ika, Design Forum Linz, Die Fabrikanten, die zebras, Dorf TV, eipcp - european institute for progressive cultural policies, FIFTITU% - Vernetzungsstelle für Frauen in Kunst und Kultur in OÖ, Fruchtgenuss - Verein für Leerstandsangelegenheiten, IFEK - Institut für erweiterte Kunst, - Media & Culture Platform, KAPU, Kult-Ex / Das Kollektiv, Kulturverein LIBIB, Kulturverein One Culture, Kulturverein Peligro, KünstlerInnenkollektiv Expanderrr, KünstlerInnenkollektiv Kompott, KunstRaum Goethestrasse xtd, Kunstverein Paradigma, KUPF - Kulturplattform Oberösterreich, maiz - Autonomes Zentrum von & für Migrantinnen, MARCH GUT industrial design, Moviemento, nomadenetappe, Pangea - Interkulturelle Medienwerkstatt, qujOchÖ, Radio FRO - Freier Rundfunk Oberösterreich, RedSapata Tanzfabrik,, SILK fluegge, SPACEfemFM Frauenradio, spotsZ - Kunst.Kultur.Szene.Linz, Stadtwerkstatt, sunnseitn, theaternyx*, Time's Up, transpublic*, Unkraut Comics, urbanfarm, Zach Records

People: Aileen Derieg, Alexander Vojvoda, Andre Zogholy, Andrea Hummer, Andrea Mayer-Edoloeyi, Andreas Reichl, Andreas Strauss, Astrid Esslinger, Barbara Huber, Bernhard Hummer, Brigitte Vasicek, Christian Diabl, Christian Haselmayr, Christoph Fürst, Dagmar Höss, Daniel Steiner, David Wagner, Didi Bruckmayr, Florian Sedmak, Franz Fend, Harald Renner, Helga Schager, Jakob Dietrich, Kurt Mitterndorfer, Michael Schweiger, Nicole Honeck, Paul Fischnaller, Richard Schachinger, Rudolf Danielczyk, Sabine Stuller, Silke Grabinger, Simone Boria, Stefan Rois, Thomas Diesenreiter, Thomas Hinterberger, Thomas Kreiseder, Tim Boykett, Tina Auer, Ursula Kolar, Werner Puntigam, Wolfgang Dorninger, Wolfgang Steininger