Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly says $25 million has been allocated to assist artistes and "creatives" who lost income because of the covid19 pandemic.
The one-off grant is aimed at “providing a measure of relief to people in the cultural sector who have been affected by cancelled exhibitions, classes, conferences, workshops and other cultural events between March and December 2020,” a July 2 ministry release said.
It added that the rental cost of national performance spaces under the ministry’s remit will be reduced by 50 per cent until December 2020.
To be eligible, applicants should be involved in the cultural sector; citizens of TT; 18 and over; in the visual, performing and literary arts and fine arts and craft; and not received any of the other covid19 salary relief grants.
Gadsby-Dolly said application forms will be available this week. She did not give a specific date, and said more information will be widely advertised.
People will be asked to provide “simple evidence that they are an artiste, have been performing over the last two years and lost income based on the situation with covid19."
This could be "proof of bookings that were cancelled or shows that they had planned or usually performing in a certain festival that was cancelled,” she said.
Proof of identity and citizenship will also be required.
She added that the grant is not intended to replace lost income. This grant has been "in the process" from the beginning, she said, but different grants are being activated at different times to ensure that “as many people as possible are reached and the Government is able to deal with those who need the help. "
Gadsby-Dolly said the Government first ensured that food was on the table for all constituencies.
“Of course, every person working in the cultural sector would have been able to avail themselves of that,” she added.
She said the Government is now targeting industries and understands that the cultural industry “would have been deeply affected.”
She said people can send further queries to the numbers and e-mail addresses in the release.