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To: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Open Letter: Better support for artists during the pandemic
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing to request ongoing financial support for individuals in the arts who have lost their income overnight due to the change in alert level.
When Aotearoa went into a red-alert level over the weekend, we saw hundreds of incredible festivals, arts events, tours and concerts cancelled.
They were cancelled to keep our community safe.
Musicians and artists not only provide millions of dollars for New Zealand, they have provided relief to people during these times. Providing film, music and poetry that helps bring us joy and connection.
Unlike previous restriction changes, when those affected were kept afloat with government wage subsidies and resurgence funds, there is no such support in the current Traffic Light System. This feels like a harsh oversight of already vulnerable musicians, actors and event workers.
Morale amongst our artist community is low. Not only are we facing again the reality that the time and effort we have all put into bringing our community art is seemingly wasted. We are faced with limited financial support from our government.
Why is this important?
Tens of thousands of people are now without any employment or income.
I know in the past you have been a large supporter and advocate for the arts, and for this I thank you.
I look forward to your response and more importantly your action.