Resources > UNESCO publication | Culture in Crisis: Policy guide for a resilient creative sector
26 Oct 2020

UNESCO publication | Culture in Crisis: Policy guide for a resilient creative sector

UNESCO has published 'Culture in Crisis: Policy guide for a resilient creative sector' looking at effects and responses around the world to the COVID-19 pandemic and providing practical guidance to policy makers. The publication is available for free download in English, French and Spanish.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the crisis it created have had a devastating effect on the cultural and creative industries, revealing and magnifying their pre-existing volatility. Drawing on policies and measures adopted during the crisis, this practical guide highlights emergency measures that have been deemed effective and beneficial, assesses emerging trends, identifies new and existing gaps and offers practical advice to help policymakers position the cultural and creative industries in social and economic recovery plans. 

Around the world, the livelihoods of artists and cultural professionals have been profoundly affected by lockdown and physical distancing measures. The precarious nature of their work has made them particularly vulnerable to the economic shocks caused by the crisis, which have, in turn, exacerbated the creative sector’s pre-existing volatility and inequalities. Artists and cultural professionals have lost their jobs in record numbers and around the world, the sector is fighting to survive.

Since UNESCO launched the ResiliArt movement, a series of open-format virtual debates, on 15 April 2020, over 1,000 artists and cultural professionals from around the world have shared their stories and offered recommendations on how the cultural and creative sectors can emerge from the COVID-19 crisis stronger and more united. UNESCO has heard their voices.

Through this guide, UNESCO provides practical guidance to policymakers as they fight for the inclusion of the cultural and creative industries in social and economic recovery plans. In order to comply with health and safety measures, and to adapt to new business models, both financial and technical support has been and will continue to be necessary. However, it is important to recognize the support mobilized thus far has been multifaceted. This guide is an attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of the range of emergency measures adopted by States in support of cultural workers, institutions and industries and a tool for strengthening the resilience of the sector.

Culture in Crisis offers advice on how to respond to the most pressing needs and how to induce the structural changes needed to strengthen the resilience of the cultural and creative industries and prepare for the “new normal”.