The appeal for funding by the Hilton Arts Festival organisation is but one of many examples of the devastation of the Covid-19 virus on the creative arts industry.
The trend of the arts being left in an impecunious predicament was not only felt in South Africa but across the globe as government lockdown restrictions to halt the spread of Covid-19 resulted in theatres going dark and events being cancelled. This left thousands of performers and artists without work.
Often overlooked because it’s not considered to be an essential industry, the creative arts sector has not received as much support as other industries in terms of economic recovery efforts. In South Africa the situation was worsened by the challenges with the National Arts Council’s (NAC) alleged mismanagement of the R300 million Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme funding which was supposed to help the artists make ends meet during the pandemic. This led to some in the creative arts sector staging a two-month sit-in protest at the NAC offices until the council got a court order to evict them.