Morocco is making investments and designing plans to support cultural and artistic organizations in the aftermath of the country’s state of emergency.
Rabat – Morocco is making noteworthy investments in the arts by allocating new funding and implementing resources and programs to support artists and mitigate the impact that COVID-19 has had on production and work.
On June 30, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports, Othmane El Ferdaous, shared Morocco’s new projects and the allocations of endowments that will benefit those working across the publishing and book sector, the cinematographic industry, and visual and performing arts.
In total, the country plans to distribute approximately MAD 50 million ($5.167 million) to leverage the active cultural and artistic associations.
Books and publishing sector
El Ferdaous announced that the publishing and book sector will receive significant attention and support. Authors, editors, and other associated professionals will benefit from new programs intended to increase interest in reading and the availability of materials.
“The sector support program concerns the acquisition of books from libraries and publishers for distribution to school and public libraries, the publication and edition of cultural magazines, whether in paper or electronic version, as well as raising awareness of the importance of reading,” he said.
The minister also noted that additional measures will be taken to support authors’ rights. He pointed out that the Moroccan Copyright Office (BMDA) is working to support member authors and other creators through specific funds and programming.
Support for the publishing sector comes days after Morocco created an emergency plan to address the country’s media crisis. In an effort to secure the media sector and prevent it from collapse, El Ferdaous affirmed before the Committee on Education, Culture, and Communication in the House of Representatives on June 24 that exceptional measures need to be taken in order to overcome the insufficient conventional support the industry receives.
The ministry looked at the challenges faced by all professional technicians working in the field of cinematography and audiovisual production throughout the country’s lockdown. The government’s mandate to close cinemas and postpone film release dates caused many to suffer from unemployment and resulted in the cessation of 50 private production companies.
In order to revitalize the industry, the Moroccan government is working in collaboration with the Moroccan Cinematographic Center to mitigate the ongoing impact on film artists. As a result, 51 Moroccan films are scheduled to be screened, maintenance in the film industry is underway, and there will be an acceleration of payments due to film companies.
According to the latest statements, the support geared toward cinematography professionals will be inclusive of all in the industry, regardless of whether or not workers hold a professional identity card issued by the Moroccan Cinematographic Center, are registered with the National Social Security Fund, or work in the informal sector.
Visual and performing arts
The minister also acknowledged the hardships faced by visual and performing artists in the wake of COVID-19. Visual art exhibitions will be financed with MAD 2 million ($206,696,800), while musical artists will receive MAD 12 million ($1.24 million). National theatrical tours will also benefit by receiving a larger sum of MAD 20 million ($2.07 million).
In addition, the ministry has examined more than 4,000 applications for artists cards remotely and 2,000 new cards will be issued in the coming days.
El Ferdaous affirmed that his ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Administration Reform to fulfill their commitments to artists and artistic projects for the previous year. While more than 80% of the required amounts have been paid, the ministries plan to settle the remaining amounts in order to boost the programs’ current financial status.