Social, comprehensive assistance for Venezuelan creators
To implement measures that will allow creators to exercise their social rights, and have their talent, artistic history and creative potential acknowledged, by creating places where they can organize, participate, showcase their value, and gain access to social security, housing, training and professionalization.
Fundación Casa del Artista has provided health care to artists and creators through an action line known as “Integral Health Care Assistance”. Another line of action, “Acknowledgement and Encouragement”, has been used to pay tribute to and recognize artists and creators from all over the country, and to provide financial assistance to all recipients of the National Prize for Culture and Honorary Subsidy, as an acknowledgement of the talent showcased during an artist’s professional career. The agency has been in charge of organizing and producing the National Prize for Culture for the periods 2008-2010, 2010-2012, and 2012-2014. This last one took place in 2015, and it celebrated 30 years in the lives of artists and creators in the fields of architecture, plastic arts, craftsmanship, cinema, dance, photography, humanities, literature, music, traditional knowledge, and theater.
In addition to this, activities are being carried to support the economic, social and cultural rights of artists. These include individual legal advisory, lectures, conferences, and seminaries under an action line titled “Promotion and Defense of the Rights of Artists”. Applications to be included in the country’s pension system are also handled by the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security. Artists in vulnerable situation are also allowed to apply for housing.
The right to an education is supplemented by a “Training” action line, that promotes workshops for the professional improvement of artists and communities with artistic talent. The Foundation carries out lectures, cultural fairs, exhibits, knowledge certification sessions for community creators, social and medical assistance sessions, events by and for the community and advisory sessions for artists.
In 2013, 490 artists and creators received financial aid through national awards, honorary subsidies, and events to pay tribute and acknowledge their talent and professional careers. At least 1,877 artists and creators under social vulnerability conditions received health care assistance during a series of social-medical sessions, as well as the possibility to apply for a retirement pension granted by the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security (IVSS) thanks to a special executive order. Artists requiring special medical assistance were referred to health care providers associated with the Fundación Teatro Teresa Carreño, the Ministry of Health, and the system of social programs known as the “Misiones”. Sixty housing applications were submitted for approval, of which 16 were successfully granted. Counseling was provided to 1,525 artists and creators in the areas of administration, business matters, copyright holding, labor law, and civil law. Artists were offered the opportunity to attend lectures, congresses, forums, sessions and roundtables on subjects such as copyright, social security, intellectual property, the Organic Law on Culture, and two bills awaiting approval that would become the Law for the Fostering and Protection of Artisanal Development, and the Law for the Social, Integral Protection of Artists and National Culture Promoters.
In 2014, 31,168 artists and creators received social, comprehensive assistance, which represents an increase of 210% compared to the previous year.
In 2015, 31,310 artists and creators were serviced, which represents a 7.7% increase compared to 2014, allowing creators within the population to receive social assistance, exercise their rights, achieve inclusion, and have their talent, capacity, and artistic careers recognized; and creating spaces for organization, engagement and acknowledgement of the people’s power from the point of view of culture, benefiting a total of 35,410 artists and creators.
The agency received an annual average of US$ 75,000, under the regular national budget and supplemental appropriations.