The mayor of Strasbourg decided to lower the subsidies of the main cultural structures and explained why

Jeanne Barseghian, Mayor of Strasbourg, recalled that culture is the second budget of the City. (©Archive / Ivan Capecchi / Actu Strasbourg)

Recently, the ecologist mayor of Strasbourg, Jeanne Barseghian, announced her intention to lower the subsidies of the city’s main cultural structures.

He detailed the reasons, which are as follows.

“Three strong decisions” for culture

The announcement was made at a press conference before the next city council, which will be held on Monday, December 12.

This time, Ms. Barseghian’s “three strong decisions for creation, for live performance”.

Subsidy reduction

First decision: a 2.5% reduction in 2023 subsidies to the main cultural structures. “There are two exceptions to this: La Laiterie, which will close for renovations soon, and Les Percussions de Strasbourg”, specified the mayor.

Renewal of all agreements »

Second decision: “Give the actors visibility for three years by voting for the renewal of all agreements of goals and means that are about to expire”. “These multi-year agreements […] allow[tent] cultural structures that benefit from these agreements to present themselves in the future”, argued Anne Mistler, Deputy for Culture, before citing “Les Percussions de Strasbourg, Pole-sud, […] the CEAAC |European Center for Contemporary Artistic Actions, Editor’s note]or the Relais association”, as examples of structures that “will be able to present their future in the next three years” thanks to this proposal.

Funding of new projects

Third decision: “We will consider large new funding thanks to the cultural fund of the three-year Strasbourg capital of the Christmas contract with almost 1.5 million euros in new aid for more than 25 projects”.

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Some examples of newly funded projects

“27 projects will be presented to the municipal council in December for an amount of more than 1 million euros”, details the assistant for Culture.

” [Parmi ces 27 projets, on peut citer] the CEAAC residency, creation and European production program, with the deployment of residencies at different levels of Europe – Budapest, Prague, Barcelona, ​​​​​​Rotterdam, Bonn, Basel – and also in the Grand Est region, with the Meisenthal, and obviously related with the structures of Strasbourg”, he describes.

“Another type of example: in the field of music creation, the Chronos project proposed by Les Ensembles 2.2, which is a geolocated sound fiction project, mixing music and literature”, continues Ms. Mistler.

“We can also mention the Parliament series that the City of Strasbourg helps to support”, he added.

The energy crisis is weighing on the City’s operating budgets

In sum, therefore, the City chose, “in consultation with the actors of the cultural world”, he specified, to reallocate part of its costs to dedicate them to the financing of new projects.

A decision made due, in particular, to the energy crisis that caused, for a city like Strasbourg, an explosion of operating budgets, recalls its mayor.

Culture as an “adjustment variable”, denounced the opposition

In a press release issued on Friday, opposition municipal councilor Pierre Jakubowicz, member of the Strasbourg ensemble group (Renaissance, MoDem, Horizons and civil society), considered that “the culture [est la] adjustment variable and [la] victim of the mismanagement of the mayor of Strasbourg”.

“While inflation and the energy crisis hit the cultural actors already weakened by the health crisis, the municipality decided to deal them an additional blow with a logic of budget savings”, denounced the elected official. “These cuts are the result of the inconsistency of a municipality that has burned funds for two years, destroying any budget margin and forcing cuts as brutal as they are absurd,” he explained.

Culture, the City’s second budget, pleads in the end

For his part, the mayor of Strasbourg recalled that “culture is the second budget of the City of Strasbourg, with 86.6 million euros in the operating budget per year”.

“The budget for culture has increased, with more than 4 million euros since the beginning of the mandate”, he underlined.

What about closing museums two days a week?

Still on the cultural front, the City decided this year to close museums two days a week, against just one now. A decision that did not fail to react: the former Minister of Culture Jack Lang, for example, shared a tweet on the subject.

asked by Strasbourg news, the mayor said he was “working intensively on the issue, in consultation with all concerned bodies and trades”. “I hope I can make announcements at the beginning of next year, like I did,” he added.

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