Cultural subsidies: the Region amputates the Cité du design and its school for €180,000

The affair has kept the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region in turmoil for several weeks. The amounts of the cultural subsidies were decided today during the standing committee of the Region. More than a hundred are downgraded, including in the Loire, in view of a “rebalancing” announced by Laurent Wauquiez.

Significant decline for the Cité du design and the Saint-Etienne School of Art and Design © SEM

After two years of Covid, the timing seems rather ill-chosen. The Region voted this Wednesday on the subsidies granted to festivals, associations or cultural institutions. We told you about it recently, the trend announced by Laurent Wauquiez, who wants to initiate a solidarity recovery across the region, is being confirmed. In Lyon and Grenoble, many players show significant declines, but the Loire is not spared either. A total of 139 regional cultural players would be affected by this decision for a total of €3.2 million.

Min 180,000 euros for the Cité du design and its eco

In total, there are seven cultural structures in the Loire. Among them, the Cité du design and its Higher School of Art and Design (Esadse), which received 480,000 euros in subsidies from the Region, will see the amount rise to 300,000 euros. The same goes for the École de la Comédie de Saint-Étienne, which will be reduced by 30,000 euros, with a vote of up to 250,000 euros. It is also about several festivals: the Rue des Artistes with a discount of 4,050 euros, for a proposed amount of 22,950 euros. But also Les 7 Collines with 3,750 euros less, Curieux Voyageurs and Les Bravos de la Nuit à Pélussin, which show 2,250 euros less respectively. Finally, the School of Orality sees the amount of its grants reduced by 2,000 euros. It now remains to wait for the decision of the Regional Council, which will decide whether or not to validate these amounts.

Drawing up a solidarity plan

In the autumn, the Region wants to propose a new project call system to finance investments for cultural actors. For example, she wants to switch from so-called “annuity” financing to “project” financing. At the same time, she published a press release stating that she ” voted to set up an emergency fund that has received 500,000 euros at this stage for festivals experiencing difficulties in overcoming the crisis “due to the Covid. She also specifies: “that the budget of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has increased by 20% in five years and will not be reduced, in accordance with the commitments of the president of the region, Laurent Wauquiez”.

For elected Loire environmentalists in the region: the argument that the region is withdrawing from aid to actors in metropolitan areas in favor of rural areas does not hold, because the total budget for culture is falling and that even in these areas far from the big cities, structures are victims of a reduction in their subsidy . This is clearly not a rebalancing of subsidies from metropolitan areas to rural areas.

Marc Chassaubéné, President of the Cité du design and Vice-President of Saint-Etienne Métropole, responsible for Design and Digital, also commented: “ I don’t really have the words. I dare to think or hope for a catch-up. Otherwise it would be an unprecedented situation. In the eight years I’ve been elected, I’ve never seen anything like this happen. Certainly because the subsidy approved for 2021 has not been paid out. And then, during the practice, you learn about this decline. The elected officials of the Region have nevertheless voted with us on a provisional budget that includes this subsidy. The Region is morally committed by this vote. it is very alarming. All this without us having answers to our letters. The method is special, we hear that in the press. I hope something can be done. And as for the EUR 500,000 of the solidarity plan, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Either it is a serious management error because it puts many structures in trouble, or it is a political maneuver and it is even more incomprehensible. This is of serious concern, there are very alarming signs, so I can’t believe we’re going to stop there.

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