With galleries and museums shuttered throughout Prague and the Czech Republic and public events attendance at an all-time low, many local artists are facing an uncertain future.
The City of Prague has announced that it will partner with one of Prague’s major museums to give struggling artists a helping hand while creating opportunities to create more art installations and open-air exhibits for the public space.
The Arts for the City program is a joint initiative of Prague City Hall, Prague City Gallery (GHMP), and the Institute fo Urban Planning. It is aimed at supporting the emergence of contemporary art in public space in the capital through temporary and permanent installations.
Prague councilor Hana Třeštíková announced last week that Prague will release a total of 10 million CZK from the Art for the City program to support contemporary artists. For this amount, the Prague City Gallery will be able to buy new works of art for its collections or be able to finance murals or large-scale paintings on the walls of Prague buildings.
A portion of these funds will also go to the co-organization of short-term exhibitions in the public space.
“Especially at a time of waiting for government action, when cultural institutions are in great uncertainty, I consider it important not to forget any area of culture that has been affected by the current situation,” says Hana Třeštíková, Councilor for Culture and Tourism.
She says that the money will help purchase major works by contemporary Czech artists, whose work is still missing from the gallery’s portfolio while visitors to Prague will then be able to enjoy art objects either in a public space or at planned exhibitions in the Gallery.
Part of the funding will also go directly to artists commissioned to create murals and large-scale paintings on exterior walls. Additional funds will go to projects focused on the presentation of contemporary art, which was expanded by this year’s Art for Prague program.
“I believe that thanks to this initiative, artists will get the help that will encourage them and show them that Prague is not indifferent to their situation,” adds GHMP director Magdalena Juříková.
Prague has already supported various cultural institutions, organizers of online cultural programs, and book publishers. The NIC 2020 charity event, organized by Třeštíková in cooperation with the GoOut cultural portal, asked culture fans to purchase tickets for a non-existent cultural experience to support their favorite theater, music club, or cinema.