The DOV’s Cultural Policy Demands

The German economy has been growing for several years running. Federal, state and municipal governments’ coffers are fuller than they’ve been in a long time. Yet little of it reaches the culture sector. Orchestra and theatre financing still has problems of a mainly structural nature.

The DOV is therefore committed to securing long-term public funding for orchestras and theatres through the following measures:

1. Financially strengthen the entire culture sector

Culture significantly helps reduce any growing social tensions because cultural identity holds a society together. That is why it is necessary to financially strengthen the entire culture sector, including in rural areas.

2. Sustainable and adequate financing for orchestras and theatres

Orchestras and theatres are public services. They must be economically independent and sustainably financed.

3. Secure appropriate remuneration and labour agreement provision

In order for orchestra members to be fairly paid, unsatisfactory labour agreements and any remuneration beneath the agreed thresholds must be gradually phased out.  Any inequalities with other public service sectors must be removed.  Remuneration for professional orchestra members must comprehensively follow public sector salary development. Public sector funding and financing agreements must include appropriate labour agreement provision.

4. Strengthen federal government responsibility

With the Exzellente Orchesterlandschaft Deutschland (Germany’s excellent orchestra scene) programme, the federal government financially supports innovative projects by 31 orchestras and public-broadcaster choirs. It also participates in financing the Berliner Philharmoniker and is increasing grant funding for the Berlin Opera Foundation. Such initiatives should be continued long-term and further extended.

5. Preserve the funding base for the public service broadcaster, including its orchestras and choirs

If the public service broadcaster were to concentrate more on its core tasks in future, as requested, then public broadcaster orchestras and choirs will have a key role. They fulfil their cultural and educational role in an exemplary manner with musical outreach projects and by testing new forms of performance.

6. Compliance with minimum social standards

Publicly financed cultural projects must be obligated to adhere to minimum social standards when employing artists.