Freelancers and self-employed people in the event industry are particularly hard hit by the current crisis. Through no fault of their own, they are falling through the aid cracks of the federal, state and local governments and are now dependent on basic benefits (in Germany Hartz IV). To help them, an independent solidarity fund has been formed with #handforahand, whose funds are distributed monthly by a committee. Lightpower and MA Lighting are jointly supporting the initiative.
Monthly, non-bureaucratic distribution of financial aids
So far, more than 80,000 events across Germany have been canceled due to the Corona pandemic, according to statistics from the "Corona versus Culture Newsletter" published by the German Cultural Council. This primarily affects freelancers, solo self-employed workers and micro-enterprises in the cultural sector, who have to cope with massive losses of revenue. The emergency aid programs of the federal government, states and municipalities in the billions to cushion the existential consequences, unfortunately do not reach all those threatened in their existence.
The goal of #handforahand is to help those freelance stage and sound technicians, lighting technicians, stage hands and event assistants in a solidary, fast and unbureaucratic way with financial means. Because they are an indispensable part of our cultural infrastructure. For this purpose, donations are collected in a private solidarity fund and distributed monthly by an independent allocation committee.
MA Lighting: "#handforahand international scope"
Lightpower and MA Lighting have decided to work together to support this initiative and, in turn, the freelancers and self-employed in the industry. "With our support, we want to help those who, in the crisis, were faced with nothing virtually from one moment to the next," said Herbert Marx, managing director of Lightpower. While in other places government aid and reserves would have helped them get through the first few months of the crisis, he said, it was these freelancers who immediately saw all their income disappear. "In #handforahand, we see an initiative that specifically supports precisely these affected individuals and ensures that aid arrives unbureaucratically where it is needed," Marx continues.
The solidarity initiative has an international scope, adds MA Lighting Managing Director Stephan Saremba. "The current situation is not limited to a national level, but is a global problem. With our support, we want to send a clear signal that we are aware of the situation in our industry and are doing our part to improve it as best we can for the many people affected."
Dorian Steinhoff, initiator of #handforahand commented on the cooperation with Lightpower and MA Lighting: "We are extremely happy to have strong supporters at our side with Lightpower and MA Lighting, who know the needs and hardships of the industry, have understood them and have been committed to them for years. On behalf of the entire association, I would like to thank them for this great commitment in difficult times. Without companies taking responsibility in this way, #handforahand would have nowhere near the capabilities we have to mitigate pandemic impacts of those who have been hit economically for their livelihoods."