An “endangerment of culture”? Or a fairer distribution of subsidies? The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region has decided to reduce the envelopes granted to cultural actors in the city of Lyon, without lowering its budget dedicated to culture, namely 62 million euros. It is thus a question of “rebalancing” the subsidies in a “solidarity and fair” way by favoring the establishments which have suffered the most from the health crisis but also of better distributing the money according to the territories.
Results ? The Opéra de Lyon, the biennial of contemporary art and the Villa Gillet will be the first concerned by this decision. “We have helped a lot certain structures, it was not necessarily the role of the region to help them so much”, justifies Sophie Rotkopf, vice-president delegate for culture, in the columns of Progress.
A “brutal announcement” for the town hall of Lyon
Concretely, the biennial of contemporary art will be cut 200,000 euros on the pretext that its “cash remains sufficient”. The Opera, whose management has been pinned by the regional chamber of accounts, will have to settle for 500,000 euros less, a decrease of 20%, but it will benefit from an envelope of more than 2 million euros in the end . As for the Villa Gillet, considered “a very Lyon structure”, it will be able to say goodbye to its 350,000 euros annually. Or a third of its total budget.
The town hall of Lyon, which says it learned the news “through the press”, criticizes a “brutal announcement”. “These budget cuts were taken without consultation with the partners and in the middle of the calendar year, thus threatening activities and jobs”, criticizes the mayor of Lyon Grégory Doucet. And to add: “Through this decision, the region seriously jeopardizes these institutions already strongly impacted by the health crisis. »
Not the first financial withdrawals from the region in the metropolis
As for the metropolis of Lyon, it is indignant at a lack of “real knowledge of local realities”. “This announcement comes at a time when all communities should be working to strengthen access to culture for all,” she said in a statement.
“This decision is all the more incomprehensible in that it reduces funding for structures that have been able to combine local work and national, even international renown. Isn’t it however the role of the region to support the actors whose work shines in its perimeter, and beyond, in an equitable way? asks Cédric Van Styvandael, vice-president of the metropolis of Lyon in charge of culture.
Bruno Bernard, president of the metropolis of Lyon, recalls that the region had already withdrawn from work projects for the Part-Dieu and Perrache stations, but also from the Worldskills competition, actions to improve the quality of the air as well as part of the funding for training. “It is clearly not up to the challenges we face today,” he concludes.