The impact of Covid-19 in the cultural and creative sectors

As humanity is facing a huge challenge, the Covid-19 battle has an impact in our lives: the health system, the economy and the cultural life. Museums, festivals, cinemas, theaters are still closed and some of them are struggling to remain open with physical distancing measures.

Les ateliers de l’association PARIS ATELIERS ©Paris Ateliers

Paris-Ateliers is a national organisation based in Paris. The Parisians have been familiar with the organisation since 1977 under the name ADAC. In 2007 it was renamed Paris-Ateliers. For the 2020-2021 season, Paris-Ateliers offers amateur practice in more than 100 disciplines, mainly in the field of plastic arts and crafts with nearly 520 weekly classes organised through the year. With limits to 10 people enrolled in every class supervised by professional artists, the 100 disciplines are offered in 28 locations throughout Paris. 

How did Paris-Ateliers respond to the coronavirus outbreak?

Stephania Mathioulaki, the sector manager, told CultureXchange about all the measures they had to take so the classes could reopen safely in September. Undoubtedly students and teachers have to wear a mask as is compulsory during the classes. Thankfully both students and teachers are not bothered by the masks as they only have to use their hands so the classes can easily proceed with the new measures. 

Furthermore, being a public sector organisation, Paris-Atelier had to implement very strict rules about its employees too. The employees were monitored by an advisor in charge of the new Covid-19 measures. If an employee tests positive for Covid-19, the advisor will give them guidance and ask them and their close contacts to stay home to recover.

Thankfully they did not have to cancel any classes as they managed to apply the new set of rules, such as maintaining a distance of at least one metre between everyone, increasing desk spacing, cleaning and disinfecting between, during and after the class, installing plexiglass dividers and opening the window to allow for air circulation. As this is the easiest and most effective ways to improve ventilation, teachers are required to open the windows or the door every hour. 

Les ateliers de l’association PARIS ATELIERS ©Paris Ateliers

After the curfew, the timeline of the classes had to change too.

Under these circumstances, they rescheduled all the classes before 8pm so that students and instructors could be home before 9pm. Indeed in these uncertain times, Paris-Ateliers took measures so the students and the teachers have been able to protect themselves from the virus but smaller organisations may not survive the coronavirus crisis, because those rules are hard to implement and require a lot of rethinking that smaller organisations may not be able to put into practice.

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