Operating grants: Integrity in the arts

The building blocks of a subsidy dossier with a strong business foundation are: personnel policy, budget, fair practices and good governance. Add to that “integrity”: also important. So, now you have a solid tower. One standing strong. With an integrated vision of professionalism in culture. 

According to law 

The cultural sector of course is not outside the scope of the law. An artistic organisation must also be in order with health and safety regulations at the workplace. Two attention points:

  • Psychosocial well-being. In other words: ensure that people feel good at work. And try to catch problems like stress and burn out. 
  • Inappropriate behaviour. In other words: ensure that physical and psychological violence does not take place. And no bullying or sexual misconduct. 

For everyone 

It’s written in the Labour Act. But freelancers have a different status than permanent employees. Strictly speaking, they are not covered by that law. The same for volunteers. May you therefore leave them to their fate? No, but you already knew that. 

Indeed, the sector is indeed striving for professionalism across the board. Thus in your application, interpret psychosocial well-being as broadly as possible. And for everyone. For example, permanent and casual employees must be able to contact the reporting channels. 

Which reporting channels? 

Which reporting channel is best for your organisation depends on several parameters. An occupational health service can advise you on this. In any case, whether it is an external organisation, a health and safety advisor or a confidential adviser… As long as each employee has access. 

In advance 

Want to share your problems at work with someone? Then, of course, that function must also exist. Don’t wait for an incident to occur. Prevention in the area of health and safety, by definition, takes place beforehand. 

Admittedly, not so simple. Awareness-raising is needed in all areas: from the employees at reception to the board of directors. In order to arrive at a preventive and ethical approach together, your organisation must enter into a dialogue. 

The subsidy provider aims to start that process on time. Which is precisely why this is an important part of your subsidy application. 

Together. And not just in any old way  

In summary? Integrity is about psychosocial well-being and preventative measures to ensure health and safety. Which also includes the remediation of inappropriate behaviour. Quite a task.

Which is why it is at the same time a shared responsibility. From organisation to individual. Awareness-raising needs to involve everyone and be present everywhere.  

Sound like we are repeating ourselves? That’s because this criterion is more than a purely formal requirement. If you work on integrity, this is done based on a vision of what kind of arts organisation you want to be. And this goes together with good governance, personnel policy and fair practices.

Questions? Contact us!

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