UNESCO issued the following Press Release on June 14, 2022

UNESCO will provide financial support to Ukrainian artists to support the continuation of artistic creation and access to cultural life, under a pilot program launched by the Organization in partnership with the Ukrainian NGO Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

The war in Ukraine has led to the sudden suspension of usual cultural life in Ukraine: Most artists lost their revenue stream, while art collections are threatened. This situation seriously impacts cultural diversity, which is promoted by the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

“The protection and promotion of artists and cultural professionals is a core mission of UNESCO, with increased urgency in the context of armed conflict. Through their talent and creativity, artists have the power to maintain dialogue and social ties in the most difficult times. They help lay the ground for reconstruction of societies,” says Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.


Grants for art projects

In response to this situation, UNESCO is launching a pilot program “supporting the continuation of artistic creation and access to cultural life in Ukraine” in partnership with MOCA NGO, the lead institution of the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund (created in partnership with Zaborona media, The Naked Room and Mystetskyi Arsenal museum complex).  Already endowed with $100,000 by UNESCO, it will provide grants to artists to support their creative work and ensure that the population continues to have access to culture.

UNESCO and MOCA NGO will place particular emphasis on funding arts projects that contribute to building resilience in populations facing the trauma of war.

Olga Balashova, Head of NGO Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA NGO) says: “ Our organization unites representatives of artistic and expert communities working with contemporary art in Ukraine, systematically develops the sphere, and after 24th of February we felt that importance of our mission have only raised, as cultural front: vibrant and alive voices of Ukrainian cultural professionals and artists are crucial element of sharing our values and vision for future.”


UNESCO steps up its emergency response

The program complements the range of emergency measures already deployed by UNESCO since the beginning of the war to safeguard tangible and intangible cultural heritage, secure museum collections and combat illicit trafficking in cultural property.

Moreover, since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, UNESCO has been monitoring the situation of artists in close consultation with artists’ networks and cultural actors in the country. This work is also carried out in coordination with international organizations involved in supporting artists at risk: PEN America’s Artists at Risk Connection, Artists at Risk (AR)/ Perpetuum Mobile, ICORN, Freemuse, Prince Claus Fund and the PAUSE program.

The UNESCO program supporting the continuation of artistic creation and access to cultural life in Ukraine was supported by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. We wish to thank its donors: the Qatar Fund for Development, the Government of Canada, the Kingdom of Norway, the French Republic, the Principality of Monaco, ANA Holdings INC., the Republic of Estonia, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Slovak Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Principality of Andorra, and the Republic of Serbia.



Media contacts:

Lucía Iglesias Kuntz, UNESCO Press Office, [email protected]

Masha Khalizieva, MOCA NGO PR, [email protected]

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