Lebanon/ 8.1 Support to artists and other creative workers  

8.1.2 Special artists funds

Financially, artists are subsidized within the social security frameworks, which take care of artists' rights as mentioned in chapter 5, and summarized as follows, "social security frameworks, mentioned in chapter 5.

When the Lebanese Government adopted the VAT system, some features of the taxes related to the so-called "place of entertainment tax" in the Lebanese law changed. Under such title, cinemas, theatres and amusement places, such as scenes, singing, dance, music by bands, sport playgrounds, circus and amusement parks were classified. Article 5: the 5% fee and place of entertainment tax are levied on the person who is no longer subject to the VAT provided that the tax administration agrees to cancel his/her registration.

In addition to that, there is the subsidy provided for Article 19: two funds shall be established at the Ministry called "Cultural Activities and Industries Support Fund" and "Antiquities and Historical and Heritage Monuments Fund". Those Funds support the activities in the domains dealt with by the General Directorate of Cultural Affairs, and contribute in financing the production and activities of cultural industries and knowledge economics, particularly the production and marketing of films, documents and audio-visual publications. This is, also, a part of indirect subsidization.

On 10 May, 2012, Minister Gaby Layoun has announced the initiation of the Unified Solidarity Fund for Lebanese Artists which aims to provide care of Lebanese artists and ensure a decent living on the health and social level. He stated that "the Fund differs from other Solidarity Funds as being a public-utility institution that offers free services as well as hospitalization. The Fund includes 8 syndicates: Syndicate of Actors: Radio, Theater, Cinema and Television, Syndicate of Professional Musicians, Syndicate of Professional Filmmakers, Syndicate of Zajal Poets, Syndicate of Plastic Artists, Syndicate of Professional Graphic Designers and Illustrators, Syndicate of Professional Artists and Syndicate of Actors: Theater, Cinema and Television in the North. Terms of membership were identified that the interested individual must be a member of one of the aforementioned syndicates, not to be a member of another Solidarity Fund, and must meet the terms of the Fund (Lebanese nationality, Adult…)

Layoun made a brief overview of how the Fund in managed by a Board of Directors consists of one representative for each syndicate (8 members currently) and a government commissioner representing the Ministry of Culture. Members of the Board are appointed by a decree issued by the Minister of Culture who chooses among candidates nominated by the Board of Directors of each syndicate. The Board`s term of office is limited to 3 years.

The benefits of the Fund include: providing compensations for illness, death, physical accidents inflicted upon members and their dependent family members, providing financial support for one-time-marriage and childbirth cases, encouraging education and specialization in all branches and providing financial assistance, grants and loans for this purpose to members and their dependent children, providing pension insurance.

The proceeds of the Fund include:    

  • a fixed annual subscription fee for each member identified by the internal regulations of the Fund
  • 2% fee on the price of tickets for concerts and artistic activities of all kinds to be collected by the Ministry of Finance and deposited monthly in the Fund.
  • 10% fee on foreign artists contracts to be collected by the Ministry of Finance and deposited monthly in the Fund.
  • annual financial contribution provided by MoC and identified by the Minister`s decree.
  • Grants, donations and bequests accepted after the approval of the Minister of Culture.
  • the Minister of Health in Lebanon, in an unprecedented step, announced a comprehensive health insurance at 100% coverage for every Lebanese artist affiliated with any of the following:
  • the Association artists of theatre and cinema, radio and television in Lebanon.
  • the Association of professional musicians in Lebanon.
  • the Association of Movie professionals in Lebanon.
  • the Association of colloquial poetry poets in Lebanon.
  • Lebanese artists association.
  • the Association of planning arts and visual planning.
  • Association of professional artists.
  • the Association of theatre and cinema in the north.

Chapter published: 07-04-2016