The government launches a million euro program for areas with low cultural density


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The Minister of Culture, Pedro Adão e Silva, today launched the €1 million Art and Territorial Cohesion program for territories with low cultural density, in Vila Velha de Ródão, Castelo Branco district.

“We’re talking about territories that together represent five percent of the resident population. But those five percent should really be considered a priority,” said Pedro Adão e Silva.

The governor was speaking to journalists after the presentation of the Partnership Support Program for Art and Territorial Cohesion, which took place at the House of Arts and Culture in Vila Velha de Ródão. The program, with an overall budget of one million euros, will cover 76 municipalities located in 19 of the 25 NUTS III (nuclei of territorial or administrative units).

“What’s also interesting about this program is that when applications are analyzed, those that include a dimension of community commitment and elements of continuity will be valued, i.e. once this support has ended, there will be principles and a rationale for continuing. It’s a question of promoting a certain social rootedness”, declared Pedro Adão e Silva.

The Minister also recalled the existence of several programs to support arts and culture. However, he pointed out that when you look at the map of the country, “there are a number of municipalities that are outside this support”.

“National programs have regional quotas, and that’s a good principle. But regional quotas are ‘flat regions’ and what we notice is that within each region, there are huge asymmetries,” he maintained.

Pedro Adão e Silva explained that this program, when it was conceived, was “designed to complement this inequality within these regions”. “One million euros will be dedicated solely to municipalities which, according to the Portuguese Observatory of Cultural Activities (OPAC), identify municipalities in the country with low cultural density.

Pedro Adão e Silva
Pedro Adão e Silva

The program will support cultural projects lasting up to two years, developed with the participation of local communities, structures, artists and socio-cultural agents.

The mayor of Vila Velha de Ródão, Luís Pereira, declared that culture in inland regions “has been well treated”.

“The municipalities have done a good job, as have the people who promote culture. It makes no sense to say that culture is the poor relation in our budgets”, he stressed.

Legal entities under private law headquartered in Portugal, or informal groups (provided they appoint a natural or legal person with residence or tax domicile in the country as their representative) that primarily carry out professional artistic activities in Portugal, are eligible to apply for the program.

The Art and Territorial Cohesion partnership support program was included in the annual statement of the Directorate General for the Arts, for 2023, published last January, with an allocation of one million euros, in the map of planned support.

In March, during a visit to Leiria, the Director General for the Arts, Américo Rodrigues, placed this program in a “new context” of “correcting regional asymmetries, of territorial cohesion through culture”.

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