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Background on Brazilian Cultural Policy - Cultura Viva and Pontos de Cultura

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Living Culture

Full details of this programme can be found (in English) at:

The Brazilian Ministry of Culture (MinC) is launching its deepest and most wide-reaching program in the area of cultural citizenship: Cultura Viva (Living Culture).
Living Culture intends to help bridge the gap by granting access to means of cultural capacity building, creation, dissemination, and appreciation. Its immediate partners are cultural agents, artists, teachers, and social activists who not only see culture as artistic languages, but also realize that it shapes rights, behaviours, and economics.

The goals of Living Culture are to:
o widen and ensure access to means of appreciating, producing, and spreading culture;
o identify partners and promote agreements between various government, non governmental, national, and foreign social sector players with a view to sustainable human development, adopting an approach to culture as “the main form of building and expressing national identity, a way for people to reinvent themselves and think critically”;
o incorporate symbolic references and artistic languages into the process of building
citizenship, increasing the capacity of communities and Brazilian society as a whole to take creative advantage of their cultural heritage;
o empower social and cultural forces, tapping in to the innate dynamism of communities and bringing together actions and support aimed at developing cooperative, harmonious, transformative culture;
o foster a horizontal network of “transformation, invention, making and re-making, so as to weave a web of meanings that involves us all”;
o encourage within educational processes the exploration, use, and appropriation of codes pertaining to different media, artistic and play- What is Living Culture?
o promote culture as expression and symbolic representation, as rights, and as an economics.

Public Priorities
o low-income groups in areas where there is scant provision of public services, both in big cities and in small towns;
o teenagers and young adults who live in socially vulnerable conditions;
o students enrolled in public elementary schools;
o those living in regions and municipalities that are highly relevant to the preservation of Brazil's historical, cultural, and environmental heritage;
o indigenous, rural, and quilombola [remnant runaway slave] communities;
o cultural agents, artists, and producers, teachers and coordinators of primary education, as well as social activists who are carrying out actions aimed at combating social and cultural exclusion;
o all Brazilians who dream of a Living Culture.

Cultural Points
Culture Points will be the building blocks of the wider Living Culture network, organizing culture locally and mediating the relationship between government and civil society, as well as between Points, thus setting up networks according to affinities;

Each Culture Point will be an amplifier of cultural expression in its community.
Where people make (or want to make) music for example, there will be a digital recording studio capable of recording and producing a limited edition of CDs and putting what has been recorded onto the Internet. The role of the Ministry of Culture is to provide the concepts, resources, monitoring, training of monitors, institutional links and the network - a vital aspect of the program. All the Culture Points will belong to a network which allows them to exchange information, experiences, and results. For their part, local partners will provide facilities, management, and a great deal of commitment: responsibility,
transparency, fidelity to the concepts, community involvement, democracy, and exchange.

In some places there will also be a larger Culture Point that will be built or renovated and will serve as a hub for other activities within large regions or state capitals. Communities and creative artists will be able to choose activities, equipment, and training. They will be both users and managers through the mediation of councils and partners - NGOs or representatives of local governments.

Private sector partners will be involved - in order to enable the creation of Culture Points abroad wherever there are significant numbers of Brazilians - and we have signed an agreement with the Ministry of Labor and other partners so that young monitors may receive a monthly scholarship and look to the Culture Points as focal points for vocational training and instruction in citizenship.

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