The second table of the seminar. Photo: Jessica Mangaba/ Itaú Cultural

Held in São Paulo on the 21st of October, the seminar “Cultural Management: Contemporary Challenges”, organized by ARTE!Brasileiros and by Itaú Cultural, it brought together managers, specialists and artists to discuss essential topics about management in current times, in a context of economic and political crisis. While the first table attended by managers from important institutions in the country, the second round brought together two artists, Gabriela Noujaim and Jonathas de Andrade, and two specialists in cultural management and creative solutions, Ana Carla Fonseca and Kátia Araújo de Marco Scorzelli.

After the presentation by the editorial director of the ARTE!Brasileiros, Patricia Rousseaux, the table began with a speech by Gabriela Noujaim. Graduated in engraving from the School of Fine Arts at UFRJ, the artist said that much of her training took place in free courses at EAV Parque Lage, with professors such as Dionísio del Santo, Evany Cardoso, Anna Bella Geiger and Fernando Cocchiarale. “They were very important courses in my training as an artist and if they weren't free I wouldn't be able to do it”, she said.

In addition to presenting his work, which deals with the body, memory and ancestry and raises political questions about indigenous and environmental causes, Noujaim entered the topic of cultural management when talking about his ten-year experience with projects sponsored by the cultural centers of Banco do Nordeste . Through the institution, which has offices in Sousa (PB), Juazeiro do Norte (CE) and Fortaleza (CE), the artist has carried out more than a dozen projects in the region. “It was fundamental for me to get to know the interior of the country, to know our culture”.

“These cultural centers of Banco do Nordeste, directly linked to the federal government, also have some cultural points that they support in smaller cities. And they are currently facing many difficulties, they are at risk,” he said. “And I consider the permanence of these centers essential, because in these cities they are the only existing cultural movement, which provide access to theater, cinema, contemporary art and free art workshops.”

Noujaim presented one of his works made in Sousa, in partnership with a local musician, and also spoke about his research with the Indians of the Maracanã village, in Rio, about his show Maraca, with videos and installations exhibited at the Simone Cadinelli Arte Contemporânea gallery, and about the work he presented in his participation in this year's ArtRio – and which is now part of the MAR collection.

The second to speak was the artist from Alagoas, Jonathas de Andrade, who highlighted the importance of scholarships, incentives and residencies in his career. “I am completely clear that if I were starting out in this current situation, I would have much more difficulty developing myself as an artist,” he said, referring to what he called a “process of scrapping and cultural dismantling that we are experiencing today in Brazil”.

Multimedia artist, Jonathan participated in the 7a Mercosur Biennial, from the 32a Bienal de São Paulo and did residencies in Jordan, Holland and England. The artist told about his trajectory in the arts, which began after dropping out of completing his law school at UFSC and choosing to take the Social Communication course at UFPE. At the end of his training in Recife, Jonathas presented his first exhibition, of photographs, which was mounted at Fundação Joaquim Nabuco after a selection process for young artists. “And at that moment, when I was trying to understand myself as an artist, all the incentives, grants and public possibilities were fundamental in the way things unfold.”

This first work also resulted in a publication financed by Funcultura, “a fund from the state of Pernambuco that was a partner in several crucial moments of my career”. The first show in São Paulo, in turn, took place at Itaú Cultural itself. At different times, the artist also had the support of Banco Real, Funarte and biennials, among others. “And this makes me think that it is urgent that both institutions and companies that have conditions develop programs focused on the arts”.

“At this critical moment, we have ecological disasters, genocides and a number of urgent issues. But, to think of culture as an articulator of all this, to give this country a real breath, I think supporting the arts is also urgent, because we are dealing with memories that persist”, concluded Jonathas, who during his speech also presented works how tropical hangover, The fish, looking for Jesus e Caravan Museum of Man and the Northeast.

The next presentation was by Ana Carla Fonseca, public administrator at FGV, master in administration and doctor in urbanism at USP, advisor to the UN and the IDB on creative economy and cities. She spoke especially about her work with Garimpo de Soluções, a company she runs alongside Alejandro Castañé and which is focused on the creative economy, culture, business and city development.

Fonseca presented five examples of projects developed or monitored by the company. The first of these was the work done by New Zealander Tui Te Hau, a specialist in the digital revolution, for the National Museum of New Zealand. Director of the Mahuki innovation hub, which encourages innovative businesses focused on museums and cultural heritage, Tui Te Hau developed a project that transformed the museum into an effervescent place, increasing management efficiency and creating new sources of revenue.

The second case presented was a project that exemplifies how it is possible to work with the traditions and intangible heritage of a place. A competition held to select the visual identity of sardines (a traditional and widely consumed food in Portugal), “understood as an element of connection with issues of revitalization and Lisbon identity”, had repercussions in the local economy in different ways. An old local ceramics company, for example, started to produce tableware stamped with the sardines selected in the competition, creating a new and profitable branch of the market.

Fonseca also spoke about the work of the Cuban company Habaguanex, which for more than 20 years has helped to revitalize the historic region of Habana Vieja through a careful project of heritage management. “Because the city is always a great platform for discussions, and a great excuse to discuss the economy,” he said. In the case of Havana, the company managed to restore more than 300 buildings, giving them uses ranging from restaurants and hotels to social housing.

The last two cases she presented were that of a pizzeria in Mexico and a speaker company in Chile. The first, created by a young Mexican, is an example of a hybrid business model, in which for every five pieces of pizza sold, the company allocates a piece to homeless people who have a history of drug problems. In the Chilean example, in turn, a project that deals simultaneously with ancestry and technology was responsible for creating the Mapuguaquén speakers, made in clay structures using traditional local techniques.

The last participant to speak at the second table of the seminar, Kátia de Marco briefly presented the work of the Brazilian Association of Cultural Management (ABGC), of which she is founder and president, before providing an overview of the challenges for cultural management today. . Kátia, who is also the coordinator of the postgraduate course in cultural and social studies at Universidade Cândido Mendes and director of the Antonio Parreiras Museum (Niterói), spoke about ABGC's work both in the area of ​​education and in militancy in cultural causes. “Today we filed a request to challenge the public notice for the concession of the Museum of Tomorrow, as it is a totally wrong public notice”, she said.

About the current scenario, the professor drew a small picture of the situation of cultural policies in the first two decades of the 21st century. “And these decades have very different characteristics. We started the century in a very promising way, with high hopes, having this binomial culture and development in a very open and very free way”, she said. “Culture appears at that moment in its expanded dimension, interacting with different layers of knowledge, of instrumental life, in exchange with the economy, as a support for development policies, as a channel of communication between different fields.”

In Brazil, according to her, this was reflected in the work of the Ministry of Culture, based on a humanistic and social vision. “This is before the humanistic blackout that we are experiencing in this second decade.” From there, she traced an overview of some ideas, concepts and events that illustrated this period, in a context of bankruptcy of the neoliberal model at the end of the 20th century. ideas of sustainability, technology, management, citizenship, well-being and inclusion. In this transition there is also a need for action and empowerment of civil society, as explained by the president of ABGC.

At the same time, considering social, environmental and political issues that spanned these two decades of the 21st century and led to the current obscure scenario, phenomena such as the scarcity of resources, the chaotic growth of cities, terrorism, migratory flows and the rise of far right. “And in this scenario, to think about the future of the planet, it is necessary to create exits, alternatives, new institutionalities, new business models and new concepts”, said the professor. The answers often come from the artists, “if we think that art is like a radar, which anticipates and at the same time reflects its time”.

“One thing that seemed unthinkable, and that we are experiencing, is this authoritarianism with an appeal to censorship in art. And if we think about why this is impacting the cultural environment so much, we will see that in Brazil about 70% of cultural facilities are linked to public management, to governments. And then we stop to think that maybe it's time to detach a little from the State, create mechanisms of autonomy in artistic institutions”, defended Kátia. Solutions such as endowment funds, for example, emerge, among other alternatives for “this moment when we no longer have that atmosphere of the first decade of this century, of culture being expressed in inclusive cultural policies and socialization”, she concluded.

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