The pandemic has affected the daily life and situation of the Portuguese (and worldwide) population differently depending on geography, age and occupation as well as economic and social situation. And if culture is recognized as one of the sectors most affected by the restriction, sub-sectors in that area are also particularly affected, including educational services and young people’s access to art and cultural enjoyment. It was the awareness of this reality, of which little was said, that led four dozen artists, animators, and structures to band together in a new association – Proto (#Professionals of Culture for Children, Youth and Community #), who settled in is formalization routes.
The idea came about before the coronavirus spread. The pandemic “only accelerated an already ongoing process and the desire to structure a group of people with activities and common interests in this area,” says PUBLIC Simão Costa, pianist and composer who is also spokesman for the new association.
A presentation statement with the historical contextualization of the start of public policy on access to arts and education – after April 25, 1974 and the subsequent accession of Portugal to the European Community – which would later extend to the creation of educational services, followed by A Kind of Entitlement Plan is the Proto Association’s first public action.
From now on and during the first half of this year, the association will take care of contacting the Ministry of Culture, public institutions and municipalities across the country to ensure that the pandemic has not gone to bed across the country for the past three decades the work of educational services achieves connecting schools and families with museums, libraries, city cinemas and foundations.
“We are talking about a line of action that has been consolidated into cultural activities in recent years and has already had a very important expression in other European countries – the range of cultural events for children and young people,” notes Simão Costa. The Proto spokesman says it is now necessary “to think about the impact of the pandemic on society in general, but also about what should or shouldn’t change, what shouldn’t succumb to the difficulties the pandemic is causing us all.” that “all activities that deal with young people were absolutely abruptly minimized or even reduced to zero after the first wave of the pandemic since March last year”.
to build bridges
A second step in the implementation of the new federation will be to build bridges between peers and “build bridges” while realizing the real dimension of this area of activity. “It is a task to be done when you consider that the number of people and artists devoting themselves to this field has increased dramatically in recent years, and that they are so spread out across the area that we cannot know.” says Simão Costa.
In this area, Proto Associação proposes to complete the survey carried out by the various representative structures of the cultural sector such as the Cena / STE union, the network, the public, etc., in dialogue with the Ministry of Culture with a view to the culture Definition of an artist statute that protects the specificity of the profession.
In addition, “the creation of a professional category of cultural, art and educational mediators with the appropriate legal, tax and administrative framework” to ensure that these workers are also entitled to cultural assistance is one of the four demands set out in the Manifesto de Presentation of the new club.
The others are: the establishment of educational services on their own budget and equivalent to other types of programs in all public cultural institutions in the country; the creation of a specific funding line for activities that articulate arts and education; and the inclusion and continuity of artistic activities in schools or support from schools during these pandemic times.
“A necessary struggle”, emphasizes Simão Costa, in front of “an object and a target group”, which is often overlooked in these times in which we live.
A program (and a set of requirements) to which more than a hundred artists and collectives subscribe, including musicians such as Joana Gama, Nuno Cintrão or Sérgio Pelágio; Actors and directors such as Catarina Requeijo, Leonor Cabral, Luís Godinho, Margarida Mestre, Maria do Céu Guerra and Tânia Cardoso; Dancers and choreographers such as Aldara Bizarro, Leonor Keil, Madalena Victorino, Marina Nabais and Sílvia Real; Artists like André Letria and Catarina Mota; or structures such as Companhia do Chapitô, Barraca e Bonifrates, Porta 33, Produções Real Pelágio and Companhia Cepa Torta.