Mapping Brazil - Creative Industries: Organizations

New in 2015: special report on the creative industries of Brazil – by Gabriel Pinto

Think tank and training centres
Sectors usually associated with culture (music, heritage and arts, performing arts, etc.) are generally more dependent on government or public sector funding and tend to pose more opportunities for professionalization. Thus, in Brazil there are plentiful openings for knowledge dissemination and for using new business models while leveraging innovation to create projects for these sectors. Although Brazil has an outstanding pool of talent in its cultural industry, there is great potential for more cultural managers and producers capable of tackling the increasingly complex and more innovative projects that are being pitched to ever more demanding audiences. In this respect, measured by their importance in providing training and professionalization for the creative industry, and showing a more innovative approach, some of the key players have been Escola São Paulo de Economia Criativa, Instituto Europeu de Design and CEMEC [respectively, São Paulo School of Creative Economy, European Institute of Design and CEMEC]

Likewise, Brazil's creative hubs have increasingly become more interconnected and more value has been attributed to intangible assets, in particular creativity, thus building a new model for networked economic development. To take just a few examples, new forms of employment and practices based on collaboration and co-working, co-creation and crowdsourcing are becoming more widespread. These crucial practices are based on the notion that an open culture with exchange of information and knowledge is important to drive economic prosperity in win-win scenarios in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. A number of institutions have been occupying this space. POP – Polo de Pensamento Contemporâneo [Contemporary Thought Hub] describes itself as a space for research, discussion and intellectual interaction with a more theoretical and philosophical slant. On the other hand, there is Comuna [Commune], a multifunctional space and platform for convergence across different ideas and projects.

A building formerly occupied by Bhering's chocolate factory in the Saúde district of Rio de Janeiro now hosts 50 artists and 20 small firms who have turned it into an effervescent centre comprising studios for sculpture, painting, literature, photography, video, performance, installation, restoration, design, multimedia, and many other forms of art production, boasting a plurality of styles and ideas. A significant amount of space is used for co-working and there are places for creative work and collaboratives, as for example O TEMPLO, Liga Experimental and Space [respectively, Temple, Experimental League, and Space]. Similar spaces in São Paulo are Ponto de Contato, B4i and Escola São Paulo [respectively, Contact Point, B4i and São Paulo School] while Recife has Orbe.

Along with the increasingly widespread role of creativity in adding value to Brazil's supply chains, the new paradigms have emerged that are changing the way organizations work. Traditional management methods – largely inherited from the period in which Brazil emphasized and prioritized development-focused policies – are no longer appropriate. In this respect, employer's organizations have been playing a crucial role, particularly the  FIRJAN System, which took the lead by collecting data, compiling statistics, and setting up the Creative Industry Program  to train new professionals and arrange their placements in conventional industries in the state of Rio Janeiro while working to drive development for creative sectors. In the state of São Paulo, Fecomércio-SP has taken a similar approach, organizing seminars and projects to propagate creative-economy concepts in the state's economy. A related organization, SESC-SP has also consolidated its role as one of the top promoters of culture in the state of São Paulo and its achievements have been recognized nationally.

There is also Itaú Cultural, an institution linked to Brazil's largest financial conglomerate, Itaú Unibanco, which has funded and promoted several creative-economy projects, in particular its chief program known as Rumos [Directions], one of Brazil's top nationwide development projects for the arts. The charter purpose of the nationwide SEBRAE organization is to support small businesses, and in this case growth for creative-economy sectors, by providing management consulting services and incentives to develop infrastructure projects.

Brasil Criativo Incubator Network
The Rede de Incubadoras Brasil Criativo is a creative-economy incubator network that integrates a national project run by the Ministry of Culture's through its Department of Creative Economy, in 13 states: Acre, Bahia, Ceará, Goiás, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, and the Federal District. Brasil Criativo incubators provide space for different sectors and institutions to interact and enable cultural agents to access training courses and consulting services for aspects of business such as strategic planning, accounting, legal assistance, marketing and communication, planning projects and funding, with continuous monitoring, thus bringing together governments, banks, universities and other segments of civil society. Institutions that have joined the program include the ministries of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade; Science, Technology and Innovation; Education, and  Tourism; the state and municipal departments of Culture, Economic Development, and universities, among others.

Brazil's creative-economy managers still have to develop their creative potential, make plans, evaluate scenarios, solve problems, communicate, lead, delegate tasks and motivate people, innovate, and take finely honed decisions in a highly unpredictable context in terms of business success that calls for high-risk investments. Although this subject has gained more visibility in recent years, there are very few creative-economy university courses in Brazil. In general, related courses focus on cultural production – although in most cases with a weak syllabus in terms of business-oriented content – as well as traditional courses for the creative sectors such as the performing arts, film, fine arts, music, architecture, communication etc. Rio de Janeiro's ESPM was one of the first schools to design a degree program for this discipline. The state of Rio Grande do Sul’s Unisinos set up a new school for creative industry with thirteen undergraduate-level programs, MBA program and continued education courses.

Today there are many more degree, continued education and MBA/MBE programs in fields related to creative economy such as cultural production, entertainment, creative industries and creative cities, but most growth has been in short- and mid-length non-degree courses of instruction. A good example of this trend is Perestroika, a creative-activities school with branches in seven or more cities in Brazil. Courses focused on different fields such as entrepreneurship, communication, fashion, street art and cuisine include some more unusual ones such as professional poker, skateboarding for women and a mothering school. Last year, these programs enrolled over a thousand students in São Paulo alone. In addition to innovative content, their differentials include spaces for interaction and practical classes taught by distinguished lecturers.

Private projects within the Creative Industry
Companies such as Garimpo de Soluções, Movimento Hot Spot and Movimento Crie Futuros are supporting construction and development for creative-economy projects, curatorial designs, forums, debates and events on the subject. Artplan is organizing some of the biggest events for sectors of the Brazilian creative economy, and one of its standouts is producing street carnival events in Rio de Janeiro. Then there is Inbrands, the leading company in consolidation and management of lifestyle and fashion brands in Brazil.

Creative industry and social inclusion
The social issue is extremely relevant in Brazil, where some initiatives have been promoting creative economy as a means of transformation. In particular, there is Ponto Cine, a cinema that became a centre for broadcasting and access to the Audiovisual segment in Rio de Janeiro. Similar initiatives include Circo Crescer e Viver [Living and Growing Circus], Observatório das favelas [Observatory of the Favelas] Fundação Casa Grande (in the state of Ceará), Pracatum (in the state of Bahia), and Agência Popular Solano Trindade (Brasília).

Creative Economy Observatories
The Brazilian Creative Economy Observatory (OBEC) was set up by the  Department of Creative Economy of the Ministry of Culture as an entity to produce and disseminate surveys, data and information on Brazil’s creative economy. It holds debates on the subject and fosters an academic-practical environment for research that comprises a network of scholars, specialists, government officials and cultural sector representatives. States' observatories are run in partnership with universities around the country, including UFRGS, UFBA, UFF, UFAM, UFG e UNB.

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