Mapping Brazil - Cultural Participation: Access to Culture in São Paulo

New in 2015: special report on democratization and access to culture in Brazil – by Daniela Ribas

São Paulo (credits: Rubens Chiri, fonte Banco de Imagens do Estado de São Paulo)

The Promotion of Access to Culture in São Paulo
In this section we will point out the main access promotion initiatives in the state of São Paulo. A few projects undertaken by the state government and others by the capital city government will be highlighted. Initiatives put forward by the private sector will also be stressed, as well as others, started by civil society.  The purpose here is not to track all undertaken initiatives – a Herculean task that would only be made possible through full mapping. The objective is to create a starting overview that can be developed over time.

Since the 1990’s liberalizing reform of the State Apparatus, there have been plans to implement the transfer of some public services management (such as healthcare and culture) to Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) . Once plans were set, the State started delegating the implementation of these services, but, different to what happens in cases of privatization, it continued to be responsible for planning, funding and monitoring the activities it had delegated. The transfer takes place through partnerships between the different government levels (federal, state and municipal) and corporate organizations that are qualified to provide said services, which must be non-profit and comply with some pre-requisites in order to be entitled to become a Civil Society Organization. This qualifies them to provide public services based on a management agreement with no expiration date, through which the State establishes goals and deliverables and transfers the funds. Once this process is concluded, CSOs are able to manage art and culture public spaces (such as museums, libraries, theaters, arts and culture schools) as well as carry out programs, projects and cultural promotion and dissemination activities.           

 This model is commonly known as “non-state public management” or “publicization”, and its objective was to make administrative processes more agile and flexible . This model has been the target of much criticism, the main ones being directed at the model itself (which transfers State responsibilities to other entities, whose interests are diffuse), the lack of transparency in the setting up of CSOs, and the possibility that there may be preferentiality biases when management teams are being put together . But, criticism aside, the work being done by some of these CSOs towards increasing access to culture should be noted here.

In the State of São Paulo , there are 20 management agreements between the state government and different CSOs , of which we would like to underline the work done by 8: the Associação Pinacoteca Arte e Cultura (Pinacoteca Association for Art and Culture), which is responsible for the State Pinacoteca facilities, Pinacoteca Station and the Resistance Memorial; the Associação de Cultura (Culture Association), Educação e Assistência Social Santa Marcelina (Santa Marcelina Education and Social Services) - responsible for the EMESP – Tom Jobim - Escola de Música do Estado de São Paulo (São Paulo State School of  Music), and for the music education project known as Guri Santa Marcelina (Santa Marcelina Kid); the Associação dos Amigos do Projeto Guri (Association of Friends of the Kid Project) – also responsible for the Guri project; the Associação dos Amigos do Paço das Artes Francisco Matarazzo Sobrinho (Association of Friends of the Francisco Matarazzo Sobrinho Art Palace) - responsible for the Paço das Artes (Art Palace) and the Museu da Imagem e do Som (Museum of Image and Sound); Catavento Cultural e Educacional (Catavento Culture and Education) responsible for 5 facilities known as Fábricas de Cultura (Culture Factories); Poiesis - Instituto de Support a Cultura (Poiesis – Institute for the Support to Culture), Língua e a Literatura (Language and Literature) - responsible for 5 other Culture Factories and 2 other facilities, in addition to the Oficinas Cultural (Culture Workshops); the Fundação Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo – OSESP (São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra Foundation) - responsible for the Complexo Cultural Júlio Prestes/Sala São Paulo (Júlio Prestes Culture Complex/São Paulo Hall); and SP Leituras - Associação Paulista de Bibliotecas e Leitura (SP Readings – São Paulo State Association of Libraries and Reading) - responsible for the São Paulo Library).

Five initiatives on this list deserve special consideration: Project Guri (managed by the Santa Marcelina and Associação dos Amigos do Projeto Guri CSOs), Fábricas de Cultura (managed by the Catavento and Poiesis CSOs), Oficinas Cultural (also managed by Poiesis), and the work done by OSESP – Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and the Biblioteca de São Paulo (managed by SP Leituras).

Projeto Guri is a policy conceived by the São Paulo state government, established in 1995, even before the creation of the CSOs’ legal framework. It is a free music education program that offers different music courses off school hours. Audiences are made up of children and teenagers between 6 and 18 years old, especially those who are socially vulnerable. Its purpose is to: “strengthen the education of children, teenagers and youths as subjects who have a positive integration within the society and to disseminate musical culture in its wide diversity”. The project’s mission is to enable social and cultural inclusion and aims to “achieve excellence in the promotion of musical practice and the collective practice of music with a view to helping the human development of budding generations”. Students are also provided with social services, which include education, social welfare, healthcare, housing, culture, leisure and work, to name a few . The Associação dos Amigos do Projeto Guri is responsible for 372 project centers in the São Paulo state countryside and coast, as well as 58 project centers at the Casa Foundation , which serves 312 municipalities and close to 35 thousand students a month. Santa Marcelina, in turn, has been responsible, since 2008, for the 38 centers in São Paulo city (27 of them in CEUs – Centros Educacionais Unificados (Unified Education Centers), facilities owned by the São Paulo city hall) and the 8 centers located in the greater São Paulo area (metropolitan area), adding up to a total of 46 centers . The Project, as a whole, services over 50 thousand children and youths throughout the state, and can be considered the “largest social and cultural program in Brazil” . In most cases, these youngsters’ very first contact with the artistic universe happens precisely at the Projeto Guri, which deserves to be in the spotlight for the sheer number of young people it has helped, its capillarity in the state and city of São Paulo, and the contribution it makes to the policy on the promotion of access to culture.

Another relevant initiative with high penetration in the São Paulo state capital is the Fábricas de Cultura. The Fábricas de Cultura Program is a cultural policy developed by the São Paulo state government in partnership with the Interamerican Development Bank – IDB, in association with the State Secretariat for Culture and managed by the Catavento CSOs  (responsible for 5 units in East São Paulo city) and Poiesis  (responsible for 2 units in the South and 3 in the North of the city). Fábricas de Cultura are artistic and cultural education and dissemination facilities open also on weekends. In total, there are 10 buildings, each covering roughly 6.000 m², with different classrooms/rehearsal rooms, a library and a theater. They offer free art courses for beginners, languages, shows that are open to the public, meet and greet sessions with writers, storytelling and workshops, in addition to books that can be borrowed . According to Poiesis, the program provides “an opportunity for young people to experience culture. It was created with the purpose to increase knowledge among young people through the interaction with their own community and participation in workshops and different artistic activities”  .

These facilities were allocated in São Paulo city according to the Youth Vulnerability Index (YVI), which is put together by the Fundação Sistema Estadual de Análise de Dados – SEADE (Data Analysis State System Foundation) in 2000 , and is made up of indicators such as school attendance, teenage pregnancy rates and violence among youths. The higher the index, the higher the priority for the implementation of public policies and the creation of cultural facilities.  Their target audience is vulnerable children and youths between 9 and 18 years old. Hence the importance of this program to the promotion of access to culture: socially vulnerable youths hardly ever have full access to the art world.

Another highlight is the Oficinas Cultural, also managed by the Poiesis CSO . The Oficinas (workshops) are dissemination and cultural education tools. There are 23 Oficinas in total, 7 of which are in the capital, 15 in the state countryside and 1 that travels within the municipalities located in the Metropolitan Area. The Oficinas work with different artistic styles and encompass a wide range of audiences, from children, to the elderly, from beginners, to those with advanced knowledge. Just as in Projeto Guri, the first contact theses audiences have with the artistic universe is at the workshops, which means the project contributes with the policy on promotion of the access to culture.

Albeit on a different front, the work done by OSESP – The São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra should also be pointed out. Although this CSO does not have as broad a footprint as that of Guri, Fábricas, or Oficinas, the institution has constantly been doing a work of excellence towards the promotion of access to culture through the dissemination of classical music.

OSESP played its first concert in 1954 and, over the decades, has become a benchmark artistic institution, both in Brazil and abroad. In 1999, as an addition to its artistic excellence, it inaugurated its striking home: the Sala São Paulo, with an acoustic setup that is up there with the best classical music concert venues in the world. From then on, other stable organizations have been created in addition to the Orchestra, as well as the Education Programs. In 2005 the foundation was accredited as a CSO, and its education center gained attention for the wide-ranging services it provided.

Since 2008, OSESP’s Education Programs have kept a permanent project going: the “Osesp Itinerante” (Travelling OSESP), which goes around the São Paulo state countryside every year playing free open air and chamber symphony concerts, presenting a choir, offering workshops on musical instruments with OSESP musicians and music appreciation courses to over 70 thousand people with the purpose of “democratizing access to high quality symphony music to major audiences” . Another far-reaching project is the “Descubra a Orquestra” (Discover the Orchestra), for public and private schools. It provides teacher training sessions, for teachers with or without any prior knowledge of music, so they can carry out musical activities at their schools and prepare students for classical music appreciation. They also offer audience education for students, who can go to Sala São Paulo and watch a Teaching Concert or an Open Dress Rehearsal, which is defined according to their age group.  São Paulo public school students also have the opportunity to experience the artistic creative process during activities that cover the musical aspects of composing, appreciating and playing: they can take part in the Gincana Musical (Musical Gymboree) – games and quizzes about Sala São Paulo history and architecture and the structure of an orchestra, or the  Fazendo Música na Osesp (Making Music at OSESP) – talks with musicians from the OSESP Music Academy about instruments and an orchestra’s repertoire. Participants in the program receive a programme, which contains information about concerts and shows the distribution of an orchestra on stage, it also includes games on topics associated with the events, which allows students to become more familiar with the concepts they worked on in the classroom and appreciated during the concert. “Música na Cabeça” (Music on my Mind) started in 2010 and includes free lectures open to anyone with an interest in music and meet and greets with well-known musicians playing that season. As of 2014 this project will include talks and debates on current issues. In order to make these debates more far-reaching, the base document for the lectures is published in the “Ensaio” (Rehearsals) section of OSESP’s magazine, which has a free digital version available for download. Starting in 2011, OSESP has also started making the “Concerto Digital OSESP” (OSESP Digital Concert) available, using technology to bring classical music closer to an increasing larger audience. These are concerts played live at Sala São Paulo and broadcast over the internet for free, they can also be watched on mobile devices and have reached over 40 thousand people. The “Falando de Música” (Speaking of Music) program lets those who hold a ticket for a symphony concert season arrive an hour early and sit in a fun and relaxed lecture about the esthetic elements of the piece, the biography of the composers and other facts about the programme that will follow.

To finish, the last initiative managed by a CSO in the state of São Paulo we would like to highlight is the São Paulo Library. It was conceived by the State Secretariat for Culture  based on successful experiences abroad and opened in 2010. Since then, it’s been managed by the SP Leituras CSO . It covers over 4 thousand square meters and was built to be a model project with the purpose to encourage and promote the taste for reading, bringing literature closer to a public that has no close relationship with the act of reading. The facilities were built where the Carandiru Detention Center used to be (which has now been turned into the Parque da Juventude by the São Paulo State Government). One of the main characteristics of the library is making all of its collection freely available to the public, they can handle the books without the need for help by an employee. The collection includes over 35 thousand items, ranging from classics and critically acclaimed books to the latest releases and Brazilian and foreign best-sellers – which sets the São Paulo Library apart from its counterparts. In addition to reading and borrowing books, users can also browse the internet, listen to music, watch films, play electronic games and relax in different communal areas. Other characteristics are: longer hours (including nights, weekends and holidays), full accessibility and adaptation for the disabled (including furniture, qualified staff and books in Braille). The Library also boasts an intense cultural calendar . There are activities such as lectures, storytelling, debates on literary themes, theater interventions, concerts, cultural get-togethers, different courses and games. There are also multiplying initiatives, such as training courses for professionals from other state libraries. In 2014, the Library was attended by 308.082 people, 32 thousand of whom took part in 655 cultural activities offered.

In addition to the CSOs that implement and manage São Paulo State government cultural policies, there are other institutions offering far-reaching services that promote access to culture. One of them is Serviço Social do Comércio – SESC (Social Service of Commerce). SESC is a private institution that has been in operation for close to 70 years. In the State of São Paulo, it focuses mainly on the dissemination of culture, doing consistent work that has become a benchmark in the promotion of access to culture.

SESC was established in 1946, by Decree-law number 9.853, through an initiative by the goods, services and travel business and trade community . SESC is a private non-profit organization funded by a mandatory contribution made by said business community of 1.5% of their payroll. Therefore, the institution is kept with its own capital and inspected by the government through a specific law – currently guaranteed by the Constitution. The original purpose was for the business community to provide welfare and quality of life to their employees and their respective families, and to society as a whole, by giving them access to important and necessary Education, Healthcare, Culture, Leisure and Aid activities. SESC has operations in every state in the country (servicing roughly 2.2 thousand municipalities in every region) ; each state is free to outline its own operating strategies within the scope of the institution and based on regional demands. In total, there are 509 activity centers and 129 mobile units, which include lodging, cultural and educational headquarters and medical offices. They feature 215 cinemas, 249 auditoria, 71 theaters, 17 movie-theaters, 197 exhibition halls and 265 libraries and 56 mobile libraries, boasting the largest private network of theaters and libraries in the country . SESC can also adapt to public spaces and operate within other institutions through partnerships. This system, coupled with the vast number of units, is the basis for SESC’s far reaching perspective. Considering the wide-ranging segments it services (different age brackets and social strata), its geographical coverage, and the vast array of activities offered, one can safely say that SESC’s audience is as broad as the social spectrum . Data from 2013 shows that the institution has gone over the 5.9 million enrollments and accreditations mark a year, adding up to the remarkable number of 742.1 million people served.

Cultural action is one of SESC’s lines of work and its objective is to “make citizens’ access to cinemas, theaters, concerts, museums and libraries more democratic” . In order to do that, it brings together education and entertainment for the promotion of cultural diversity, helping to educate millions of Brazilians. A large part of SESC’s cultural attractions are free or very affordable and reach places that aren’t normally part of the commercial circuit. In the Comprometimento e Gratuidade – PCG (Commitment and Gratuity) Program, created in 2008 to increase the access of low-income segments of the population to education, culture and leisure, funds invested reached R$1.5 billion, of which 8.7 million were invested in free activities . Over the decades, the institution has changed the emphasis on its offerings. It went from being more welfare oriented to, as of the 70’s, offering cultural informal and permanent education programs in a more proposing fashion, providing longer lasting and more significant experiences. The objective is to contribute with individual independence and human development based on the promotion of diversity and the contact with different expressions and ways of thinking, acting and feeling.

SESC has 35 units in the state of São Paulo (19 in the capital and metropolitan area, and another 16 in the countryside), most of which are culture and sports centers. There are yet another 5 under construction, making this the largest SESC network in the country. SESC’s annual revenue was R$1 billion (the equivalent to US$630 million at the time)  and, in 2015, R$1.6 billion , which is reinvested in order to maintain the infrastructure of currently running centers and those under construction, as well as to keep offering regular services at the units.

The São Paulo institution offers the public: cultural, social and educational activities, social travel activities , healthcare and environmental education programs, special programs for children and the elderly, and the pioneering Mesa Brasil Sesc São Paulo (SESC São Paulo Brazil Table) – against hunger and food waste, and Internet Livre (Free Internet) – on digital inclusion. In addition, the organization also features Portal SescSP,  SescTV, Edições Sesc (SESC Publishing) and Selo Sesc (SESC Label), and many magazines (Em Cartaz, Mais 60, Problemas Brasileiros and Revista E). All these publications aim at recording and disseminating its initiatives, as well as discussing social and cultural topics, thereby increasing access to the activities and cultural assets the institution supports and disseminates . In 2014, SESC São Paulo had close to 1.867 million enrolled members, of whom more than 80% earned up to 3 minimum wages. In 2015, over 1.425 million enrollments have been renewed and another 441 new ones made . 22.426.878 people visited SESC São Paulo in 2014 .

Based on the understanding that SESC’s institutional role would be to provide non-formal education processes, as opposed to regular school education, a choice was made to put the emphasis on culture, which is seen as a great tool for change and transformation. Hence the important role played by SESC São Paulo in cultural initiatives . The objective of these initiatives, when put together, is to make access more democratic, provide cultural education and encourage reflection through a vast array of activities in every artistic style and their intersections. SESC São Paulo seeks to understand art as a whole, in its esthetic and social aspects , with an emphasis on international and national contemporary art.

Thus, SESC São Paulo is renowned for the quantity and quality of its decentralized exhibitions and concerts. These take place regularly in the monthly events calendars of the 35 facilities located in São Paulo city, the countryside and the coast. It is further explored through shows and festivals (such as the SESC Dance Biennial , the SESC’s International Theater Show , or the SESC’s International Circus Festival ) and initiatives such as the “Circuito Sesc de Artes” (SESC Arts Circuit) , which takes free shows to 108 municipalities in the countryside. These initiatives are a huge contribution to the São Paulo state cultural agenda. They are characterized by their commitment to the democratization of access and esthetic research, supporting emancipating processes among their audiences.

SESC São Paulo has extended its commitment to culture and also started focusing on cultural management research and education processes. The foundation of the Centro de Pesquisa e Formação – CPF (Research and Training Center) aimed at building a joint space for knowledge production, education and dissemination, enabling collaborative efforts between the institution’s know how, existing data, information and research, and permanent, cross-cutting and emerging themes involving culture and education .

SESC São Paulo’s main contribution to the promotion of access to culture is its affordable, or free, wide-ranging and high quality cultural offerings, which are often combined with mediation processes considered exemplary. Moreover, the organization’s concern with understanding its audience’s cultural habits through surveys  shows an interest in understanding contemporary cultural dynamics and demands in order to conceive its policy on access promotion. Even if, by law, SESC’s priority audience is mainly made up of employees in commerce, there is a will to contribute with the country’s development. To that end, SESC also services communities as a whole, turning its attention to segments where needs and demands are more urgent, such as among youths, children and the elderly . Surveys help understand these groups’ specific demands and enable offerings to be constantly improved. That is how the institution shows its concern with the promotion of access to culture: by ensuring its different audiences, each with their respective dynamics and demands, have more in-depth and diversified cultural practices, the institution helps to increase the desire for culture, a vital element to the promotion of access.

The work done by Votorantim - also as a private initiative, but with a highly diversified institutional scope - deserves to be stressed.  The Votorantim Group  is a 100% Brazilian private corporate conglomerate with emphasis on industrial and financial operations, as well as new businesses, established in 1918 in the state of São Paulo and currently present in 21 countries. The Votorantim Institute was created in 2002 to guide Votorantim Group companies’ investments in social responsibility. It acts based on four fronts: Social Management (geared towards including a process of social management in their corporate strategy); Local Development (plans education processes aimed at helping to create and maintain a Social Management strategy for Business; local partnerships in places where it operates (to identify good practices and make a diagnosis of the reality for local development); and Project Support. In its 13 years, the Votorantim Institute has won titles and awards that validate its work in the field .

The purpose of the Votorantim Cultural Democratization Program, launched in 2006, is to allocate resources to projects that aim to foster the enjoyment, experimentation and experiencing of cultural content by the population, especially those in the 15 to 29 year-old bracket. The idea is to “promote access to artistic and cultural initiatives in every cultural field, in every region of the country, through workshops, circuits, shows, caravans, open presentations” . The Project Support front aims to “strengthen cultural democratization through the support to projects that help to decrease social and cultural barriers that keep the public away from this type of artistic manifestation” . The Project currently supports approximately 50 cultural projects that benefit over 200 municipalities in every Brazilian region . Therein lies the Institute’s main contribution to the promotion of access to culture, even if it does serve the Group’s cultural marketing interests. The Institute supports organizations and projects throughout the country that act on three main fronts: cultural dissemination through free or affordable activities; training of mediators who can facilitate and improve public access; and artistic education through courses and workshops focused on education or professional qualification. Among the supported projects and organizations are some Culture CSOs (such as OSESP and its “Descubra a Orquestra” program), Foundations and Institutes, in addition to public facilities .

As we can see, public policies for the promotion of access to culture in the state of São Paulo are carried out by Social Organizations. In this case, CSOs are mainly devoted to the management of physical facilities and their events, or programs by the Secretariat for Culture for the promotion of access. São Paulo is the Brazilian state that most uses this management model. The Secretariat for Culture itself does not organize a regular cultural events calendar for the areas it covers. The two main events on the Secretariat’s agenda – the Virada Cultural Paulista (Overnight Culture)  and the Mapa Cultural (Cultural Map)   – do not fully meet society’s growing demand for a varied and dynamic cultural calendar. Although the Virada Cultural includes 24 municipalities, it is a very specific initiative, as it only takes place two weekends a year.  Mapa Cultural was conceived mainly to meet the needs of dissemination and validation of amateur artists and is not enough to provide a cultural schedule that is developed based on public demand. Furthermore, the state of São Paulo only joined the National System for Culture in 2014, and has recently undergone significant budget cuts .

In the specific context of the state capital, there are major initiatives by the São Paulo city Secretariat for Culture for the promotion of access.  The main ones being the VAI (Program for the Appreciation of Cultural Initiatives, which had its 12th edition in 2015, and chooses projects by youngsters from the outskirts and is one of the Secretariat’s most successful experiences); the Cultura Viva no Município (Living Culture in Town) Program (which launched a request for proposals in 2014 for the creation of 85 culture stations, which might reach 300 in 2016); the artistic training program, known as “Vocacional” (which is open to anyone over 14 and trains groups to encourage the creative process in different artistic styles); and the PIÁ - Programa de Iniciação Artística (Artistic Initiation Program), which has been promoting initiation in the arts for children between 5 and 14 since 2008 at the CEUs – Culture Centers, Primary Education Municipal Schools and Libraries. The Virada Cultural stands out in the City Secretariat’s cultural agenda as its most important event, offering free simultaneous artistic performances in different artistic styles over 24 hours, non-stop, on stages in the historic downtown area and other city venues, and attended by hundreds of thousands of people; and Circuito SP Cultura (SP Culture Circuit), which aims to have artistic acts featured in different Secretariat facilities, including streets and other publics spaces, such as buildings in the city outskirts. The City Secretariat also supports the Street Artists Movement, and has created an Act to regulate their work as well as a manual that explains how the regulation works. With regard to facilities, the following deserve special mention: the CEUs, well-equipped cultural and educational centers that play an important role due to their location in more socially vulnerable areas; the Casas de Cultura (Houses of Culture), which are smaller and located in the outskirts; the Centro Cultural da Juventude (Youth Center for Culture), which offers an intense schedule geared towards culturally empowering youths in the outskirts with no access to cultural initiatives; and the Centro Cultural São Paulo (São Paulo Center for Culture), a major, centrally located facility, whose architecture stands out for providing direct access from the street to the inside .

The current São Paulo City Secretariat for Culture took office in 2013 and has set the implementation of the City System for Culture as a priority ever since. A public consultation was held on an Act that will regulate the City Committee on Culture, which is currently going through City Council for approval. The Secretariat has been conducting an analysis that will act as a guide for the City Plan for Culture. A collaborative digital platform has also been implemented, known as SP Cultura , which works as a cultural calendar and a mapping tool that enables the creation of cultural indicators. Such initiatives reflect policies at the federal level, however, considering the neglect culture has suffered by previous city administrations over the last 20 years, they seem far from enough in light of the huge demand for cultural activities led by local initiatives.

Although the city of São Paulo shows great concern with endeavors to promote access to culture and the decentralization of its projects, especially since the last administration, the allocation of cultural facilities is still too concentrated in central areas. And, even if there are facilities available in the outskirts, they are not enough to meet the demand for such services. That is what the “Equipamentos e serviços cultural na região central da cidade de São Paulo” (Cultural services and facilities in the São Paulo city central area) study shows, conducted by Isaura Botelho at the Center for Metropolitan Studies. The study cross-referenced data on the geographical distribution of facilities in the São Paulo metropolitan area with information regarding the population’s education and income. The conclusion was that the largest concentration of children and teenagers between 10 and 19 years-old can be found in the city outskirts, creating a type of belt around the municipality. These are precisely the regions and age brackets that would most benefit from cultural facilities. However, paradoxically, these are the regions with the least cultural infrastructure and public transport that would make it easier for them to get to facilities in other city areas. Even knowing that economic barriers are not the only ones hindering access to cultural services, this population’s low-income only makes matters worse.  São Paulo is characterized by an imbalance in the geographical allocation of cultural facilities, with a low correlation between urban growth and the distribution of such facilities. Municipal libraries try to revert this situation through better geographical distribution and investments in IT, but the effort falls short of the demand. Public, state or municipal schools could also contribute to the promotion of access, but, although they are well-distributed, using these venues for cultural purposes is not common practice.  A joint effort between cultural and educational policies that would make artistic appreciation and practice easier would be absolutely strategic to increase cultural capital and stimulate the population’s appetite for culture.

Maybe that is why there are increasingly more Sarau (Cultural get-togethers) events taking place in the São Paulo outskirts (among the best known are the Sarau da Cooperifa  held in a bar in Jardim Ângela, and the Sarau do Binho , held in a bar in the Campo Limpo district), as an effort by communities in the outskirts to find a way around the chronic absence of adequate cultural policies and facilities. Among the initiatives undertaken by society to promote the access to culture, the work done by Periferia em Movimento (The Outskirts on the Move) deserves special mention; a communications collective made up of journalists from the South End of São Paulo whose objective is to monitor, record and publicize cultural and social projects in the city outskirts .

This concludes our highlight on the main initiatives aimed at promoting access to culture in São Paulo (created by the state government, and implemented by CSOs; private organizations; city government and civil society), next, we would like to point out the main measures geared towards promoting access in Rio de Janeiro.

Continue reading Mapping Brazil - Cultural Participation: Access to Culture in Rio de Janeiro