In view of the most recent results of sustained support from the Directorate-General for the Arts 2023-2026, which once again show insufficient public investment in Support for the Arts, we call on everyone to participate in the 'Protest for the Arts', on the 11th , at 8:30 am, in front of the Assembly of the Republic", reads a statement released today by Ação Cooperatividade, in support of Culture and Arts professionals, signed by around 70 artistic structures and structures representing workers Among the artistic structures are Artistas Unidos, Ballet Contemporâneo do Norte, Companhia Clara Andermatt, Escola de Mulheres, Filandorra -- Teatro do Nordeste, Plataforma 285, Teatro Ibérico and Teatro Nacional 21. representative structures of the workers who signed the communiqué are the Association of Visual Artists in Portugal (AAVP), Plateia - Association of Performing Arts Professionals and REDE - Association of structures for to Contemporary Dance.
The "Protest for the Arts", for which it is suggested that "everyone wears black and takes a colored scarf, except white", was convened for half an hour before the start of Minister Pedro Adão e Silva's hearing in the parliamentary committee on Culture , scheduled for 09:00. According to information available on the parliament's website, Wednesday's hearing will be divided into two parts: In the first, the minister will be heard about the 2023/2026 sustained support for the arts, following requests submitted by the PSD, PCP and BE. The second part will be a regimental hearing.
The 2023/2026 Sustained Support Program tenders have been contested by various associations representing the Culture sector, giving rise to several appeals to the Minister of Culture and petitions. When applications opened in May last year, the six tenders had allocated a global amount of 81.3 million euros. In September, the Minister of Culture announced that this amount would increase to 148 million euros. However, this reinforcement only covered the four-year modality of the contests. At the time, the minister mentioned that there had been a large transfer of candidacies from the four-year to the biennial modality. In November, however, when DGArtes began to publish the provisional results of the six competitions, these immediately began to be contested, namely because there was no migration of applications from one modality to the other and there was a great asymmetry between the two modalities.
Once the numbers were known, it was clear that about half of the structures eligible for support, in the biennial modality, lost it due to lack of financial resources, and almost all eligible candidacies, in the four-year period, obtained support. The final results of four of the competitions - Dance, Music and Opera, Visual Arts and Programming - confirmed the provisional numbers, although several applications have complained, in the period of hearing of interested parties. The final results of the Theater and Disciplinary Crossing, Circus and Street Arts competitions still need to be announced, which had a new audience period for interested parties, due to changes in the results.
In the communiqué released today, the structures warn that the non-reinforcement of funds in the biennial modality "will result in the strangulation of Support for Projects [whose applications are ongoing], since the structures not included in the Sustained Support will be forced to compete with one-off projects".
The structures that convened Wednesday's protest claim "the reinforcement of the budget allocation of all DGArtes Sustained Support tenders, which can go as far as guaranteeing public investment in all candidate structures eligible for support, in order to cancel the lack of equity between the biennial and four-year modalities, which subvert all the results of these competitions". In addition, they also demand "the enlargement of the DGArtes teams, including the monitoring committees, whose work should be taken into account for the evaluation of the tender structures" and "the fulfillment of all the deadlines indicated in the Annual Declaration of DGArtes and in the tender opening notices". The structures also want "more ambitious growth in the Ministry of Culture's budget, an end to captivations and full budget execution by the government" and "the maintenance of a permanent dialogue between the Government and all associations representing professionals and structures ".