Mérida, May 5th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Wednesday Venezuelan Minister of Culture, Francisco Farruco Sesto, announced the birth of Venezuela’s National System of Popular Cultures (SNCP) – a nationwide effort to foment the development of popular culture and the artists behind it.
First announced by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on 28 February of this year, the nationwide effort to bring together and support Venezuelan artists of popular culture has been allotted some 300 million bolivars ($69.7 million US) for its initial efforts.
“This project is about roots,” affirmed Sesto. “It is about identity, about the present, and it is about a dream for the future. It is a necessary creation.”
Speaking from Venezuela’s Center for Latin American Studies Rómulo Gallegos (CELARG), in downtown Caracas, Minister Sesto invited all members of Venezuela’s diverse cultural community to join the new national system, mentioning specifically those artists involved in publicly-financed efforts and/or institutions, members of the private art community, those engaged in any number of artistic groupings, collectives, and etc.
Minister Sesto also outlined the National System of Popular Cultures’ approach to supporting “cultural creation,” describing six (6) areas of cultural development in which the SNCP will focus its efforts:
1) Transferring cultural knowledge and traditions among the Venezuelan people; 2) Strengthening of the nation’s cultural roots and identity; 3) Making cultural groups ignored in the past more visible to the whole of society; 4) Organizing of exhibits, performances, displays, etc; 5) Fomenting of an economy supportive of artists in the field of popular culture; and 6) Supporting those artists with economic difficulties and/or health-related challenges.
Of the 300 million bolivars ($69.6 million US) made available, Sesto explained that the National System of Popular Cultures “prohibits” any of these funds from ending up in the hands of “government officials.” Instead, affirmed Sesto, the resources are “to go directly into creation. With these resources we are not going to finance logistics – no, this is for the creators, the interpreters, the protagonists,” he explained.
According to the Venezuelan News Agency (AVN), the country’s Cultural Cabinets – which the Ministry of Culture currently operates in each of Venezuela’s 23 states – are to make their offices available for the registration of popular culture artists interested in participating in the new cultural network.
In addition, the Ministry of Culture is currently developing a website to allow for direct communication between Venezuelan artists and the nation’s cultural institutions, as well as for artists to submit feedback on the system’s successes and failures, this according to Saulibeth Rivas, Vice Minister of Culture for Human Development.
Speaking on Caracas-based radio station ALBA Ciudad 96.3 FM, Fidel Barbarito, President of Venezuela’s National Center for [Musical] Disks, called the National System of Popular Cultures “a stimulus for social organization in the realm of culture.”