“Virada cultural”: Social, inclusive and effective multicultural productions in favor of the Right to the City

1. Context

São Paulo has over 12 million inhabitants and 14,9 million tourists per year. It is the most important economic center of Brazil, and the capital of culture in Latin America, being a gastronomic hub, full of leisure, knowledge and entertainment. Also, São Paulo is an innovative, vanguard and modern city that preserves a mix of over 114 nationalities in its architecture, arts and gastronomy, and hosts the largest street carnival in the world.

2. São Paulo and culture

Creado por la Secretaría Municipal de Cultura en 2005 y promovido por el Municipio de San Pablo, Virada Cultural es uno de los eventos más grandes de América Latina que ofrece un programa cultural gratuito y variado durante 24 horas.

El objetivo del evento, así como el de la política cultural de la ciudad, es democratizar el acceso a la cultura, reforzar la dimensión cultural en la calidad de vida de la ciudad y su desarrollo sostenible, basándose en el patrimonio, la diversidad, la creatividad, las oportunidades para ejercer los derechos culturales, el conocimiento y la educación para todos, y los acuerdos de gobernanza adecuados.

The event aims to democratize access to culture, reinforce the cultural dimension in the quality of life in the city, and its sustainable development.

Virada Cultural está estrechamente vinculado con la Agenda 21 de la Cultura. Permite que la gente acceda a sus propias expresiones culturales y las transmita en todo el territorio, prestando especial atención a los más vulnerables; promueve los productos culturales y el diálogo entre lo tradicional y lo moderno, lo regional y lo global; reconoce la importancia de la cultura en los espacios naturales, centros históricos y demás áreas de la ciudad y los ocupa sosteniblemente con expresiones artísticas y culturales y actividades educativas para la participación e interacción cultural; contribuye a la economía local y a la generación de puestos de trabajo e ingresos, y promueve el turismo cultural.

El objetivo de Virada Cultural fue reducir la distancia social e igualar el acceso a la cultura en una ciudad tan grande y diversa como San Pablo. Es por ello que la Secretaría de Cultura se asoció con otras áreas del gobierno, el sector privado y el tercer sector y las comunidades internacionales (ODS 17). Además, se realizan acciones transversales con otras políticas públicas, como ser el uso de los parques para atracciones culturales y la promoción de la educación ambiental (ODS Metas 4.7, 11.7. 13.3 y 15.a), la distribución de un kit para prevenir las enfermedades de transmisión sexual (ODS Meta 3.3), una campaña para reducir el daño y ofrecer lugares para la asistencia especial de mujeres y niños (OSD Metas 3.5, 5.2 y 11.7). Los espectáculos también son traducidos al lenguaje de señas y las películas y obras de teatro cuentan con audiodescripción (Metas 10.2 y 11.7). Los residuos se recolectan segregados en el lugar del evento, para ser posteriormente reciclados y transformados en fuente de ingresos (Metas 8.4, 11.6 y 12.5). Hay talleres, actividades y pasantías (ODS 4) y toda la población puede moverse segura y libremente por toda la ciudad y acceder a los espectáculos y arte de manera gratuita, promoviendo la inclusión (ODS 11).

La estrategia de Virada está alineada con la Nueva Agenda Urbana, ya que reconoce el valor de la cultura y la diversidad cultural y su contribución al desarrollo sostenible de las ciudades, y destaca la necesidad de proteger el patrimonio (ODS Metas 8.3, 8.9, 11.4 y 12.b).

3. Project goals and implementation

3.1. Main and specific objectives

Virada Cultural aims to o¡er cultural events, promoting access to art, culture, entertainment, education, sport and health, to people of all ages, social classes, nationalities and preferences in di¡erent regions of the city.

Specific goals

The project seeks to promote social interaction, generate a sense of belonging to the population, consolidate the abundant vitality of São Paulo’s culture, and position the city as one of the largest cultural capitals in the world through the enhancement of memory, cultural occupation of the city, promotion and belonging to public facilities, literary dissemination, audiovisual broadcasting, reunion with the modernist values, recognition of the cultural power of the city, and a broad process of integration and communication.

Last year, Virada Cultural offered more than 1,200 cultural attractions throughout the capital of São Paulo.

3.2. Project development

Virada Cultural had the following phases:

  • Planning: Budget, date, stage, and themes definition, a survey of necessary infrastructure, meeting with partners and supporters.
  • Pre-production: Curatorship, meeting with municipal bodies, institutional articulation with partners.
  • Production: Hiring artists, development of visual identity and graphic publicity, meetings with municipal bodies for urban logistics, the participant’s safety and health, setting up stages, and communication of activities.
  • Execution and budget: Approximately 18.000.000 invested in 250 points of the city spread across the 5 macroregions.
  • Obstacles: Good communication and good security.

Main actions developed

Virada Cultural’s main objective is to increase circulation and access to culture for all citizens. In order to do so, its programming has been built in a democratic way, allowing artists or cultural producers to register online, presenting proposals and artistic projects. The City Hall subsequently analyzes and selects proposals from any cultural language: popular and classical music, dance, circus, cinema, theater, visual arts, gastronomy, children’s shows, popular culture, street artists, fashion, etc. Gender equity, racial diversity and inclusion of people with disabilities are aspects considered in this selection.

Last year, Virada Cultural offered more than 1200 cultural attractions throughout the capital of São Paulo. Also, the Inclusive Culture program was carried out, a partnership between the Municipal Health Secretariat and the Municipal Secretariat of People with Disabilities.

In addition, the 2019 edition was the first to have a live broadcast of the Virada Cultural program throughout Brazil, allowing people to follow part of this year’s marathon of shows by Spcine Play - the only public streaming platform in Brazil.

Results

Last year, Virada Cultural reached its 15th edition with the largest number of attractions and host points in its history. Unprecedentedly, it occupied all 32 subprefectures of the city, with more than 1200 free activities. Its last edition caused a positive impact of R$ 235 million on the city’s economy. The project also attracted many tourists, new chains were created, and the largest gastronomic centers were able to open during the 24 hours of the event.

4. Impact

4.1. Direct impact

Impact on local government

Virada Cultural has created many public-private partnerships, forming a vast network with the Social Services of Commerce and Industry, Morreira Salles Institute, MASP, Banco do Brasil Cultural Center, Itaú Cultural, Circulo Italiano, Britsh Council, various Consulates and the Municipal and State Secretariats.

Broader impact on the city and its population

The project has economic and social impacts, with significant changes in the city’s cultural life. It provides an opportunity to encounter di¡erences, bridges, tolerance, and diversity. Virada Cultural 2019 had a positive impact of R$ 235 million on the city’s economy. The financial volume of 2019 showed that more than 5 million people attended the event. Thereafter, the average expenditure per person was R$ 81, and R$ 404 per tourist staying in the city during the two days of Virada Cultural.

Virada Cultural has economic and social impacts, with significant changes in the city's cultural life.

4.2. Evaluation

The SPTuris Tourism and Events Observatory conducted a public profile survey during Virada Cultural 2019. The survey confidence level is 95%, and showed that 57.9% of the participants believe that the organization of the event has improved or improved a lot compared to 2018’s edition. Only 5.5% consider that the organization has worsened. The public also praised the diversity of the events, new attractions and talents in the shows.

4.3. Key factors

Virada Cultural thas key principles that contribute to reinforce the cultural dimension in the quality of life in the city and in sustainable development (heritage, diversity, creativity, opportunities to exercise cultural rights, knowledge and education for all, and adequate governance arrangements).

The project is also one of the most important local events and represents several of the strategic cultural movements of São Paulo City Hall, aligning the city with its great vocation and positioning it as one of the largest cultural capitals worldwide.

4.4. Continuity

The project is being expanded and improved in each edition. Annually, the City of São Paulo schedules the allocation of technical and financial resources for Virada Cultural, thus ensuring its continuity. Moreover, in addition to its own resources, the City Hall works in partnership with other spheres of government, the private sector, the third sector and the international community in organizing and financing the event. Several actions of Virada Cultural became a symbol for other actions from all spheres of the city during the year. Our challenge for the next editions is to expand to places with the lowest HDI and difficult to access, where there is still no cultural equipment.

5. Further information

São Paulo was a candidate for the fourth “UCLG Mexico City – Culture 21 International Award” (November 2019 – May 2020). The jury for the award drew up its final report in June of 2020, and requested that the Committee on Culture promote this project as one of the good practices to be implemented through Agenda 21 for culture.

This article was written by Kaliane Santos Oliveira, International Advisor, São Paulo, Brazil.

Contact: ksoliveira@prefeitura.sp.gov.br
Website: www.capital.sp.gov.br

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