The Point of Culture (Second edition)

Célio Turino, Paul Heritage, Rosie Hunter, with Poppy Spowage.

ISBN: 978-1-903080-19-1  (2018)

Brazil’s Cultura Viva (Living Culture) programme marked a radical shift in the way that artistic activities were recognised and funded. Carried forward by Célio Turino, Secretary of Cultural Citizenship, it brought into being the Pontos de Cultura: points, places and practices of culture that ‘de-silence’ and promote existing expressions of popular culture. The programme recognised the transformational power of culture, and created bridges and networks between cultural and social initiatives.

The Point of Culture: Brazil Turned Upside Down – an adapted translation of Turino’s 2009 book ‘Ponto de Cultura: o Brasil de baixo para cima’ details the emergence and evolution of the Cultura Viva programme and its pontos de cultura. The book also features the voices of UK arts practitioners who have been in dialogue with Brazilian counterparts on the Ponto de Cultura programme.

The Point of Culture reflects our interest at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) in the potential for the arts and culture to bring about social transformation and empower people, particularly those who are most vulnerable.

We have chosen to republish The Point of Culture for two reasons. First, it will be a valuable point of reference as we develop plans for Phase 2 of our Inquiry into the Civic Role of Arts Organisations. The second reason is the success of The Agency, a creative programme for young entrepreneurs, which has secured funding from the Big Lottery Fund to help it roll out nationally. It is modelled on the Agência project in Brazil’s favelas and was supported by the Foundation as a pilot programme five years ago.

We believe The Point of Culture will be an important influence in the ongoing debate about how art positively affects people’s lives, and the ways this could be fostered and supported.

This second edition includes a revised Foreword by CGF director, Andrew Barnett, and Introduction; A letter to the author, by director of People’s Palace Projects, Paul Heritage.

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Updated on 24 January 2019