On Wednesday afternoon I was at the Purcell Room for ‘The Point of Culture: Imagination at the Service of the People’. This was a debate chaired by Jude Kelly and featuring TT Catalão, Secretary for Cultural Citizenship at the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, Tadeu di Pietro, Director of the Centre of Integrated Programmes at Funarte (the Brazilian equivalent of the arts council), Paul Heritage from People’s Palace Projects, Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England and Madani Younis, Artistic Director of Freedom Studios in Bradford. Madani was one of twelve representatives of UK arts organisations to visit Brazil in March as part of the Points of Contact exchange programme organised by People’s Palace Projects. It was a fascinating discussion about the Pontos de Cultura system in Brazil and its potential application in the UK. It was particularly interesting to hear about the role of artists in positions of power within the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and Funarte and the extent to which Pontos de Cultura has broken down barriers between professional and non-professional artists.
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