What are the ministries of culture for?

Good or bad, without these organs there would be no one who would drive the citizens' creative projects in most of Latin America

What are the ministries of culture for?

Many of us have had creative ambitions, ranging from taking classes in theater, dance, painting, or writing from children, to choosing design, literature, theater, among others. Culturally, engaging in these types of activities is not usually well regarded, particularly because it is not considered a stable business. However, more and more governments see the benefits of investing in these industries, as do private actors.

Leer en español: ¿Para qué sirven los ministerios de cultura?

Therefore, most Latin American countries have bodies in charge of promoting creation and preserving culture, which are usually Ministries or Departments. How do these institutes benefit the culture of a country?

The central role of ministries in promoting creation

One of the initiatives that promote new creative projects are the different prizes awarded by the ministries of each country. For example, if you are from Bolivia you can participate in the Eduardo Abaroa Plurinational Prize of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This initiative has different categories, to reward the best in performing arts, graphic arts, original popular arts, audiovisual, fashion design, research, literature, music, journalism, visual arts, digital visual arts and more. This is an example of a prize designed to drive the vast majority of the creative industries, but there are also more specific and specific initiatives.

In Nicaragua, on July 18, the call for the National Prize for Natural Fibers and Fabrics 2018 of the Nicaraguan Institute of Culture was launched. This is an example of an initiative aimed at a very specific industry. According to the call, the purpose of this award is "to stimulate creativity and innovation and reward the best designs applied to Natural Fiber and Tissue materials, recognizing their creators and promoting Production in Popular Art". The three winners will be awarded a prize of 5,000 Nicaraguan córdobas (about US $ 160).

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In Paraguay, the call for the Virtual Photo Contest Memory 1A organized by Cultura Paraguay is open, which aims to "Capture the vision or perspective of citizenship in relation to the process that develops since the incident occurred in 2004 and the construction of the First Site of Memory of the country", according to the official website of the organ. For this contest, the first winner will get 7,000,000 guaraníes (more than $ 1,200 dollars). In all similar entities of Latin American countries there are similar calls, often unknown and therefore missed by citizens.

In addition to promoting new creations, another purpose is to ensure that what has been created is not lost

A significant part of the Ministry of Culture of Argentina is the Mariano Moreno National Library. According to the official website, the library "founded as a Public Library of Buenos Aires within the framework of the May Revolution, collects and protects, through the most modern librarianship techniques, the materials with which different ideas have been forged and epochs of the country, which makes available to the public as an opportunity to rethink the enigmas of our collective culture".

In this library a high percentage of the cultural history of Argentina is preserved, which the public can also enjoy and study. One of the outstanding tools is the digital collection, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world and contains digitized copies of books, manuscripts, and more.

In Uruguay, there is the National Library of Uruguay, which is also a part of the Ministry of Education and Culture of this country. It also has different collections and digital archives and seeks to preserve some of the cultural products of the South American country.

As with the prizes and competitions, initiatives such as national archives and libraries, which are publicly administered and thus remain open to citizens, there are throughout the continent. With them, governments seek to create more cultural products, but also that what is believed is not lost.

LatinAmerican Post | Laura Rocha Rueda

Translated from "¿Para qué sirven los ministerios de cultura?"

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