Ponta Delgada – Azores 2027 team participates in the IN SITU project

The Ponta Delgada – Azores 2027 team was represented in a meeting that gathered several cultural stakeholders of São Miguel island and researchers of the international IN SITU project, that happened on Tuesday, in vaga – space of art and knowledge.
IN SITU "combines research and experimental actions to advance the innovation-related practices, capacities, and potential of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) based in non-urban areas of the EU". The project gathers 53 researchers and “aims to advance understanding of the forms, processes, and governance of innovation involving cultural ann creative industries located in non-urban areas of Europe and to advance its ability to act as drivers of innovation, competitiveness, and sustainability".
Besides the Azores, Portugal's selected region, this study will focus on non-urban areas in Ireland, Iceland, Finland, Latvia and Croatia. This initiative is coordinated by Nancy Duxbury, of the Centre for Social Studies of Universidade de Coimbra. On a regional level, it is coordinated by Pilar Damião, from Universidade dos Açores.
The meeting had representatives from Anda&Fala Association, Estúdio 13, Fuso Insular, Brui Gallery, Carlos Machado Museum, 9 Circos, the coordinating team of the National Arts' Plan in Liceu Antero de Quental, 37.25 - Performative Arts Centre, Arquipélago - Contemporary Arts Centre, Imprópria, Quadrivium, Fonseca Macedo Gallery, Magma Atelier and São José Choir.
The lack of audience and of an education for the arts and culture were some of the main challenges identified by the participants.
Another issue that was stressed was the absence of a cultural strategy for the region, as well as political support for the sector. The cultural stakeholders emphasised that the existing cultural dynamic is a result of the individual and collective wills of those who fight to create structures in a sector where the need for profissionalisation is not recognised.
The role of art and culture on the combat to economic and social issues of the region was also debated. There was a recognition of the role of culture in terms of social transformation, however the stakeholders mentioned that social issues should be addressed mainly by other sectors.
This was the first initiative of this project in the Azores, mas the research has a four year timeline, ending in 2026.
All members present in the meeting agreed on the importance of continuing such meetings, opening a dialogue about culture and strengthening cooperation, and that this link with academical research is beneficial for the sector.
Besides the picture of this sector, the IN SITU projects presents a capacity-building programme that wants to address the challenges identified in each community.