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The Ponta Delgada City Council presents the 9 Bairros publication, the Ponta Delgada 2030 Cultural Strategy and the Azores 2027 candidacy project

Last Wednesday evening, in Coliseu Micaelense, the Ponta Delgada City Council presented the 9 Bairros publication, in paper, the Ponta Delgada 2030 Cultural Strategy and the project of the Ponta Delgada| Azores candidacy for the European Capital of Culture – Azores 2027.  
On the occasion, the Mayor of Ponta Delgada, Pedro Nascimento Cabral, highlighted the municipality's commitment to a Municipal Cultural Policy, whose average funding exceeds 2.4 million euros per year and is focused on decentralisation, diversification of offer, creation of new audiences and awareness of education through art.
This cultural policy is also based on the enhancement of support infrastructures, as well as of heritage, on the support for creation, exhibition and dissemination, and on the strengthening of networks and partnerships with local sociocultural agents.
He explained that the reinforcement of municipal investment in Culture is reflected in its entirety in the Ponta Delgada 2030 Cultural Strategy, which was presented in the emblematic building of the Coliseu Micaelense.
"The strategy is sustained in the various municipal plans and should benefit from the regional and European available plans, stressing that it is already under implementation and, furthermore, programmed in three phases until 2030" - he said. 
Reaffirming the Municipality's desire to move on to the second phase of Azores 2027 (the presentation will take place on the 10th of March), the Mayor said that this project is "a determinant impulse to the new cultural paradigm that is intended for Ponta Delgada in a decade”.
Culture, he stated, "is an effective linking point between the different agents of development; it enhances social, cultural and business progress, and affirms identity", and Azores 2027 "reinforces our ambition to reaffirm our European citizenship and commitment to the celebration and deepening of the European project from the Azores, aiming for a real European Archipelago of Culture.

Ponta Delgada 2030 Cultural Strategy 

For Pedro Nascimento Cabral, Azores 2027, which is part of the Cultural Strategy of Ponta Delgada 2030, "is already an indicator of the change in the cultural paradigm that we so much long for, as it is the only one, among the Portuguese candidacies, that is supported by a Civic Movement with more than 800 subscribers in the nine islands, citizens from different areas, sensibilities and age groups of the community, who are the true guardians of this project”.
Leaving a word of recognition to the Civic Movement, the Mayor said that this is "another guarantee to fulfil the vision of the Cultural Strategy of Ponta Delgada 2030 in what is its purpose of implementing rooted practices of collaboration between entities and cultural agents of Ponta Delgada, São Miguel and the Azores.
For the Mayor, the Cultural Strategy of Ponta Delgada 2030, approved by the Municipal Assembly in December 2021, "does not end with the candidacy or its much desired implementation. It is a realistic strategy, since it is aligned with the main European and international strategic agendas in which the year 2030 is a major global milestone regarding the thematic priorities for Culture and other associated sectorial contexts. It relies on the possibility of working in articulation with the whole Archipelago, with Europe and the World, having culture as a catalyst for social, cultural and economic transformation, aligned with the main European and international strategic agendas".
He added that the strategy is also humanist, once "it integrates education as a facilitator for reading the heritage legacy and the possibilities of creative expression as tools for the construction of citizenship. It also includes the partnership with the University of the Azores in the scientific potential for systematised and up-to-date knowledge of cultural practices and their impact on the communities’ well-being".
Ultimately, it intends to "create a sense of place, knowledge and recognition of the physical and immaterial place to which we belong, the global archipelago that we are, as well as the ways and means that can benefit the most relevant economic, social and environmental challenges of today, in addition to the legacy of a fairer and more inclusive society for future generations".
As an integral part of the Cultural Strategy of Ponta Delgada 2030, Pedro Nascimento Cabral highlighted the inclusive and collaborative role of the programmes associated with it, reinforcing the meaning of that role in the Azores 2027 candidacy, such as 9 Bairros, the participative digital publication, now available in paper, also aiming to "create connection points between the Azorean islands and between all those who live there and are inspired by them".

A comprehensive project

In the beginning of the presentation, the Councillor for Culture and Executive Coordinator of the Azores 2027 candidacy, Sérgio Rezendes, said that this project covers the knowledge of the identity of the Ponta Delgada inhabitants, the rescue of memories, the seven arts and the intergenerational and intercultural dissemination.
"We want to involve all those who live here, our Diaspora, those who chose our land to live and those who visit us, promoting entertainment in our 24 parishes, with special attention to the historic centre of Ponta Delgada, and the return to events that mark our identity, such as the Senhor Santo Cristo dos Milagres (Holy Christ of Miracles) Festival, the Divine Holy Spirit Festivals and all the events that this municipality has always promoted before the pandemic" - he stressed.
António Pedro Lopes, Artistic Director of the Azores 2027 candidacy, whose work was recognized by Pedro Nascimento Cabral, besides presenting all the priorities of this municipal project, highlighted the importance of this sector at different development levels.
The Cultural Strategy of Ponta Delgada 2030, was presented by the consultant and cultural expert from OPIUM, Lda, Ana Pedrosa, municipality’s partner in this project.

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