2027 is a future that starts today

Equipa da candidatura de Ponta Delgada – Azores 2027

The covid-19 pandemics insisted on keeping us apart, and we weren’t yet aware of the possibility of a war in European territory, when around 800 people came together to dream about the construction of a fairer and more balanced society grounded in Culture. Ponta Delgada accepted the challenge and put forward a bid to become European Capital of Culture (EcoC) in 2027, which ended up finding partnership in all other Azorean municipalities.

We gave some steps forward, some steps back, the world has changed and we’ve changed with it. We are a different team, but we continue to embody a collective dream, from all to all.

What was started, in 2021, by António, Gina, Nuno and Carolina, is now developed by António, that keeps the artistic direction, by Diana and João, that assume project management, by Rita, responsible for outreach, by Inês, responsible for communication, and Paula, who’s in charge of production and administrative functions.

These six are joined by a network of contributors and a battalion of dreamers, born or converted, that dare to imagine a shared and expansive future.

This future is coming everyday, with small and big steps. It came to us with the 58 ideas we received in the open call “Archipelago of Projects”, with the 150 photographs submitted in the “Our Nature is Human” contest, with the hundreds of contributions we gathered with our journey through the region, where we put the “9 Islands in Conversation”.

It knocked down doors with the nine artistic residencies that happened in all islands, that united Arquipélago –  Contemporary Arts Centre, Part’Ilha –  Cultural Association for Local Development and a network of producers and venues all over the region, as well as with the initiatives that were implemented with the microfinancing of “Hand in Hand”. In partnership with Cresaçor, we are, once again, supporting inspiring ideas for local communities.

© Hugo Moreira
© Hugo Moreira

We are moving ahead with our eyes set on the next big goal: the delivery of the bid book, on october 21st. The document that granted Ponta Delgada a place among the final four cities (alongside Aveiro, Braga and Évora) will grow and evolve.

This ‘book’ portrays the city and region, explains where we want to go, imagines a strategy to reach that place and describes how this Atlantic land is also Europe. That vision will, once again, be presented before an international jury, in december, in Lisbon. Before that, some panel members will visit the final four cities, ending in Ponta Delgada.

The final judgment is already scheduled: december 7th, at 14:00 Azorean time, 15:00 in mainland Portugal, in a press conference that will take place in Centro Cultural de Belém, in Lisbon. There, the next Portuguese EcoC will be revealed.

Whatever the result, this bid opened a window to the future. In it, culture serves as a leverage towards inclusion, the cultural and creative sector connects with other sectors and creates networks that promote a sustainable economic development, grounded on the capacitation and professionalisation of its stakeholders and a culture of wellness that respects the natural and human cycles.

That is why we are working until march, keeping contact and promoting new pilot-projects like Human Academy (HA!), that want to leave a trace of evolution.

2027 has already started.

Ponta Delgada – Azores 2027 candidacy team.