Debate “Culture: an essential service”

Debate poster

Tonight, at 9:30 pm, we will be talking with Ana Isabel Bragança and Ricardo Baptista (ondamarela), Hugo Cruz (creator and cultural programmer), Madalena Victorino and Giacomo Scalisi (artistic directors of Lavrar o Mar), Márcio Laranjeira (Lovers & Lollypops) and Vera Mantero (dancer and choreographer, O Rumo do Fumo).

Assuming that Culture is an essential asset, how is it perceived by official bodies and professionals in the sector? What language do they use to position themselves in relation to this fact? How do they see themselves within the the country’s economic and social frame? Does an essential asset need “support” or investment? Is an essential asset served by professionals who receive fees or by aficionados who receive charity? Does the support/investment aim to support professionals in the sector or guarantee the right of all citizens to cultural participation?

United for the Present and Future of Culture in Portugal

Dear Mr.President of the Republic, President of the Assembly of the Republic, Prime Minister and Minister of Culture,

On 19th and 26th of April 2020, the following representative structures of the sector were gathered: Fundação GDA; Plateia – Associação de Profissionais das Artes Cénicas; CENA-STE – Sindicato dos Trabalhadores de Espectáculos, do Audiovisual e dos Músicos; Performart – Associação Para As Artes Performativas em Portugal; Acesso Cultura; Rede – Associação de Estruturas para a Dança Contemporânea; and the formal and informal groups – Precários Inflexíveis; Artesjuntxs; Artistas 100%; Comissão Profissionais das Artes; Intermitentes Porto e Covid; Independentes mas Pouco; M.U.S.A. – Movimento de União Solidária de Artistas; e Ação Cooperativista – Artistas, Técnicos e Produtores.

From this meeting there is a clear consensus that both formal and informal institutions and groups, which represent workers from the Culture and Arts sector, are united and committed to identifying necessary and urgent measures for implementation during this period of emergency caused by Covid-19. At the same time, we strongly believe that it is crucial to act with civic responsibility and with a clear strategy for the future. Culture and Arts are key agents in the development of Portuguese society and therefore, it is vital to promote communication between the various institutions. To achieve this, a coordinated dialogue is required between the Ministry of Culture and the ministries of Work, Solidarity and Social Security; the Ministry of Finance; the Ministry of Education; and the Ministry of the Economy (also the State Secretary of Tourism).

The scope of work within the Culture and Arts sector is wider than is normally understood. Workers are employed across a multiplicity of roles which have not yet been mapped sufficiently. Recognising this transversality and diversity, we offer our collaboration towards increased justice and equity, recognising the social needs of thousands of workers across the country. Contrary to what has been declared publicly, the transverse emergency measures – meaning social security measures for independent workers and measures of urgent support from the Ministry of Culture – leave behind a substantial number of workers from this sector. The known cases of people in desperate situations reveals the magnitude of this calamity. What is also tragic is the chronic underfunding from the Ministry of Culture and its lack of ability to liaise with the sector in an informed, transparent and serious manner.

We demand the creation of strategies for the short, medium and long term for the Culture and Arts sector that meets its urgent needs.

1. The urgent implementation of measures to guarantee an effective social protection, leading to the legislative consecration of social benefits specifically for Culture and Arts workers.

2. The availability of an emergency fund with values that have been fairly considered and are suitable to the dimension and impact of the emergency in the sector.

This is also the moment to create the basis for:

1. The passing into future legislation of the specific measures generated by the emergency situation, including the hiring of staff.

2. The mapping of the scope of the Culture and Arts sector and the creation of appropriate cultural policies.

We believe that the union of these different groups and individuals, and the creation of strategies together, demonstrates the willingness to create sustainable dialogue and solidarity within the sector. The current emergency needs answers and actions now, as well as a vision for the future.


What are you thinking about…?

Event poster

What are our colleagues thinking about? What is it that makes you think, what is it that inspires you in this very unusual moment that we are all experiencing? How do you see cultural participation, in any of its aspects, in the medium and long term? What impact can our current learning have (or should have) in the future?

We invited colleagues of different ages, who live and work in different parts of the country, with different responsibilities, to share their thoughts with us. It will be on Wednesday evenings, from 9pm to 10.30pm, in the months of April and May.

While we are dealing with the emergencies of the moment, this time can also serve to imagine the future. There are more colleagues that we would like to hear, many more than the nine Wednesdays in April and May. If this format works well, we’ll extend it.

Coronavirus/COVID-19 and the cultural sector

(Last updated on 6.7.2020)

Crises like the one we are experiencing at this moment, caused by the coronavirus / COVID-19, have also got a significant impact on the lives of self-employed workers. Cultural professionals, many of whom live in an extremely precarious context, will be particularly affected. The cancellation or postponement of cultural initiatives, absolutely necessary to contain the spread of the virus, will have very serious consequences on their lives.

This is a time when we have to rethink our practices, consider our responsibilities (collective and individual, political and of citizenship), find ways to support the sector and show solidarity.

Access Culture will be gathering here information on initiatives and resources made available in different parts of the world.

On this page, you may find: information on measures taken in Portugal and other countries in order to support the sector; resources and orientations; information on campaigns, manifestos and petitions; links to some specific online initiatives; opinion articles and news regarding the pandemia and the sector.


1. Resources and guidelines

Association of Independent Museums (AIM): UK government and sector advice

Association of Children’s Museums (ACM): Resources to Help Guide Your Museum’s Response to Coronavirus

Célia Sousa (ESECS/CRID/CICS.NOVA.IPLeiria/Politécnico de Leiria), Adaptação para escrita simples e com pictogramas das recomendações para visitantes de museus

Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, Online meeting accessibility

CINARS, International Survey On The Impacts of COVID-19 On Performing Arts International Mobility 

Colleen Dilenschneider, What Will Make People Feel Safe Attending a Cultural Entity Again?

Compendium of Cultural Policies and Trends, Comparative overview: financial measures and COVID-19

Counterpoints Arts, Artists in lockdown

COVID-19 and freelance artists resources

COVID Creatives Toolkit

Creating New Futures: Working Guidelines for Ethics & Equity in Presenting Dance & Performance

Creative Scotland, Resource Directory for Covid-19

Creatives Unite

Decision House, ALVA Attractions Recovery Tracker

Direcção Regional de Cultura do Alentejo, Boas práticas para a reabertura de museus, palácios, monumentos, sítios arqueológicos e outros espaços de natureza cultural na região do Alentejo

DGLAB, Recomendações de boas práticas na reabertura das bibliotecas da Rede Nacional das Bibliotecas Públicas durante a pandemia da COVID-19

ECSITE, COVID-19 resources: plans and guidelines for reopening

ECSITE webinar, Audience research and COVID: opportunity or obstacle?

ECSITE webinar, Equity & diversity: supporting an inclusive response to the corona crisis

European Cultural Foundation, Culture of Solidarity

Fun Palaces, Tiny revolutions of connection

HEVA, COVID-19 resilience: Creative Industry Options and Strategies

ICOM, Let’s talk (digital) inclusion

ICOM, How to reach your public remotely

ICOM/OECD, Webinar: impact, innovations and planning for post-crisis

ICOM Portugal, 25 recomendações para a reabertura dos museus

IETM, Performing arts in times of the pandemic: status quo and the way forward

IETM, Live arts in the virtualising world

Ilenia Atzori, Museums re-opening (padlet)

Museums Association, Covid-19: the ethics of contemporary collecting

Museums Association, Public “highly cautious” about returning to museums

Museums Association, Taskforce to support reopening of cultural sector in England

NEMO, Museum lives in post-pandemia (webinar)

Observatório de Políticas de Comunicação e Cultura, Impactos da COVID-19 no
setor cultural português: Resultados preliminares de março de 2020

On the Move: Corona Virus: Resources: Arts, Culture and Cultural Mobility 

Shugall Research, Coronavirus Theater Survey

Slover Linett Audience Research, Culture and Community in a Time of Crisis

Springboard for the Arts: Principles of ethical cancellation

Springboard for the Arts: Coronavirus/Covid-19 resources for artists

Stéphane Davet, Rosita Boisseau, Brigitte Salino et Sylvain Siclier, Rouvrir les salles selon les préconisations sanitaires du ministère de la culture

Take A Part, NON-Digital Ways of Engaging Creatively in a COVID World

Theresa Machemer, Italy’s Museums Reopen With Vibrating Social-Distancing Necklaces, Limited Admission

UNESCO, Museums around the world in the face of COVID-19

WolfBrown, COVID-19 Audience Outlook Monitor

WolfBrown, Audience Outlook Monitor – Australia – Phase 1


2. Articles and posts

Acesso Cultura, Em que pensas…? (debate summaries in portuguese)

Adele Redmond, Museum freelancers to sector: ‘Fight for us’

Alex Greenberger, Reopening a Museum After Quarantine: See Photos of Temperature Checks, Face Masks and New Systems

Alex Marshall, Will socially distanced rehearsals leave space for good theater?

Alexandra Prado Coelho, Madalena Victorino e Giacomo Scalisi: à procura da resposta “mais humana”

Adrienne Lalli Hills (Wyandotte Nation), #KeepThePeopleDancing: Futures in Digital Engagement

Andrew Anderson, Tomorrow’s World: Classical Music beyond Isolation

Andrew Miller, The other side: resetting the dial for inclusion

Andrew Taylor, Safety, Solvency, Services

António Pedro Lopes, Não estamos todos no mesmo barco

António Pinto Ribeiro, O cultural no mundo que há-de vir

Arlene Dávila, In Memoriam of the Art World’s Romance With Diversity

Artie Vierkant, Flatten the cube: Post-internet art’s lessons for our current crisis and what comes after

Artnews, Museums in Europe at the time of Coronavirus

Atta Tarki , Paul Levy and Jeff Weiss, The Coronavirus Crisis Doesn’t Have to Lead to Layoffs

Beth Ponte, Reabertura cultural além dos protocolos

Brian Hogarth, Code red  for the museum education profession

Brian Logan, Comedy’s coronavirus crisis: ‘performers are in deep, deep trouble’

Carlos Moura-Carvalho, Medidas para a cultura em estado de emergência

Cherie Hu, The legal underbelly of livestreaming concerts

Charlotte Higgins, After the war, the arts came back stronger. They can do so again now

Dan Hicks, Before lockdown, the Public Was Agitating for a Revolution in the Way Museums Operate. Will This Crisis Finally Force Through Change?

Dan Spock, Museums: essential or non-essential?

David Resnicow, Museums Have Moved Online, But They Must Reinvent Themselves to Thrive

Deborah Cullinan, The time for hope and imagination

Deborah Fisher, To Survive the Challenges Ahead, Cultural Institutions Will Need to Redefine the Value of Art. Here’s How They Can Do It

Dennie Palmer Wolf, Teaching artists as essential workers: respect, collaboration and heft

Ellice Engdahl, Empathy-Informed Balance in the Age of Coronavirus and Beyond

Emily Wilson, At this museum, education staff prove more vital than ever during pandemic

Evan Dawson, Learning from experience with isolated audiences in lockdown

Fergus Linehan, Why it’s time to rethink the Edinburgh International Festival

Frances d´Emilio, Uffizi, accustomed to taming crowds, looks to outbreak’s end

François Matarasso, This is what we´re working to protect

François Matarasso, What are we saving and why?

François Matarasso, How can community art continue?

Gareth Harris, L´International museum group commissions artists to make ‘balcony art’

Genevieve Beller, Rebuilding a better theater industry post-pandemic

Gerador, Em cenário de pandemia, as fragilidades da cultura ficam a descoberto

Gerador, O acesso gratuito da cultura online: um problema de sustentabilidade?

Gerador, Acesso à cultura: no (sub)mundo onde as cores têm texturas e os detalhes escapam por entre as mãos

Gonçalo Frota, Inês Nadais e Sérgio C. Andrade, Teatros apostam tudo na rentrée de Setembro – e virão mudados

Hakim Bishara, 13% of Museums Worldwide May Close Permanently Due to COVID-19, Studies Say

Holly Pich, History in the making: how libraries are capturing the pandemic for posterity

Howard Reich, CSO [Chicago Symphony Orchestra] chief Riccardo Muti, colleagues contemplate season of silence and surprising ways they could resume

Hugo Cruz, O desconfinamento e as decisões para um outro futuro

Ian Youngs, We´re clinging on – Theatre leaders discuss lockdown turmoil

Indigo Holcombe-James, Coronavirus: as culture moves online, regional organisations need help bridging the digital divide

Isabel Salema, Quem são os precários da cultura que podem receber o apoio de 1314 euros?

Jacques Mandelbaum, Coronavirus : les festivals de cinéma cherchent une issue

Jasmine Weber, American Alliance of Museums Asks Congress to Allot $4B for Nonprofit Museums

Jason Porter, Making the case for museum education in the midst of a crisis

Jennifer Stahl, Scared Your Company Might Close? These Artists Have Been Through It, And Have Some Advice

Joan Baldwin, The discomfort you’re feeling

Joan Baldwin, Navigating fear as museum doors open

João Fernandes e Marcelo Araújo, O normal não era normal: que museus queremos depois da pandemia?

João Neto, Esta separação social vai ter de se manter

John Holden, Crises can bring out our best selves: let’s not waste yet another one

Jonathan Knott, Blockbusters could be replaced by collections-based shows after COVID-19 crisis

Jonathan Mandell, Pandemic theater aesthetic

Jorge Silva Melo, Vão abrir teatros. E nós?

Joris Mathieu, Un désirable futur?

Judd Grossman, Michael Straus, Catherine K. B. Lucas, Sarah E. Schuster, What legal rights do artists and galleries have during a pandemic?

Julian Reynolds, The ‘new normal’: will the only artists left be enthusiastic amateurs?

Justin Davidson, What socially distanced live performance might look like

Kate Kellaway, What next for the arts? Rufus Norris and Maria Balshaw swap notes

Kate Meyers Emery, Creative, authentic and united: digital engagement during COVID-19

Laura Collins-Hughes, As Theaters Stare Down Uncertainty, Ars Nova Buys Itself Time

Leah Hamilton, Crisis management: a new approach for arts managers

Liv Nilssen, Turning refunds into donations

Lucinda Canelas e Luís Miguel Queirós, Ministra da Cultura promete “promete resolver de uma vez por todas” estatuto de profissional da cultura

Luís Miguel Queirós, Ver espectáculos de máscara em salas semivazias? “É como ir ao teatro a Saturno”

Lyn Gardner, How Gateshead International Festival of Theatre has avoided cancellation

Madeleine Grynsztejn, In a post-COVID world, what museums do outside their walls will become as important as what they put on them

Manuel Borja-Villel, What Will It Take for Museums to Rise Again—and What They Can Do in the Meantime

Maria Vlachou, The best we can: Re-establishing priorities for arts professionals in
times of crisis

Maria Vlachou, Is this about postponing “business as usual”?

Maria Vlachou, Quarantine readings #2 and a first version of my wishlist

Marina D.J. Barham, Message from Palestine

Matthew Cock, Will it be worth it? The re-opening barriers facing visually impaired people

Museums Association, Coronavirus: How will it affect museums and what can be done to mitigate the impact

Nadja Sayej, The coronavirus museum: how historians are documenting the pandemic

Nina Simon, How Can I Contribute? Four Steps I’m Taking to Figure it Out

Nobl Academy, Strategy and Culture: How to emerge stronger after the COVID crash

Patrícia do Vale, Tudo será instagramável? O museu por reinventar

Patrick Eakin Young, The dawn chorus

Patrick Eakin Young, Bench rest

Peter Maxwell, The rise of the virtual gallery tour: what works and what doesn’t (yet)

Philippe Dagen, Les musées veulent repenser les expositions en se recentrant sur leurs collections

Raja Feather Kelly, Has anyone asked artists what they need

Raquel Vidales, Los teatros alternativos no reabrirán al público al menos hasta septiembre

Reem Kassem, Governance during crisis: a case study from Egypt

Robert Hewison, When this is all over we must reimagine the infrastructure of the arts

Rosita Boisseau, Coronavirus : le monde du cirque inquiet pour son avenir

Rui Tavares, Devemos deixar morrer a cultura que nos ajuda a sobreviver?

Sally Tallant, Notes from the lockdown: Making a situated museum in Queens

Sam Conniff, Too early for optimism

Sam Mendes, How we can save our theatres

Sam Ramos, What Relevance Can Art Have for Frontline Providers Right Now?

Sandro Debono, The empty museum

Sarah Cascone, Just how bad is the lockdown for museums?

Sarah Hemming, The Public Theater’s Oskar Eustis: ‘We’ll go to where you are’

Sari Feldman, Public libraries after the pandemic

Simon Brault, Putting people first: COVID-19 and the Canada Council for the Arts

Simon Brault, Arts and culture in times of solitude and solidarity

Sophie Haigney, When the virus came, some museum directors lost years of work

Stephen Hetherington, After the crisis – a new model for the arts?

Stephen Khan, There is no easy path out of coronavirus for live classical music

Stuart Jeffries, From no deal to New Deal: how Boris Johnson could follow FDR and save the arts

The Incluseum, Equitable Institutional Sustainability In Times Of Crisis

Thomas Rogers, Europe’s museums begin reopening, cautiously, with new rules

Tiago Gueges, Estranha forma de vida

Tiago Rodrigues, Improvavelmente, ser feliz

Tiago Rodrigues, A oportunidade de não aproveitar a falsa oportunidade

Timothy Mangan, Coronavirus conditions make us rethink classical music for decade ahead

Tom Walters, How the coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting the heritage sector

Valentina di Liscia, As the Art World Shuts Down Over COVID-19, Uncertainty Plagues Hourly Workers

Vânia Rodrigues, O que fazer daqui para trás?

Vânia Rodrigues, A nossa casa está a arder

Vânia Rodrigues e Pedro Quintela, Pandemia e cultura: a urgência de um pensamento lento

Zach Finkelnstein, The Post-Covid Concert Hall Catastrophe: Why Audience Attendance is the Least of Our Problems

Zain Dada, No community spaces? No community arts


3. Measures taken in Portugal

Official message of the Minister of Culture

Ministry of Culture, Cultura Covid-19

Ministry of Culture, Regras de desconfinamento

Direcção-Geral das Artes, Support for the arts

Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual, Exceptional measures

Madeira Regional Government, Emergency Fund for the Cultural and Artistic Sector in the Autonomous Region of Madera

Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Fundo de Emergência Social Vertente Cultura

Santa Casa da Misericórdia de Lisboa, Fundo de Solidariedade para apoiar os profissionais da cultura

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Apoio de emergência aos artistas e à cultura

Fundação Eugénio de Almeida, Apoio à comunidade artística

Fundo de apoio para artistas de Lisboa, uma iniciativa de Anjos 70

Universidade do Minho, O impacto do COVID-19 no sector cultural português


4. Measures taken by governments, public and private bodies in other countries

Argentina, Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación Argentina, Cultura de la solidaridad: programas y líneas de financiamiento para Cultura

Australia: Support Act Wellbeing Helpline expands to include all artists and art workers

Austrália: Government launches $175 million arts and music recovery package

Belgium: Informatie COVID-19

Brazil: ITAU Cultural, Arte como Respiro: múltiplos editais de emergência

Canada: National Arts Centre (Canada) and Facebook will pay musicians for livestreams

Canada: Canada Council for the Arts, COVID-19 updates and measures for artists

Canada: Department of Canadian Heritage, Information for Canadian Heritage grants recipients related to COVID-19

Canadá: Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), Encore!

EUNIC, How is the European cultural sector responding to the current corona crisis (government responses)

European Commission, How the EU responds to the coronavirus outbreak in support of the cultural and creative sectors

France: Coronavirus : les intermittents du spectacle bénéficieront d’un dispositif de protection pendant l’été, assure Franck Riester

Germany, Italy, Spain: Joint letter of the Ministers of Culture, Together we are stronger that the virus

Germany: German Ministry of Culture: €50 bilhões para apoiar artistas e organizações culturais

Germany: Gemany´s Culture Minister and Chief Conductor set up fund for struggling musicians

Support measures for the Romanian cultural sector in response to the COVID-19 crisis

Greece: Greek Ministry of Culture, Measures to enhance Modern Culture due to the impact of the health crisis

Kenya: Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, 100 million fos Artists, Actors and Musicians Stimulus Program

Russia: Potanin Foundation, Common cause

Singapore: National Arts Council, Sustaining the arts during COVID-19

Spain: El Gobierno destinará 76,4 millones de euros a la protección del sector cultural

Sweden/European Commission: State aid – Commission approves €38 million Swedish scheme to compensate damages caused by cancelled or postponed cultural events due to coronavirus outbreak

UK: Arts Council England, COVID-19 support

UK: Arts Council England, Financial support for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers

UK: Arts Council Wales, Responding to coronavirus (Covid-19)

UK: Arts Council Engand, Emergency Response Funds (data)

UK: Boris Johnson pledges £1.5bn lifeline to keep UK’s arts sector afloat

UK: Sam Mendes launches fund for theatre workers hit by Covid-19 crisis

USA: Kinkade Family Foundation, Emergency grant for curators

USA: Anonymous Was A Woman and the New York Foundation for the Arts, Emergency relief grant for women artists

USA: Cinema worker solidarity fund

USA: 15 resources for cash-strapped artists hit by coronavirus cuts and closures

USA: Artists Now Emergency Relief Fund


5. Campaingns, manifestos and petitions to raise awareness regarding of the impact on the cultural sector

Belgium: By State of the Arts (EN / NL)

Bulgaria: an emergency petition to support the independent cultural sector in Bulgaria.

Czech Republic: Festival of Nothing 2020

Europe: NEMO, Survey on the impact of the COVID-19 situation on museums in Europe

Europe: Opera Europa, The existential impact of theatre closures

European Cultural Foundation, Uphold culture in the EU budget

European Cultural Foundation, Culture of Solidarity Fund

France: Pétition pour le soutien des intermittents

Germany: Hilfen für Freiberufler und Künstler während des Corona-Shutdowns

ICOM – CECA: Covid 19 threatens severely museum education

IETM, Rescue the Arts: plea to national governments

International: Arts&Education, Open letter to museums and galleries in support of education and other essential workers

Italy: To support precarious workers and freelancers

Italy: Arts Workers Italia

Poland: Open letter/petition to the Minister of Culture suggesting a system of allowance for the lockdown time and compensation system for all cancelled contracts/events (in Polish)

Portugal: The Union of Performance Workers, Audiovisual workers and Musicians (Cena-STE) has sent out a questionnaire in order to be able to evaluate their losses

Portugal: Manifesto em defesa de um Presente com Futuro

Portugal: Carta aberta – Os invisíveis da cultura

Portugal: SOS ARTE PT

Portugal: Petição Artesjuntxs, Apelo à implementação de medidas de emergência excecionais no Sector Artístico

Portugal: Bolsas de criação artística para que os artistas sobrevivam, se democratize mais a arte e se imagine o Futuro

Portugal: Associação Profissional de Conservadores-Restauradores de Portugal – Conservação e Restauro | Medidas e apoios para o Sector no âmbito do COVID-19

Portugal: United for the Present and Future of Culture in Portugal

Portugal: Associação Portuguesa de Museologia, Carta sobre a reabertura dos museus, palácios, monumentos, sítios arqueológicos, instituições que preservam espécies vivas, centros interpretativos e centros de Ciência Viva de Portugal

Portugal: Associação de Bibliotecários, Arquivistas e Documentalistas (BAD), Tomada de posição: Arquivos e Bibliotecas durante a pandemia de COVID-19

Spain: Suspensión inmediata del pago de autónomos mientras dure la crisis del coronavirus

Spain: 52 medidas extraordinarias para el sector de las artes escénicas y la música

UK: Compass, Basic income conversation: Security for all, whatever it takes

UK: Museum Freelance, An Open Letter To UK Museums, Libraries, Heritage Sites, Archives And Galleries And Their Sector Organisations From The Museum Freelance Network 

UK: Open letter to the Culture Secretary – #WeShallNotBeRemoved

UK: The importance of participatory arts – An open letter

USA, The People’s Cultural Plan – An Urgent List of Demands for Arts and Culture in the Face of NYC State of Emergency

Ukraine: Heads of major cultural institutions wrote an open letter/request to Ukrainian Prime Minister urging to review their decision of the the Ministry of Finance to radically cut their budgets (in Ukrainian)

Where is Communication? Access Culture – Clear Language Award 2020

Event poster

On March 20, at 6:30 pm, at Culturgest in Lisbon (Room 3), we shall be delivering the Access Culture – Clear Language Award 2020. Entrance will be free.

We would like this occasion to be another moment of reflection on communication and clear language in the cultural sector. Thus, inspired by a recent article by Vítor Belanciano, “Where are academics?” , which generated an interesting conversation around the communication of science and art, we also wish to ask: Where is Communication?

Join us for this conversation with Vítor Belanciano himself and with this year’s jury members: Hugo Sousa, Joana Lobo Antunes and João Martins.

Registration open: workshops Every Story Matters

Workshops poster


As part of the Every Story Matters project, of which Access Culture is a partner, in 2020 we shall be organising 15 workshops, in various parts of the country, aimed at librarians and teachers.

What is bibliodiversity? As reading mediators, we have a responsibility to ensure the plurality of voices and experiences reading can offer. What limitations do we face?

In this workshop we will start with a testimony that reflects on plural representation and analyse specific books and their potential or effective diversity. Finally, after sharing bibliography, we shall devote time to dialogue and debate the selection criteria that govern the choices of all mediators, whether they are librarians, teachers, educators, animators or family caregivers.

We´re looking for talented writers and illustrators

Programme poster

This programme will guide six talented writers and illustrators from six different European countries to produce inclusive stories for children. Each participant will be matched to a mentor from their own country. The mentor is an experienced author or illustrator with a large network and will coach the participants in writing or drawing stories. During the programme, the participants can follow workshops and online masterclasses to deepen their knowledge of inclusive storytelling. Residencies will give participants the opportunity to further work on their stories while being in a new environment.

More information on the Every Story Matters website

Registration open: Every Story Matters Conference

Conference poster

Registration is now open for the kick off conference of our project Every Story Matters, which takes place on 19 November at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

Everybody has the right to discover literature and to create stories, Your socio-economic or cultural background, gender, sexual preference or mental and physical abilities should not matter. Sadly not all of us have equal opportunities yet. This is not just a matter of who writes (and who is encouraged to write) but of who gets published, who stands on a stage, who sits in the audience, how people are portrayed in books and how readers identify with the characters in the books.

During the first conference ‘Every Story Matters/Cada História Conta’, we invite readers, publishers, authors, librarians, teachers and other book lovers to be part of the promotion of inclusion through literature. We hope they will inspire, get inspired and work together to make the world of children’s and youth books more inclusive. Together we can make a difference.

Registration fee
Normal: €30
Students / Unemployed: €25
Access Culture members: €20

Fore more information and registration, please consult the project website.

Creative Europe supports our project “Every Story Matters”

Creative Europe poster

We couldn’t be happier! Our “Every Story Matters” project is one of the 87 projects supported this year by Creative Europe!

Books do not reflect society as it is. There is an absence of inclusive books. By inclusive literature we mean books featuring a range of abilities, ages, ethnicities, genders, religions, sexual orientations and socio-economic groups. We want to stimulate the production of inclusive books and make them find their way in the professional sector, as well as to have them picked up by readers.

The partners of the project are:

  • Flanders Literature/Vlaams Fonds voor de Letteren (project leader, governmental institution, Belgium)
  • JAKRS (Book Agency, Slovenia)
  • Mediart International (promotes books, authors and reading, Croatia)
  • Blue Dar (education through entertainment, Syria/Germany)
  • ROSE stories (independent storytelling house, Holanda)
  • Help me Learn (reading and providing support for children in underprivileged positions, Tunisia)
  • Acesso Cultura (access to cultural participation, Portugal)

In September, we will have more information on the initiatives to be developed in Portugal. The project starts with a conference in Lisbon, in November.

List of the projects (small-scale projects)