A Cultural Summer in a Complex Panorama

Complex, indeed is the current situation. Needless to say, it’s more than obvious. The economic crisis the country is undergoing, the energy situation, the transport panorama…there are many challenges for the entire nation, and they must be taken head on with a creative spirit.

That falls on the shoulders, among many other sectors, to the cultural framework. And the stage that has begun, the summer, is particularly demanding, challenging.

Establishing a cultural program for the summer, that articulates multiple proposals, that reaches the entire country, and (something fundamental) that is a quality program, is not walk in the park. You have to involve many institutions. And although the structures exist, they don’t work by themselves. Nothing can be left to chance here. Here everything has to be functional. And functionality implies balance, efficiency, teamwork.

The community has to be the privileged environment, because in the community, in the neighbourhoods, many of the contemporary battles are decided, take into account that many of the social problems take shape there.

There’s a system of cultural institutions that guarantee stable programming throughout the year. But there are important sectors of the population that don’t go to cultural institutions: theaters, concert halls, libraries, galleries…

Therefore, here it would be necessary to recreate the famous aphorism of Muhammad and the mountain. You have to go to the neighborhood, bring culture to the neighborhoods. And something important: the potential of each neighborhood could be taken advantage of, integrating proposals that include art professionals with amateurs.

There are no default formulas. It’s very related with the commitment and creativity of cultural institutions of each territory. And with the ability to articulate that effort by incorporating local organizations and citizens.

This is very easy to say. It’s difficult to specify it. Difficult, but necessary. In times of crisis, culture is much more than a refuge or area of ​​escape. Culture can, and in fact does, affect the elevation of the quality of life. And artists have a responsibility to the society where they live in, where they create. The cultural summer has to be a commitment of many people, because it involves that society in all its extraordinary spectrum.

A version of this comment was published in the Noticiero Cultural de la Televisión Cubana.

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