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Matera 2019, Where culture is produced

Matera 2019 opening ceremony Matera 2019 opening ceremony

The Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation commissioned some independent evaluation studies related to the actions to monitor and evaluate the programme and results of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019.

The general purpose of the evaluation studies is to provide the most acceptable and data-driven answer to the question of what the title European Capital of Culture and the process to which it gave rise have left behind in tangible and intangible terms, and the changes it wrought from an economic, social and cultural standpoint.

In order to respond to this general question, each evaluation study lists the results and the initial impacts produced measured using precise methodological tools, illustrates the possible causal nexus that connects processes and results, and develops suggestions for the future of Matera and Basilicata, as well as for other cities and territories that decide to rethink themselves through culture.

You can read all the evaluation studies here.

You can read all the Monitoring report of Matera European Capital of Culture 2019 here

Here are some considerations by authorities and managers.

David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament says: “Matera European Capital of Culture 2019 was a successful experience in this regard because it was able to involve such a large number of mayors, as well as numerous local associations and individual citizens, in particular young people.

This ability to socialise culture, which successfully produced important results from the perspective of the quality of what was on offer and the events that were produced, was not addressed to a limited elite, but involved an entire territory, making it accessible to everyone. Matera is not only a city of art and creativity, but also a city of access and participation. The results have been extraordinary.

Dario Franceschini, Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities says: “We are living through difficult times, marked by a pandemic that is having dramatic health and economic consequences. The lack of a social and cultural life is having an impact, and loss and tiredness are coming to the surface. Old inequalities are worsening, and unprecedented ones are emerging. We need to combine rapid responses and a long view, so that we can begin to imagine what will come later. The monitoring report on Matera 2019 assumes a dual value in this sense: it represents both a precious map of the ten-year path that has been taken and seeds planted for the future. It is a balance sheet of what has taken place: numbers, projects, good practices, hard work and a reservoir of challenges for the years to come”.

Salvatore Adduce President Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation (March 2018 - October 2020) says: “There is a before – and the Monitoring Report tells us of the before – and there is an after, and this “after” is now being joyfully built by taking the best of all these years and changing the course of history again, as we did with Matera 2019. In the hours to come, we will often hear another question – "What did 2019 leave us?" The Monitoring Report answers this question with a wealth of precision. I prefer to answer with an image, however: of a family, a father, a mother and two young children, always full of joy and hope, whom I saw competing to take part in all – and I mean all – the events of Matera 2019. For me, it is enough to think of this to be as happy as they were, and to imagine that one day, those two children will be able to say "I was there too, of course! And that is where I discovered Europe, and I like that Europe a lot".

Rossella Tarantino Director-General Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation: “Matera was awarded the title of European Capital of Culture in the most crowded, and perhaps best-qualified, competition in the history of the ECOC by issuing challenges. Could a small- to medium-sized city produce culture rather than import it? How should a response be framed to the inequalities of access to culture that frequently impact inhabitants of peripheries and remote towns? What does it mean to be open, and to imagine horizontal cultural production? Is it possible to view tourists as temporary citizens of the places they visit and the communities they come across? Can a bureaucracy be creative and put collective intelligence to good use? Many of these challenges were fully met. Others were met in part, and remain not only open but also still extremely current”.

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