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Development Program Houses of Culture

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The cultural development program of the National Council of Houses of Culture, responds to the Development Program of the Ministry of Culture, outlining the objectives for the period 2019-2030. Our strategic projection has as its main objective the fulfillment of the mission:

 "To propose, direct and control the application of the nation's cultural policy based on technical and methodological advice to community cultural processes from artistic and literary appreciation, creation and promotion, the strengthening of the Amateur Artists Movement and the safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage".

This program has a scope of the entire System of Houses of Culture, understood as:

  • National Council of Culture Houses
  • 13 Provincial Centers,
  • 2 Departments in the Provinces of Artemisa and Mayabeque,
  • 349 Culture Houses: 175 municipal, including the Municipal House of Isla de la Juventud, and 174 communal.

It has seven (7) development areas:

  • Strengthening of institutional development.
  • Formation of creative, appreciative capacities and civic values in children, adolescents and young people.
  • Professional development of human capital.
  • Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
  • Strengthening of the Movement of Amateur Artists.
  • Community Cultural Work.
  • National and international promotion of community cultural work.

Diagnosis:

Strengths:

  • The experience and vocation for the work with amateurs and, in general, with the community cultural work.
  • The social impact of events and competitions organized by the system,  Olga Alonso Theatre Festival,  Dance Festival,  National Popular Art Fair,  Afidanza,  Debate Meeting of Literary Workshops for adults and children. Among the contests, the children's plastic arts contest "De donde crece la palma",  "Bailar Casino",  "Martín Colorín" of children's literature and  "Escaramujo" by José Martí Brigade.
  • The actions that contribute to the special national programs.
  • The spaces characterized in the programming as a way of forming audiences
  • The community work of cultural promoters and art instructors.
  • The work of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage

Weaknesses:

  • Insufficient institutional management, technical material base, management of human capital development and communication.
  • Constructive physical state of the buildings despite the efforts made by local governments.
  • Descriptive diagnoses that do not reflect the socio-cultural reality of the territory. Cultural development programs of Provincial Centers of Culture Houses (CPCC) with deficiencies in their design. Lack of monitoring and evaluation.
  • The exodus of art teachers from the houses of culture.
  • Weak functioning of  Technical Advisory Councils at all levels.

Main problem:

  • Insufficient institutional management in its contribution to community cultural development.

Problems arising from:

  • Insufficient integration of institutions within and outside the culture system for the cultural care of disadvantaged individuals, groups and communities
  • Deficient conception and design of cultural programming that is attractive, innovative, balanced and diverse, in accordance with the tastes, interests and cultural needs of  different age population groups.
  • A decline in aesthetic taste and in the formation of an audience with a critical capacity to discern between the diversity of current cultural offerings.
  • Insufficient skills of human capital to interact with the diversity and complexity of current socio-cultural community processes.

Main results obtained:

  • Progress in the preparation of community inventories and files on expressions of intangible cultural heritage, allowing Rumba, Punto Cubano and  Parrandas Barriales of the centre to be declared World Cultural Heritage, as well as the declaration of the Órgano Oriental as a National Cultural Heritage site.
  • Advances in a more integrated approach to the different actors involved in the conception and design of cultural programming.
  • The existence of Cultural Development Programmes and the annual work objectives in the System's institutions at all levels.
  • Qualitative growth of the Movement of Amateur Artists in all age groups.
  • Increase in the participation of teachers, art instructors, cultural promoters and specialists in artistic guerrillas, socio-cultural projects, cultural animation activities and characterized spaces in communities, aimed at vulnerable groups from the programming, particularly with children and older adults.
  • Increased presence of art instructors in leadership positions in cultural institutions at all levels, strengthening the understanding of the place and role of cultural institutions in community processes.

Tasks on which we must continue to work:

  • Continue to work on audience education.
  • Prioritize new education and training of specialists with emphasis on art teachers.
  • Increase quantitatively and qualitatively the Amateur Artists Movement and the promotion of its best exponents in the local and national media, as well as in digital platforms and social networks.
  • To strengthen the quality of participatory processes of creation and artistic and literary appreciation aimed at all age groups.
  • Strengthen the preservation and promotion of expressions of intangible cultural heritage, particularly, bearer and cultural groups.
  • Creatively implement at the grassroots level, in close coordination with the governing staff, nationwide platforms such as  National Programme for Reading and  Promotion of Audiovisual Culture.

Main historical background to this programme:

  • For 40 years, the houses of culture have been at the service of the community, in their work, attached to popular feeling, their practices, their knowledge and in the constant search for proposals that contribute to satisfying the tastes and preferences of the population, with an educational character. From the five artistic manifestations - plastic arts, music, theater, dance and literature - and provides the population with educational and cultural services.
  • The System of Culture Houses was strongly affected during the 90's, in the years of the so-called "Special Period". Its constructive physical condition deteriorated, its technical material base, most of the Art Instructors emigrated to other emerging and better paid sectors. The Movement of Amateur Artists was considerably reduced, which affected the levels of cultural activity and the number of people who attended these institutions, reducing their social impact.
  • New Schools for Art Instructors were created in all provinces as part of the Battle of Ideas.  José Martí Art Instructors Brigade, a movement of cultural professionals, focused on the artistic and cultural processes of the communities, particularly from teaching centres and cultural centres.
  • The documentary sources:
  • The evaluation of results and processes of the cultural development programme in the period 2008-2010 and its subsequent update from 2010 to 2015.
  • Results of meetings and exchanges with Directors of Provincial Centres of Cultural Houses, Directors of Cultural Houses and Art Instructors with an outstanding career.
  • The evaluation of the annual work objectives of the National Council of Culture Houses and the Provincial Centres of Culture Houses.
  • They were reviewed:
  1. The interventions of Dr. Graciela Pogolotti about the legitimacy of the House of Culture in the Community Cultural work at the beginning of  21st century.
  2. Compendium of Cuban Cultural Thought and Policy. IV Volumes. Dr. Armando Hart Dávalos.
  3. Methodology and practice of community development. Ezequiel AnderEgg.

General  objective:

Redimensioning the system of Culture Houses, through participation processes   and sustainable cultural management that respond to local specificities.

Specific Objectives:

  1. To strengthen the institutional development and the social impact of the house of culture on the population cultural life.
  2. To contribute to the formation and development of creative and appreciative capacities and civic values in children, adolescents and young people.
  3. To strengthen the professional improvement of human resources in the system, emphasizing the performance of art teachers and directors.
  4. To strengthen the work of safeguarding the expressions of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) and its creative processes from the community management.
  5. To dimension the technical-artistic work of the MAA as an enriching process of the cultural life in the communities.
  6. To contribute from the house of culture to the strengthening of the community cultural work and the strategies of local development from the culture.
  7. To increase the national and international promotion of the cultural work of the System in the communities.

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