Activities News

New series of debates entitled “Museums of art, city, cultural project and funding needs”

Cercle de Cultura and Ateneu Barcelonès are organizing a new series of debates entitled “Museums of art, city, cultural project and funding needs”.

The first session will take place on October 28 at 6.30 pm at the Ateneu Barcelonès, with the interventions of Víctor Magrans, administrator of the MNAC, and Marko Daniel, director of the Fundació Miró, moderated by Fèlix Riera, member of the Cercle board.

The second session will take place on November 24 at 6.30 pm in the Cercle d’Economia, and will be attended by Anna Saurí, manager of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, and Maria Vilasó, manager of the Museu Picasso, moderated by Jordi Montaña, member of the board of the Circle.

Finally, the third session will take place on December 2 at 6.30 pm at the Ateneu Barcelonès, with the presence of Imma López, manager of MACBA, and Judit Carrera, director of CCCB, moderated by Jordi Pardo, president of the Cercle.


Interview with members: Núria Sempere

We spoke with Núria Sempere, general director of the ESMUC since 2019. Sempere has been director of the Municipal School of Music-Arts Center (EMMCA) of L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, professor of the Department of Production and Management of the ESMUC and member of the Board of Directors of the Catalan Association of Music Schools (ACEM), of which she is the founding president. Diploma in advanced studies from the University of Barcelona, ​​Master’s in Public Management from ESADE, a degree in art history from the University of Barcelona and a guitar teacher at the Barcelona Municipal Conservatory of Music.


I. What is your link with the cultural sector?


Right now my bond is dual. On the one hand a professional connection (I am the director of the public center of higher music education in the country, the ESMUC) and on the other a hobby connection (I am a constant audience of music and theater, perhaps less dance – although when I go there I love- and visiting exhibitions in museums and galleries).


2. Why did you sign up for the Cercle?


To learn from people who are rethinking strategies, devices, goals and the need to articulate a cultural sector that comes out of their sometimes self-referential gaze and can make their experience and knowledge available to the entire community .


3. What can you contribute?


My contribution can be my professional experience which has been very multifaceted especially if we take a chronological look: I was a student and teacher of instrument, activist for cultural rights, professional in the management of art education institutions and I have been in contact with multiple ways of relating to culture (from content creation, production and distribution, arts education, audiences, and community participation). This view, from concrete experiences, is what I can contribute in broader debates.


4. What is the role of culture in the current context?


Surely we respond differently when we talk about cultural sector or when we talk about culture. Because when we talk about the sector, we usually refer to the people or institutions that work professionally (with their rights more or less supported or violated) and when we talk about culture, a community dimension opens up that we long for. If we talk about culture (and not cultural sector) the dimension of words such as heritage, creation, interpretation, debate or cultural rights transcends a small circle and concerns all citizens with their background, interests or skills, and then the questions on what conditions has the fact of deepening in these skills to be included or included in the sector. Inclusion and vulnerability in cultural matters illustrate inclusion and vulnerabilities in our society.



5. What do you think the Cercle can do to encourage cultural debate?


Create a space where you can (re) think freely. A debate whose results must be able to influence public decision-making.

News Opinion

Two important announcements in culture

The Cercle has considered it appropriate for the entity to regularly express its opinion in the face of significant events that shape or impact the cultural sector. If it is an important issue this opinion will take the form of a statement or manifesto. That is why it has also created a specific commission open to all members who want to participate in its drafting. We encourage you to sign up.


As the Commission sets in motion in the coming weeks, two announcements have been made that deserve – at least briefly – comment and the establishment of the Circle’s position.
And, during these first days of October we have witnessed a double positive announcement – one from the state government and the other from the Generalitat – which are two things we have always demanded: greater centrality of the cultural policies and better funding of the cultural sector.


The Culture Bonus 18 years


A few days ago, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced the introduction of the cultural bonus of 400 euros for boys and girls who will turn 18 in 2022. The media has echoed this, but we will add some additional information and reflection. At the state level, this means a forecast of around 454,000 beneficiaries and an endowment of over 181 million euros; of which in Catalonia it represents more than 81,000 people with an endowment of over 32 million euros. There are still to be detailed both the mechanics of operation we will follow it closely. This measure has three virtualities: indirect financing through the consumption of cultural productions and services; the ritual nature of associating adulthood with culture and an iconic statement about the importance of culture to society. As mentioned, it was Mateo Renzi who first established it in Italy in 2016 with an amount of 500 euros and all subsequent governments have maintained it. France has subsequently done so for less than 300 euros. We know that over the course of 5 years, one in three young people has used it in Italy. Only two final observations: this idea was already conceived in Catalonia around the year 2000, when we led the elaboration and innovation in cultural policies; it is essential to substantially and quickly improve the current situation. The second question: we would have liked this measure to have been agreed between the state and -in our case- the Generalitat to (re) initiate a path of cooperation that is absolutely necessary to maximize the potential of the Catalan cultural sector.

If you want to expand on the information and reflections on this measure, the OECD Public Sector Innovation Observatory has recently published a report. You can check it out here.


The increase in the budget of the Department of Culture of the Generalitat


On October 5 at the Teatre Romea in the presentation of the new project of the Focus Group, Àfora, President Pere Aragonés, before Minister Natàlia Garriga, made the unequivocal announcement that the next budget of the Generalitat – currently in process of elaboration- would contain a significant increase of the endowment of Department of Culture. We must keep in mind that the maximum level of 350 million euros in 2010 was reduced to about 245 and then increased very moderately. We all have in mind the very commitment of the cultural sector and its associations to reach 2% culture. This goal is currently unlikely, but an endowment close to 400 million euros would be a very significant step in this direction. We look forward to good news.


October 18, 2021

News Opinion

Opportunities do not exist: they are built

It largely depends on us. Know how to take advantage of opportunities and our strengths and overcome the fragility of the cultural sectors. As well as knowing how to make people understand and convince that culture is not a decorative element of public policies and that it is not a set of marginal activities that have to do only with enjoyment, free time and entertainment. Culture can be a key element in building a better future.


Culture is a right. Culture is not an expense, it is an investment. Culture makes us worthy. It generates self-esteem and social cohesion. But in addition to this, culture is a key element in attracting talent and developing competitiveness in cities, towns and rural areas, and it is a key element that should be incorporated into the innovation of economic activity models to so as not to repeat mistakes of the past and move towards a sustainable and inclusive economy. Beyond the so-called “creative economy” and “cultural industries”, culture is a key driver for enhancing rural development, incorporating value into primary sector activities, innovating in the industrial sector, and developing the world of services in the digital age. We must know how to communicate all this to society, starting with the institutions and the business world.


Despite the complexity of the situation at the end of this pandemic summer of 2021, we are facing two exciting news stories. The announcement by the Department of Culture of the Generalitat headed by Minister Natàlia Garriga that it plans to gradually increase the budget for culture by 2%, which would shorten the distance from other nearby countries. The other good news is the priorities expressed by the Minister of Culture, Miquel Iceta to have the Artist’s Statute, a Law of Sponsorship and Patronage and to advance in the decentralization of the Ministry, balancing its support in territorial terms.


On behalf of the board of the Cercle de Cultura and all the people of the organization, we want to welcome all the people who have become members. The more we are, the more we can do to place culture in a more central position on the institutional, social and economic agenda. The more we are, the better we will build opportunities for the future.


Jordi Pardo
President of the Circle of Culture


Interview with Carme Fenoll, member of the Board of Directors of Cercle de Cultura

We spoke with Carme Fenoll i Clarabuch (Palafolls, 1977), librarian and member of the Board of Directors of Cercle de Cultura.


1. What is your link with the cultural sector?
I am a librarian and currently direct the Culture and Community Area of ​​the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. My career in recent years has gone from directing the Palafrugell Public Library, to being the head of the Generalitat’s Library Service (2012-2017) and then the head of the rector’s office Francesc Torres (2018-2021). In the world of cultural management, I have always been interested in linking sectors and looking for alliances between cultural and educational agents.


2. Why did you sign up for the Circle?
Because there are few spaces for debate and promotion of Culture in Catalonia and I believe that adding expert voices from various fields can help improve the situation.


3. What can you contribute?
The vision of a person who knows the library field well and now also the university field. I am from Palafrugell and I like the non-barnacentrist conception of culture, so I will also work to offer this voice to the Circle.


4. What is the role of culture in the current context?
Culture is the floating table of society and a clear indicator of the degree of well-being of its society. Improving cultural knowledge from primary education is the keystone of social transformation.


5. What do you think the Circle can do to encourage cultural debate?
Exercising a neutral and vindictive voice, without obeying political interests. It is important that cultural debates contemplate new voices, and this involves not only young voices but also those with opposing views.