“The cultural agenda will not stop, 16 months after the COVID-19 pandemic began and this sector was practically stopped,” said Governor Enrique Alfaro Ramírez.
He went on to specify that the cultural reactivation in Jalisco represents a relaunch of the state cultural policy, headed by the Secretary of Culture Lourdes González Pérez.
Among the agenda to prioritize, the president informed that they will resume the project of the Barranca Museum in an alliance with the private initiative and the board of trustees, to restore this space by 2023, within the framework of the bicentennial commemoration of Jalisco as a state free and sovereign.
The governor pointed out that at this stage it is up to the Jalisco Ministry of Culture (SC) to reactivate the cultural contents in the infrastructure that already exists. And he specified that they are working on the reallocation of the budget, to achieve greater resources for the SC, which, like all government areas, had absorbed adjustments to allow attention to the health emergency.
“This reopening agenda is not going to stop, it is going to continue. We are going to move forward, we are going to do it with caution, with care, reviewing the capacity, reviewing everything that is necessary, but we cannot take a step back. We are going to continue with the process of reactivating our cultural agenda.”
He urged that dialogue with the broad cultural sector be resumed and continue to decentralize culture in all its manifestations and for all regions.
The Secretary of Culture, Lourdes González Pérez, reported that Jalisco has been carrying out activities to reactivate culture since the beginning of 2021, which are possible thanks to the work of the teams that make up the unit, and which are strengthened to guarantee access to culture for all the people of the 125 municipalities of Jalisco.
Lourdes González mentioned that the attention in municipalities to all artistic communities has not stopped in any phase of the pandemic. She highlighted the Culture in Resilience program, through which this year 23.1 million pesos have been invested in 30 calls that directly support the communities. In addition, she highlighted the reopening of museums and cultural spaces, and the continuity and strengthening of programs and dialogue with the different cultural actors.
"What’s Next? Promote cultural decentralization, not as an idea on paper, but with concrete actions. In five municipalities we have cardinal culture headquarters. To the south is Zapotlán el Grande, on the coast Puerto Vallarta, Chapala in the center, Los Altos Lagos de Moreno and Colotlán in the north. Currently we also have the Jalisco Online Cultural Festival, which is the result of the great rapprochement that has been maintained with the municipalities,” she added.
The General Strategic Social Development Coordinator, Anna Bárbara Casillas, explained that the emerging pockets of support were exercised with decentralization criteria, with 49% being delivered within the state and 51% in the Metropolitan area of Guadalajara.
“Although the sector was strongly affected, culture is finally a tool for those of us who had to stay at home for many months. We had workshops, storytelling, digital museum tours, heritage capsules, online contests, you dance at home, and a pop-up library, ”she said.
The official emphasized that sanitary measures should always be taken care of in all artistic and cultural activities, since the main thing is to safeguard people's lives in each phase of the pandemic.
Among the reactivation activities of the SC are Culture in Resilience, the Reactivation of Cultural Enclosures, and Support for Houses of Culture.
Culture in Resilience is the name of a set of 30 calls offering incentives totaling 23,125,400 pesos. The initiative allows the reactivation of the arts and the sector, as well as the safe return to cultural spaces. The calls were launched since last March in various stages, some have already closed, others are in force, and still others will open soon.
The new head of the agency said that her work will focus on going to the interior of the state to establish communication with the municipalities, as well as reinforce existing and successful programs, reform the necessary ones, and seek to create synergy with companies, institutions, and organizations to lessen the financial impact of the pandemic.
Finally, the official, who took office as SC on June 16, recognized the efforts of Susana Chávez Brandon as head of the Dispatch during the first five months of 2021, and of the Jalisco Culture team that, like the entire sector, has faced important challenges with resilience and creativity.