Fostering creativity and cultural participation for poverty alleviation in Uruguay

Intendencia de Montevideo (State Party), Uruguay
IFCD funding: USD 95,115 | Timeline: February 2012 - February 2013

© Intendencia de Montevideo

About the project

Aim
Contribute to reversing the processes of social exclusion of youth in a marginalized area of Montevideo through their increased involvement in local cultural productions. Foster a positive local identity through promotion of youth cultural expressions in order to dissolve stigmas, promote solidarity and encourage social cohesion.

About the organization
The Intendencia de Montevideo is the city council of Uruguay’s capital. It handles environmental, social and cultural development and is also involved in town planning. Its mission is to encourage initiatives that strengthen participatory democracy and to promote education, culture and sports.

Local Context
This project will take place in Casavalle Basin, an area located to the north of Montevideo. With 70% of children below 5 years of age living under the poverty line, and 35% of people aged 15 to 25 neither studying nor employed, it is an area stricken by under-development. As a result, its inhabitants face social exclusion and this marginalization prevents them from improving their living conditions. This vicious circle makes it critical for state actors and civil society alike to undertake interventions.

Main objectives
The Intendencia de Montevideo is fostering the creativity and cultural participation of Casavalle’s youth. It is building a model for cultural policies emphasizing participation and social integration of marginalized youth by articulating local development plans with policies and resources originating from both municipal and national governments. Through engagement in cultural activities such as popular music, performing and visual arts, the objective is to bring down the social and economic obstacles which prevent Casavalle youth from being fully integrated into Uruguayan society.

Main activities
This project set up workshops in three different areas of Casavalle Basin. They last eight months each and provide professional training to at least six young music bands in three of the area’s districts. They focus on genres such as candome, cumbia, hip-hop and murga. This entails providing at least three public spaces with equipment so that they may host rehearsals and productions of various forms of artistic expression. Furthermore, this project integrates the work from Casavalle artists into Montevideo’s cultural circuit. Some 15 art shows are being held and at least 200 youths take part in cultural performances.

This will be followed by a large-scale exhibition focused on showcasing the creative endeavors from Casavalle made possible by this project. It will attract an estimated 2000 young people. Finally, the Intendencia de Montevideo will share lessons learned and recommendations stemming from this project with the Institutional Council of the Casavalle Basin Plan, youth groups, local residents, and the Municipal Council in an effort to create a model for youth culture management with those partners.

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