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ResiliArt in Panama: 2 400 interested people following the first debate!

At the initiative of the organization Open Arts PTY, on Friday, May 8, the online discussion "Measures for the Cultural Sector in front of COVID-19" was held, which was followed through Facebook Live and other virtual platforms by more than 2 400 people. The event was attended by the Minister of Culture of Panama, Mr Carlos Aguilar, and the representative of the Latin American Living Culture Network, Silvia Bove. UNESCO was represented by Caroline Munier, Culture Programme Specialist in Culture at the UNESCO Office in San José. The event was proposed as a first approach of the cultural and artistic sector of Panama to the global initiativel ResiliArt.

The conversation revolved around specific concerns, such as defining the role of the cultural and artistic sectors in the construction of a new normality after the health emergency. There was an opportunity to discuss issues of great relevance in this regard, such as the unavoidable importance of physical contact and public spaces in artistic and cultural work, the opportunities and challenges of the digitization of artistic activities, the relationship between culture and economy, as well as the importance of linking culture with education and the involvment of cultural sectors in the formulation of public policy, both in the context of the emergency, and in the future after the pandemic.

With valuable contributions from the Ministry of Culture on measures taken at the institutional level, as well as conceptual inputs and examples of actions taken at the regional level by the Latin American Network for Living Culture, and the presentation of initiatives proposed by UNESCO to address the socio-economic crisis in the cultural and creative sectors in Panama and Latin America, the large virtual audience was able to have a more complete picture of the main aspects affecting the sector today.

In addition, the seminar was an ideal occasion to promote the ResiliArt initiative: a global movement, initiated by UNESCO, which consists of a series of virtual debates with cultural professionals and artists with the aim of raising awareness of the far-reaching impact of current containment measures on the culture sector.

The purpose of these actions is to support Member States in the development of policies and mechanisms, both financial and policy, to support individuals and creative communities in overcoming the current crisis.

Through these virtual debates, UNESCO seeks to create a sector-wide movement that, at the global level, captures the experiences of artists and voices of resistance. The main issues and concerns emerging from the ResiliArt movement will be shared with Member States and city officials through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, in order to inform their decision-making processes and help them to better support the creative sector in times of crisis and in the subsequent recovery period.