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Advocacy agencies and professional information providers

The two main public entities responsible for promoting Catalan culture abroad are the Catalan Institute for the Cultural Companies (ICEC) and the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), both attached to the Catalan Ministry of Culture. The ICEC is in charge of supporting private initiatives in the cultural field and one of its goals is to promote the development of cultural companies, encourage domestic cultural consumption, and collaborate in exporting cultural products.

Creative Catalonia

To boost cultural exports it created Creative Catalonia, a platform hosted by the ICEC’s Market Development Department to increase the accessibility of Catalan cultural and creative companies for international markets. Via its network of offices around Europe (Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris) it works on a variety of lines of project funding, connecting, mentoring, advocating and promoting Catalan companies and strengthening their presence at international fairs and events. Creative Catalonia acts as a strong catalyst to foster Catalan cultural and creative companies worldwide.

Institut Ramon Llull

The other main advocacy agency is the Institut Ramon Llull, a public body founded with the purpose of promoting Catalan language and Catalan cultural production. It ensures that artists from Catalonia are present in outstanding programmes of international contemporary creation, through agreements with institutions, international shows, art centres and museums. It works to ensure that Catalan culture is present at world famous festivals and fairs, and takes part in key cultural events in different areas of creation in strategic cities. It also promotes exchanges between the local and international creative sectors by organising visits to Catalonia for foreign professionals.

Acción Cultural Española

The third agency that promotes cultural reach is Acción Cultural Española (AC/E). This agency supports the Spanish cultural sector, both in the different fields of culture and in new modes of production and distribution for the creative industries. The PICE programme is structured with two lines of support: grants for visitors, and mobility grants for artists and professionals.

The two main associations that unite the sectors of street arts and circus act as advocacy agencies and focus on relaying information. The Associació de Professionals del Circ a Catalunya (APCC) represents all the different branches of Catalan circus professionals. Its purpose is to bring together the different sectors of the Catalan circus to promote, disseminate and standardise this performing art in all its forms, placing it among the other performing arts as an inherent cultural fact. To promote the street arts sector in Catalonia, in 2015 seventeen festivals launched the Platform of Street Arts (PAC). Some of the main goals of this new association are to promote and communicate street performance activity within Catalonia, to facilitate mobility and co-production agreements, and to give visibility to the social values of the street arts and bring these to new audiences.

Oriol Martí Sambola

What do you see as the most important task of your organisation in the circus/street arts in your country?
"Our first priority, and the basis for all our work, is supporting communication and joint mapping in order to bring visibility to the many kinds of street arts happening throughout the year and all over Catalonia. Communicating clearly and in a coordinated way brings respect to the sector. Alongside this work, we host and share both discussions and resources. Finally, we work to develop the street arts as a subject of study, with links to universities, journalists, scholars and historians."

Photo: Martí E. Berenguer