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New cultural programme announced between Brazil and UK

Queen Mary, University of London - together with the Brazilian Ministry of Culture and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with Arts Council England and the British Council - is delighted to announce the first phase of a new cultural knowledge exchange programme between Brazil and the UK.

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Points of Contact/Pontos de Contato will set up reciprocal learning visits between arts organisations, policy makers and funders in the two countries. The exchange will focus on the Brazilian Pontos de Cultura programme, that sees culture as a powerful instrument for human development and social transformation, and will involve arts organisations in the UK that seek to transform lives and celebrate communities beyond the mainstream.

Points of Contact is produced by People’s Palace Projects and will focus on a learning visit to Brazil in March 2010, with a reciprocal visit to the UK in July 2010. A seminar in September 2010 in London will explore the learning and questions raised, with a report to be published by People’s Palace Projects, an arts organisation based at Queen Mary, University of London. It is hoped that Points of Contact will lead to an ongoing programme of cultural exchange between Brazil and UK.

Welcoming the announcement, UK Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw said: “Brazil’s unique cultural heritage, and the democratising power of the arts, can provide fascinating lessons for the United Kingdom. I am delighted that the Points of Contact initiative will provide artists and funders in both countries with opportunities to learn from each other. I am sure these experiences will enable artistic creation to flourish, provide a cultural legacy and help to strengthen relations between our two countries.”

Célio Turino, Brazilian Federal Secretary of Cultural Citizenship, declared about the Points of Contact programme: “Culture has the capacity to transform people’s lives, making possible a diverse exchange of knowledge and practices. Our policy has been to stimulate the flux, the flow, the fusion of cultural points in Brazil We believe that by making an interaction with Points of Contact in the UK we can strengthen the forces of integration between us all”.

People’s Palace Projects and the Brazilian Ministry of Culture are now identifying potential participant arts organisations in the UK and Brazil. Further information about the programme and participating organisations will be announced in Spring 2010.

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