By Dorah Feliciano, Contributing Reporter
BRASILIA, BRAZIL – First came the announcement that state-run petroleum company, Petrobras, was not renewing many of its sponsorships contracts for cultural projects. Now Brazil has announced new rules for the Rouanet Law, the government’s main instrument to finance cultural ventures, including a steep reduction in the ceiling limit to be given to each project.
“We will increase the access of the Brazilian population to the culture, especially of the poorest people, prioritize the stimulation of new talents, strengthen the actions of social inclusion and promote popular culture,” said the text published by the Ministry of Citizenship on its Facebook page on Monday.
The text was accompanied by a video featuring the Minister of Citizenship, Osmar Terra. “Excluded from the cuts are heritage restoration projects, the construction of theaters and cinemas in small towns and annual plans for nonprofits such as museums and orchestras,” explained the Minister.
Terra also noted that popular festivals and events such as the Amazonas Opera Festival and book fairs will have a differentiated limit of R$6 million per project.
Those projects obtaining federal funds will have to distribute at no cost 20 to 40 percent of its tickets to low-income families. Previously, the total of free tickets required was ten percent. The value of popular tickets will decrease from R$75 to R$50, according to Terra.
The minister said one of the objectives of this revision of the law is to reduce the concentration of resources destined to states such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
On Sunday, Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, took to his social media to say that he was ordering a revision of all cultural sponsorships and funding by his Administration.
“Respecting the applicability of public money, we determined the review of current contracts. The order is to know what they (project managers) do with the billions of the Brazilian population,” said Bolsonaro on his Twitter account.