By Charlotte Markham, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Cultural Program for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, was launched May 4th at Rio de Janeiro’s National Library and hopes to share Brazilian diversity with the world. The program is an initiative directed by the Ministry of Culture, with the support of Rio 2016 and the Olympic Public Authority Board (PDB).
The schedule plans to host numerous artistic demonstrations and shows throughout the city during and in the run up to the Olympic events in August and September.
The program includes 2,000 free shows and activities that will take place in eighty locations, involving about ten thousand artists from all the Brazilian states.
President of the Olympic Public Authority Board, Marcelo Pedroso said, “the program aims to show the richness and cultural diversity that is the production of our people. And no doubt, our people are our greatest asset.”
For the Minister of Culture, Juca Ferreira, the moment was joyful. He views the program as a chance to portray Brazil positively, despite the less-than-bright image that is being projected by current events in the country.
Juca said “The collective work must be valued, because Brazil is a time of questioning everything. I think these self-destructive disputes that play out in the public sphere are very bad.”
The main stage of the program will be at the Fundição Progresso in Lapa, while the big shows, for larger audiences, will take place on an outdoor stage set up by the Arcos da Lapa.
The schedule will include several festivals, such as the Indigenous Cultures in partnership with the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), which will gather Indians of various Brazilian ethnic groups in Rio to participate in sports and cultural activities.
Other festivals include the Popular Culture Festival, which will be hosted in various locations of Rio de Janeiro, Niterói, and Baixada Fluminense with performances by popular street performance groups.