The Network of Culture Houses, Theaters, UVA and Sound Production Labs (CATUL Network) of the Citizen Culture Secretariat of the Mayor’s Office of Medellín, in alliance with Comfenalco Antioquia, was chosen as one of the three winning projects for the 2020 Educating Cities Award for Best Practices in the Inclusion and the Democratization of Culture, by the Association for Educating Cities (IAEC), which Medellín has been part of since 2004.
Medellín is one of the three winning cities, along with Santos from Brazil and Torres Vedras in Portugal, within a group of 50 cities in 4 continents. The recognition is given by the International Association of Educating Cities (IAEC).
This recognition exalts good government practices in access and citizen participation, with greater relevance in vulnerable populations in the cultural scene, through inclusive, democratic and healthy coexistence processes, in addition to the promotion of cultural diversity as development axes.
The application, made by the Agency for Cooperation and Investment of Medellín and the Metropolitan Area – ACI Medellín, and the Secretariat of Citizen Culture, achieved the recognition of the project Red CATUL by “giving value to the importance of a network of territorial articulation that achieves greater democratization of cultural facilities as learning spaces open to all citizens”.
In this sense, Eleonora Betancur González, executive director of ACI Medellín, says: “It fills us with joy to know that the International Association of Educating Cities – AICE, recognizes our city for its inclusion and democratization of culture. This allows us to visualize the path we’ve gone through, both in this international network and in our history where Red CATUL has played a relevant role in the social and community fabric; demonstrating how Medellín lives its culture”
The CATUL network, which is integrated by 14 physical equipment and 20 cultural processes throughout Medellín and its districts, impacts an average of 400,000 people each year, and weaves meaningful networks between different local, inter-territorial and institutional actors, on the basis of the recognition of others as a space for training and the circulation of knowledge and experience, which energize cultural processes with a community basis, through strategic lines such as training, community cultural management, promotion of creation, memory and territory, exchange and dialogue, and communications.
The award ceremony will be held during the 16th IAEC International Congress in March 2021.
Álvaro Narváez, undersecretary of Art and Culture of Medellín, says that: “the CATUL Network is an example of how innovation allows cultural management processes to be developed through the understanding of each territory’s particularities, where formation in diverse knowledge, creation, memory, and dialogues, strengthen and build new imaginaries. This recognition for the project and for the city, fills us with much joy and invites us to continue to bet more and more on culture and education as transformative axes of our society”.