The study on the positioning of artistic entities, in the context of the review of the support model for the arts, was developed by a CIES-IUL team coordinated by José Soares Neves, that listened to artistic entities at a national level. The project coordinator explained to us how it was possible to achieve this goal in such a short space of time.
The usefulness of this study is evidenced not only by the active interest shown by the entities involved, but also by the political relevance of the conclusions that have become public knowledge. The first results revealed that of the 2787 artistic entities registered at the DGArtes platform, 532 submitted their questionnaire, 522 of which were validated. It should be noted that 50% of the respondents had already received support from DGArtes. Despite the criticism, there seems to be a consensus regarding the need for support based on a model of awarding aid by public tender as a more equal form of access to finance.
Given the need for a study such as this – not only in terms of scientific relevance, but also its practical application and analysis of results – what was it like to coordinate this work and achieve results in such a short time?
José Soares Neves: It was great, with a fantastic CIES-IUL team that includes Joana Azevedo, Rui Telmo Gomes and Maria João Lima. The project lasted 5 months (January to June 2017), the collection of information was done on an online platform between 14 February and 3 March by a questionnaire survey with predominance of open questions. I had the opportunity to present the study to the artistic entities, immediately prior to the application, in five regional meetings in which the Secretary of State for Culture Miguel Honrado and the Director General for Arts Paula Varanda gave an account of the political objectives and outlined the participatory model review process. More than 500 people were present at these meetings, many of them representing collective art entities, meetings that provided a powerful incentive for participation.
The degree of participation was in fact very high, both in terms of the number of valid answers (522 as mentioned previously), a very demanding questionnaire from the point of view of completion, and in terms of the diversity of profiles of the collaborating entities in the Study, where one of the indicators is the one you mentioned: answers from supported entities, entities that were never supported and others that never applied for support.
Did the various stages of the study benefit from the proximity that has been maintained with the line ministry?
JSN: Yes, there was a good working climate, with each one of the fields developing its specific work and with stages of dialogue where we had the opportunity to present results.
Did the methodology used influence the success of the work, or was there an extra effort made by the whole team?
JSN: Well, the methodology that we proposed, and then adopted, in response to the challenge of the line ministry (to carry out a broad survey of all artistic entities with a view to informing the construction of the new support model for the arts) was well received by the sector, which is somewhat mirrored in the number of participations registered and in the contributions made. But of course, it was very demanding, both from the point of view of the construction of the questionnaire and from the point of view of application control in order to fulfil the central objective of ensuring broad participation, i.e. that all potentially interested entities would have access to the questionnaire. Equally demanding was the communication with the entities mainly in the launch phase with the control of email addresses and the response to the various requests for clarification. That is, although very demanding in its various phases, the methodology adopted proved adequate. I would not say that there was a need for an extra effort, what was evident was a huge commitment by the entire team throughout the research. And all this in a very short period of time.
The Council of Ministers approved on July 28 the decree-law that establishes the new regime for the granting of financial support to the performing, visual and cross-disciplinary arts, which will replace the current model next year.
To access the available documentation click here.