CEAC denounces budget cut of 25% for 2021, making the continuity of the oldest artistic bodies in the country unfeasible
The measure would mean a reduction of 700 million pesos for the National Symphonic Orchestra of Chile and the Chilean National Ballet, the two groups with the longest trajectory of classical music and dance in the country. The government’s decision compromises the continuity and viability of the casts that have nearly 80 years of history and a valuable heritage legacy, which has been essential in the historical and cultural development of the country.
There is concern and indignation in the world of the arts at the announcement of the Government of a cut of 700 million pesos to the direct detriment of the National Symphony Orchestra of Chile – about to turn 80 years of existence -, the Chilean National Ballet, the Choir Symphonic of the University of Chile (both with 75 years of life), and the Vocal Camerata.
The figure translates into 25% of the resources allocated to the casts, which strongly compromises their viability and existence. In addition, it endangers the future of its mission, which was assigned by the National Congress 80 years ago through Law No. 6696, leaving in check these sets declared National Heritage, which have been essential actors in the historical and cultural development from the country.
Faced with the arbitrary measure, the Director of the Centro de Extensión Artística y Cultural, Diego Matte Palacios, has stated that “a cut of this magnitude means irreparable damage to the work that has been carried out for decades in the delivery of artistic content of excellence to the country, always with a pricing policy that has ensured democratic access. We will defend our budget by delivering a clear message to the authorities and ministries involved. We cannot allow the cultural institutionality to be destroyed so that the Ministry of Culture obtains easy applause by artificially increasing short-term programs ”.
According to what was indicated by Minister Consuelo Valdés through Twitter, 2021 would consider an increase of 13% for the cultural sector. However, said announcement would be made through a redistribution of funds from that and other portfolios, also including cuts to other cultural institutions with a long history, among which are the Teatro Municipal de Santiago, the GAM, the FOJI, Balmaceda Arte Joven , all those that would be affected with a reduction of 10% of their annual budget, unlike the CEAC, which is inexplicably being affected by 25%.
“We all want culture funds to increase, but it is unjustifiable that this is to the detriment of institutions that have worked for decades in favor of the cultural development of our country, and that with a measure of these characteristics could even be destroyed. We will work tirelessly to defend our work, joining forces and protecting our heritage, as we have always done despite the circumstances ”, Diego Matte emphasized.
Likewise, this blow to its budget adds to the difficult situation that the CEAC has had to face for more than a year, as a result of the total closure and the constant danger of the Universidad de Chile Theater as a result of the social outbreak and subsequently of COVID-19, which that has kept the agency without income for a full year.
Thus, as a way to make visible the strong threat posed by this measure, the casts are initiating a campaign that aims to join efforts to protect the National Symphony Orchestra of Chile, the Chilean National Ballet, the Symphonic Choir and the Vocal Camerata of the University of Chile, through the motto DEFENDAMOS LA SINFÓNICA.
It should also be noted that, despite being forced to suspend their usual activities as a result of the pandemic, the CEAC and its ensembles have not ceased in their efforts to bring music and dance to all citizens, as well as have tried to continue with their educational work through different platforms and initiatives. Thus, throughout all these months they have maintained an incessant work that has been reflected mainly through their channel www.ceactv.cl, where excellent artistic content is offered openly and free of charge. Likewise, the organization has been a pioneer in terms of the gradual return of its musicians to the stage, through new concerts recorded live from the Universidad de Chile Theater.