Solís acts to provide funds for creation of works related to traditions

President Luis Guillermo Solís, along with Elizabeth Fonseca, the culture minister, signed a regulation that aims to develop projects that directly promote artistic creation and learning in local communities through government funding. Called the Fondo de Becas Taller, the “workshop scholarship fund,” the financing plan proposes to stimulate the creation of works that tie in with local heritages and stories passed down from generations.

“Thanks to the workshop scholarship fund the knowledge our grandfathers and grandmothers had, like traditional cuisine, artisan techniques of yesteryear, and demonstrations so appreciated like masquerades, can now be available for younger generations,” Solís said. “This knowledge not only tells us where we come from, but it’s also a starting point for the innovation and reconstruction of our cultural identities that so define us.”

A release from the culture ministry lists performers, promoters, researchers, and managers as different types of persons available for the scholarship. The culture minister said these artists provide a great role in boosting community pride throughout the country with their works.

“Through this fund people and organizations can finance projects for the safeguarding of many of the customs and expressions that make up our cultural heritage,” Ms. Fonseca said.

A culture ministry report further outlined that, in the age of globalization, a connection to a country’s roots and history is crucial when creating a personal identity for oneself or one’s community. The scholarship fund currently has a budget of 64 million colons, or some $118,000, which will be raised to 100 million colons by 2015 as a result of the regulation revision.

Those people and organizations who are interested in applying for the scholarship must meet certain requirements. First, they must define themselves in an artistic classification, such as visual arts, literature, or music. Second, they must make sure their project focus on values that reflect local traditions or stories. Also, all works under the scholarship must follow methods of training, production, cultural management, and research.

The regulation says, “To receive funding, presented projects must foster socio-cultural diversity and plurality of identities; be technically viable and done within an established period that produces concrete and verifiable results; provide some mechanism that benefits the population involved; builds awareness, participation and community commitment to ensure its sustainability, and strengthens those actors who stand out in carrying on ideals of cultural heritage.” September is the next submission deadline for applications.

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