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Ita Cultural_

Contemporary. There is no better word to define the Itaú Cultural. It was its contemporary attitude that brought the Itaú Bank to be the pioneer – among Brazilian financial companies – to create a space entirely dedicated to cultural production and research. This in 1989, when most people still thought that to create culture was not something for a bank to do.

Since then Itaú Cultural has collected a number of stories that prove its different, darting, innovative – in a nutshell, contemporary – profile. What could be more contemporary than taking, as its first step, as soon as it was inaugurated, the creation of a computerized database, in a time when we still not even dreamed of the internet, wireless communication networks, cell phones and other things that are to familiar to us today? And – even cooler – such database created by a financial company would not be about numbers but about art.

During 10 years we collected data and images that allowed the creation of hundreds of biographies and entries about concepts, movements, techniques and events related to the tendencies of Brazilian art since the Colonial period. In 1999, the Database was made available through the internet, and two years later the Itaú Cultural Encyclopedia of Visual Arts was created, reaching a large variety of public, from first grade and high school students to university level researchers, connoisseurs, art critics and artists.

The Institute facilitate peoples access – whether their social class or cultural level – to artistic and theoretical manifestations. And it is entirely free of charge. Publications, videos, CDs and CD-ROMs: the content generated by ItaúCultural is freely distributed to schools, cultural institutions and libraries throughout the country, in a yet another way to ensure the right to culture to everyone.

The Itaú Cultural was the first institution in the country to be concerned with media art, a high-risk segment that demands lots of research and on going updating. In 2001 the institution presented the first edition of the international event Emotion Art.ficial, which brought works from media centers of the whole world, showing in Brazil the state-of-art of this segment. Not happy in exhibiting only, the Itaú Cultural bought the idea and produced a media artwork: Regina Silveiras Climbing Down the Stair.

The work triggered the creation of the Institutes media art research center, Itaulab, that, besides following-up with everything that happens in this area in the whole world, also produces immersive environments, like Paulista 1919, and holds events like the 2004 and 2006 editions of Emotion Art.ficial, which contributed to turn this into a permanent initiative of the institution.

A concern with the Brazilian cultural scenario motivated the creation of Itaú Cultural Rumos in 1997. Brazilian art and intellectual production are the raw materials of this program. By supporting projects that meet the criteria of these two areas, the Institute has been contributing – for over 10 years – to the reflection on the countrys social and cultural reality.

The programs principle is the identification of initiatives both in the field of arts (scenic, visual, musical, mediatic, audiovisual, literary) and in the field of thought (academic research, education, journalism). Unpublished, inphase of production or even already existing projects that didnt reach the public at large are the recipient of Rumos infra-structural and financial support. The next step is dissemination, a series of actions that expand the content of these initiatives to the whole country. Rumos promotes the circulation of selected works with the realization of exhibitions, shows, video and phone documentation and both printed and electronic publications.

Being Itaú Culturals main area of actuation, Rumos greatest asset is its national coverage. By prizing and circulating projects arriving from the whole country, it promotes the interchange between artists, curators, thinkers, agents,producers, technicians, etc. In this way, in a two-way road, an artist from agiven region exhibits his work in others and a researcher has the opportunity to expose his thought in several locations of the Brazilian territory. Such exchange grants opportunity and voice to the countrys many productive centers, contradicting the belief that the countrys cultural axle is restricted to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Rumos has its social magnitude recognized by the Eco Prize 2003 Company and Community, category Culture, of the American Chamber of Commerce, and received a mention in the Exame Guide of Good Corporative Citizenship of the same year, category Program of Social Responsibility in Culture.

And talking about being contemporary, Itaú Cultural is proud of being present in Canal Contemporâneo, a site that has became one of the main references in the reflection and dissemination of Brazilian art. To watch Canal and to watch itself in it became for the institution a manner to continue to contribute to the dynamization of this segment, and also a manner of showing our respect for the country, its art and artists.

Itaú Cultural
Avenida Paulista, 149
São Paulo - SP - 01311-000
Fone 11-2168-1700 Fax 11-2168-1775


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