Heritage and creative industries: a new path towards local development in Camagüey (+ Photos)

Camagüey, Cuba, Apr 26.- The enhancement of cultural heritage in favor of the socioeconomic development of a locality, in addition to being one of the premises of creative industries around the world, strengthens structures and facilitates the communication of social values.

It is currently one of the aspirations of the Arte Plaza Project, of the Office of the Historian of the City of Camagüey (OHCC), which has the financial support of the non-governmental organizations of the European Union OIKOS and CARE France.

The initiative was approved in 2019 and aims to boost the cultural life of this millennial city, enhancing the heritage characteristics of the El Carmen, Los Trabajadores and San Juan de Dios squares, and the Martí and Ignacio Agramonte parks.

In each of these enclaves, all located in the oldest segment of the town, declared by UNESCO in 2008 Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the development of cultural tourism, art and creation is foreseen, with the direct involvement of its members. inhabitants together with specialists from the OHCC and other entities of the territory.

Linking creative industries with heritage management will allow, through the so-called orange economy -a development model where cultural diversity and creativity are pillars of social and economic transformation- the production, promotion, dissemination and marketing of goods, services and activities of cultural, artistic and heritage content.

It is one of the most effective actions to raise awareness and train capacities of the actors involved, about the architectural bastions and extensive cultural program of this city, where the plastic, theatrical, musical arts, design and cinema intersect, with the typical gastronomic and artisan traditions.

The implementation of this project -until 2023 in stages- is concrete proof that culture, the rescue of traditions, creativity and citizen participation have a marked potential for territorial development.

In Cuba, it is a purpose with very few antecedents, since only the Cuban Art Factory and the Artecorte Project and Trazos Libres, in the province of Cienfuegos, exist in Havana.

Around the world there are successful examples of cities where, through creative industries projects, their Gross Domestic Product finds a part of the support of their growth through entrepreneurship.

In Latin America, Colombia and Chile are notable examples of the above, since they place the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) at the center of the economic development and internationalization agendas, not only due to the incorporation of formal measures of national economic performance, but also also for the definition of specific public policies to support their implementation.

CCIs have transitioned from the artisanal to the industrial, from the individual to the business, from the physical to the digital, and in this transition the relationship between culture and the economy has been redefined since the 1940s when the term emerged.

According to a report presented in 2015 to the United Nations, the CCI sector generated in 2015 profits of more than two trillion dollars and more than 29 million jobs, rates in continuous growth, as new technologies promote other innovations, causing positive transformations in the impact of these activities on the economy.

In the case of Camagüey, although there are still stages to be specified, Arte Plaza has considerable potential to establish itself among the best on the island in the future due to its inclusive and articulated management, since it raises the direct relationship between heritage and city tourism for economic purposes.

With the aim of declaring Camagüey a creative city of literature, the OHCC is currently working on the creation of a file to present to Unesco for that purpose, an example of its clear intentions to continue promoting the culture of the demarcation. (ACN)

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