The transformation of public cultural management during the turn of the century in Colombia has been positive, both for the country’s citizens and artists.

As we entered the third decade of the 21st century, it can be said that large cities assumed a more binding role with the population by offering various leisure and cultural services that simply did not exist in the 20th century.

Bogotá, with its festivals to the park, has been an example to follow not only for other cities in the country, but for many neighboring countries.

The Idartes is currently celebrating its first ten years since it became what it is now, although it would not be bad if it resumed the function it previously had of managing tourism. The alliance of culture with gastronomy, transport and tourism has been a success in other capitals.

I have participated in several of the events of this entity for more than three decades, and I can assure you that it has contributed to the formation of audiences and the construction of its own personality for this beloved city.

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Other cities in Colombia have implemented these policies with the support of their citizens. The events scheduled for this anniversary and the language used to promote them demonstrate Idartes’ clear purpose. I am talking about concepts such as the “appropriation of cultural rights”, which give it a strong sense of belonging to the citizenry. I am referring to the rescue of depressed sections of the city such as the Bronx, now a creative district, or the recent adaptation of the Castle of the Arts to imaginatively repopulate an old downtown brothel area.

Rebuilding the city’s festive scene is going to take time due to the ravages of the quarantine, it was noted in the low attendance at the Simón Bolívar park last weekend, where several festivals joined the park in a single day with very little attendance ( and the rain doesn’t help).

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But the Idartes already announces a plan for its next decade of activities. Hopefully that continuity with which the symbolic events of Bogotown have been repeated for several administrations will be maintained. Good ideas must be cared for and enhanced.

Happy first ten years at the engine of civic culture.

ÓscarAcevedo, musician and music critic. Email:

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