OPEN LETTER

To: The citizens of Palermo who want to work together for real change, Director of Manifesta 12 Roberto Albergoni, Chief of Cultural Office of Palermo City Andrea Cusumano.

cc: Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando, present and future Palermo City administration independently from political affiliation.

Subject: the creation of a permanent online platform to receive proposals and to provide funding for culture.

Sender: The signatories of this open letter are artists and cultural workers from Palermo, some coming from other cities, some active internationally, as well as art lovers, are together interested in the use of public resources for cultural activities, and the implementation of joint opportunities in accessing funds for cultural production.

OPF — Open Public Funds

In 2018 Palermo willhost MANIFESTA. Through OMA a group of international and local artists, cultural operators, will tackle the issues of governance.

Regardless of the contingent context, and with the objective to reflect the theme of Governance, OPF is a wonderful opportunity to rally the synergies of the city towards resolving common issues.

“Manifesta 12 in Palermo is a great challenge to rethink how far cultural interventions can play a role in helping re-shaping one of the most iconic Mediterranean crossroads in our history as part of a long term transformation process. Manifesta 12 will raise questions such as: “Who owns the city of Palermo?” and “how to claim back the city?“. The city’s migration problems are symbolic of thefar wider crisis situation which the whole of Europe is facing right now.” — Hedwig Fijen, Director of Manifesta

“Manifesta 12 in Palermo in 2018 will be a fantastic opportunity for the city to reinvigorate its local and international identity. It is a moment for Europe to appreciate the significance of its Mediterranean dimension and identity: Palermo brings Manifesta to the Mediterranean and the Mediterranean to Europe. Manifesta 12 is an opportunity to celebrate Palermo for what it really is: a laboratory for the humanities, arts and culture. The city will be able to renew itself and pave away for its future.” — Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo

WHY

Regardless of these important institutional activities, Palermo is a city that is home to many independent and vivid cultural activities that constitute the specific contemporary character of the city. In addition to MANIFESTA Palermo has achieved three major results, the first with the recognition of the Arab-NormanUNESCO trail, the other two with prestigious awards: Palermo Youth Capital 2017, Palermo Italian Capital of Culture 2018. In an extraordinary context making great strides forward, the issue of governance is absolutely strategic, synergistic and central to all the objectives yet to be achieved. For a governance to reflect a contemporary idea of participation it is necessary that institutions and citizens work together with the design of the appropriate tools.

WHO AND HOW

A large group ofartists, cultural operators and creative professionals, present to MANIFESTA and to Palermo City the OPF Platform (Open Public Funds). The online platformprovides all the information on calls and opportunities vital the field of cultural production. This tool has the primary objective of governance through transparency and simplified management of public funds. Often the Italian municipalities, including Palermo, utilize poorly structured communication of the resources and funds available (1). Although the City of Palermo has recently improved its portal, there are still many gaps to fill. OPF is a platform that has a specific mission to address these gaps as best and as quickly as possible, drawing from a pool of cultural operators, planners,designers and artists with extensive experience and expertise, specifically drawing from all new and good practices conducted in European countries.

WHAT OPF DOES

Good governance practices with public funds are implemented through few simple steps:

- Simplified registration to the specific municipality news letter for procurement and tenders (calls and opportunities).

- Sufficient time between the publication dates of the calls and opportunities and their closure, followed by the publication of results.

- Transparency through open data of the allocated public funds.

- Cyclic programming and calendar set in advance for announcements, an open service for counseling.

- Permanent online portal with the function of receiving cyclically cultural proposals, to optimize the evaluation process and the implementation of projects.

OPF achieves these objectives based on the collaboration of artists and professionals of creative field based in Palermo and abroad. They have gathered to offer their services in order to build and test to Palermo City a clear mechanism that provides information about calls for the allocation of public funds to cultural initiatives. The platform is designed along the example of other European cities such as Barcelona, Helsinki, Amsterdam etc.

(1)- Palermo City is working to help contemporary cultural activities to thrive locally. For this to happen, it seems necessary to improve the cyclical launching of open calls to allocate public funds to local initiatives (at present available only for Christmas-and New Year show,for Santa Rosalia and few sporadic occasions). Moreover looking at the recent open calls launched, we saw how necessary it is to improve the tools for a more effective and scheduled communication.

Waiting for your kind reply to start working together!

If you wish to add your signature, please do not hesitate:

add your signature

Our best regards

- Egle Oddo, artist and board member of Catalysti Transcultural Artists Association
- Sandro Aglialoro
- Angela Maria Benivegna, artist and writer
- Claudio Collovà, regista e direttore artistico
- Claudia Di Gangi, artist
- Andrea Kantos, visual artist, project manager
- Emanuele Calì
- Patrycja Stefanek, artist
- Federico Bonelli, co-initiator of dyne.org/trasformatorio
- Libera A. Aiello
- Daniele Di Luca
- Jesse Marsh
- Davide Ricco
- Stefania Galegati
- Valentina Cardone
- Eija Tarkiainen, curator and board of Minuksi and Comitato Sarastus association
- Timo Tuhkanen, music composer, artist and activist
- Eva Polare, artist and activist
- Claudia Gangemi
- Rossana Becarelli,cofondatrice Associazione Internazionale Crysalis-Arti per la salute(Presidente: Michelangelo Pistoletto)
- Marco D’Amico
- Pixelache.ac, transdisciplinaryplatform for emerging art, design, research and activism
- Mari Keski-Korsu, artist, festival director
- Owen Kelly, Doctorof Arts, Principal Lecturer in Online Media
- Petri Ruikka, artist, festival director
- Mikko Laajola, artist and activist
- Agnieszka Pokrywka,artist and co-initator of Temporary.fi
- Fondazione Dyne.org, digital community and free software foundry
- Umberto Cantone, regista