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Altea: Cultural Capital of the Valencian Community for 2019-2020

Written by on January 14, 2019

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Article Written & Published in Spanish By: El Mundo
Translated by Google from Spanish to English

Altea: Cultural Capital of the Valencian Community for 2019-2020

The Castell de l’Olla, held in August, is one of the highlights of the candidacy. EM

The election for the cultural capital of 2019-2020 places it above other cities with much more population and resources

“I feel bad”. So Diego Zaragozí confesses that he felt when he was announced that Altea had achieved the coveted cultural capital of the Valencian Community for 2019-2020. Now, the mayor of Culture of this small city of Alicante still admits to being “scared” before what is on them. But above all it weighs more the feeling that Altea can believe what it is capable of offering .

How did a town with a little more than twenty thousand inhabitants succeed in imposing itself on other cities that are much larger than it? Its mayor, Jaume Llinares, says that this is not the first time that they have presented themselves to this recognition since they opted for its first edition. There they were defeated at the option of Gandia, which he recognized was more powerful.

Two years later, and with much more work on their backs, it was their opportunity. Even though it was not going to be easy in front of me.

“We knew that Xàtiva and Alcoy showed up and that there would be many others because we will be in full electoral campaign . But ours was very good, elaborate, coherent and very well presented”.

The illustrations of Marta Casares supported the new image of ‘Altea, sea of cultures’.MC

The team that managed Zaragozí was in charge of getting that done. With Pau Urios, Isabel Martínez and Marta Casares created the documentation in graphic image of the Altea campaign, sea of cultures.

Thanks to it, they finally convinced the Generalitat team of its attractions. The city became a mother with five daughters: arts, shows, literature, music and heritage. Through this symbolism they ordered from the Palau and the chairs they have with the two Alicante universities to traditions such as the Castell de l’Olla or the music band contest.

They added a total of forty-five elements between the heritage and the proposals , a list of which Zaragozí emphasizes that it was avoided that they were presented as a compilation of a calendar of activities.

For this reason, he emphasizes that “apart from these, the great cultural work, the presentation was very attractive -as the Ministry recognized us- and that made the candidacy very good”.

The narrative thread with which they wove their program started from what they had, “so we have taken advantage of a bit of poetry, literature and a bit of self-love ,” Zaragozí reasons poetically. And that has helped them to sell themselves but especially for “that we create what we really want to be”.

There he says that they have to fight against the “autoodio” by a badly understood self-criticism , since he believes “that we should see each other with good eyes”.

That is why he says that the feeling is positive in the population, “it is evident that people do not make jumps in the street but you can tell they are happy and congratulate you for it”.

Llinares also shares the idea of the positive impact it will have already, “we are super happy and it is very important for the people”. A joy that also demonstrates Javi Moreno, Deputy Vice Chancellor of Culture at the Miguel Hernández University.

In this coastal town, it has its Faculty of Fine Arts, a center with which “we know that many more relationships and interactions will take place”. In fact, the mayor, in a more political tone, criticizes previous popular governments “because it was incredible that in twenty years the university was on its back , while now any act is carried out jointly.”

This is an example of a key to his candidacy for cultural capital, relationships. “That does not cost money , it’s about using well-used public money. That is to want to work for people and culture. And it gives faith of the intention that we have”.

In the section of their desires the sights are now higher than ever. For example, the city does not now have an exhibition space with sufficient capacity to attract large samples.

The idea of bringing one from the Ivam or the Center del Carme forces them to have a place in conditions. And Llinares claims to have a solution for this.

Without creating new infrastructures, your idea is to take advantage of and reorder existing ones. “You can do things without having to spend money: take advantage of the House of Culture, the Social Center and the Palau,” he says.

A practical example, in the first has a very broad space related to the holidays. “One of the things we are thinking about is taking it to the Casa de l’Aigua to be just the party, and so recover a room of 400 square meters. It is not a question of budget – although also – but with imagination and intentions you manage to recover that cultural and festive attraction that Altea had and continues to have”.


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