The Ministry of Culture and Heritage, as the lead agency for the cultural sector in Ecuador, as well as other institutions in fields relating to the mobility of Ecuadorian citizens, including artists and cultural managers, have created favourable conditions to encourage the participation of these actors in strategic spaces abroad. To this end, specific measures have been implemented, which represent important advances in encouraging and enhancing the international presence of the Ecuadorian culture:
Funding Lines for Artistic Mobility Abroad
The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has supported the participation of Ecuadorian artists abroad through non-refundable economic incentive agreements, which have enabled artists to travel internationally. Until 2018, these economic incentives were granted by the Ministry to artists, creators and cultural managers who submitted formal physical requests for financial support for their participation abroad. These requests were analyzed by an ad hoc technical committee that recommended those participations to which support would be granted.
However, in order to implement a more structured process following institutional and budgetary planning, since 2019, a specific promotion line was created for the mobilization of artists abroad. This Mobilization Promotion Line is implemented by the Promotion of Arts, Innovation and Creativity Institute (IFAIC, in Spanish), an institution attached to the Ministry of Culture and Heritage. In order to guarantee democratic and legitimate access to this economic incentive, artists participate through a National Public Call, by means of which the interested parties apply online on the Institute's website, and those who meet the requirements set out in the technical bases of the contest are finally benefited. This process allows participation based on relevance strategic criteria, which makes the representation of Ecuadorian artists abroad more effective and successful.
It is also important to mention that for the cinema and audiovisual sector there is a specific support line for international participation and presence, which is implemented through the Cinema and Audiovisual Creation Institute (ICCA, in Spanish).
Creation of the "Plan for the International Presence of the Ecuadorian Arts and Culture"
Once this funding line has been created for the presence of Ecuadorian art and culture abroad, it is important to generate guidelines to prioritize strategic spaces for the promotion of national artistic expressions and the circulation of cultural goods and services defined by the governing Culture body, in accordance with the policies developed and issued for that purpose. Thus, currently, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage is working on the "Plan for the International Presence of Ecuadorian Arts and Culture", which seeks to identify these spaces considered relevant and priority for the presence of Ecuadorian art and culture abroad.
Issuance of the Organic Law of Human Mobility
The 2017 issuance of the Organic Law of Human Mobility made it possible to harmonize and integrate, in a single legal document, the different regulations dispersed for more than 40 years into various instruments: the Migration Law, the Law on Foreigners, the Naturalization Law and the Law on Travel Documents. This has meant a great step forward in the granting of travel documents that make it possible to mobilize artists and cultural managers. Artists can now access official passports to represent Ecuador in official cultural activities abroad. To this end, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage issues a guarantee that recognizes the relevance and legitimacy of the international participation of artists in festivals and other official spaces of cultural representation, based on requests received and managed through the Directorate of Foreign Affairs and International cooperation. With this endorsement, the Travel Documents Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility is requested to issue an official passport for the applicant artist or artistic group, once the accuracy of the participation data has been confirmed.
Moreover, the enactment of the Law is an indisputable contribution and example of good practice in the field of law for persons in human mobility. It should be noted that the Organic Law of Human Mobility has not only allowed the regularization of the participation of Ecuadorian artists abroad, but it has also included non-discrimination on the basis of gender and the principle of the best interests of children, thus, making it possible for the granting visas to foreign artists allows them to continue their artistic and cultural activities within the country.
Thanks to the economic incentives granted by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage through its funding policies, in 2016 14 artists were benefited, including participants from the Guadalajara's Book Fair in Mexico and the Cali's Book Fair in Colombia. In 2017, the beneficiaries were 34 artists and, in 2018, 33 artists were granted these economic incentives.
Since the creation of the Mobilization Line, implemented by IFAIC, in 2019, the number of artists accessing institutional economic incentives has increased noticeably, with 113 artists benefiting in one year.
In addition, in the field of the cinema and audiovisual industry there were 135 beneficiaries in the 2016-2019 period, which gives us a total of 329 artists and cultural managers benefited to make their presence abroad possible.
According to the figures mentioned, it is possible to note the continuing and progressive interest of the Ecuadorian State and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage to support, in an organized and democratic way, Ecuadorian artists and cultural expressions to increase their international representativeness and positioning.
* In 2016, due to budgetary adjustments, the amount allocated for the mobilization of artists was US$6,342.94 (Six thousand three hundred forty-two US dollars and ninety-four cents).
* In 2017, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage granted a total of US$61,566.06 (sixty-one thousand five hundred sixty-six US dollars and six cents).
* In 2018, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage granted a total of US$49,000.00 (Forty-nine thousand US dollars).
* In 2019, IFAIC allocate a total of US$109,752.27 (one hundred and nine thousand seven hundred and fifty-two US dollars and twenty-seven cents) for the mobilization of artists.
* From 2016 to 2019, ICCA supported 135 programs of international spaces with a total amount of US$197,052.00 (one hundred ninety-seven thousand fifty-two US dollars).
* This means that between 2016 and 2019, the Ecuadorian State allocated a total budget of US$423,713.27 (Four hundred and twenty three thousand seven hundred and thirteen US dollars and twenty-seven cents), for the presence of Ecuadorian art and culture abroad.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
Institute for the Promotion of Arts, Innovation and Creativity (IFAIC, in Spanish)
Cinema and Audiovisual Creation Institute (ICCA, in Spanish)