Music is a powerful global industry. It is also an important factor of human development. All the developed countries have grown from economic goals, together with an understanding of the important role supporting culture.

The demise of the Ministry of Culture and its replacement by a Secretary for Citizens’ Affairs does not guarantee integration within the social arena, nor do it do justice to the economy of Culture. Having so many varied functions means the new ministry will be limited in its capacity to develop cultural policies. In the same way, limiting culture simply as an extension of “citizenship” implies reducing its significance in the contemporary world and ignores its contribution to the creative economy and to innovation, which are keys to progress.

Official data show that professionals in the cultural sector have incomes higher than the national average, and this is directly related to the high qualification levels of creative work. Culture qualifies the country's workforce and helps us position it positively in the international trade of goods and services. Culture needs to be treated the same way the State treats the other areas of the economy, regulating its market relations and optimizing its growth. Culture cannot be treated as an adversary that needs to be disciplined.

The music sector intends to contribute to this debate. We want to help the country develop economically, contributing to the educational, cultural and especially to the human development in Brazil. But this can’t happen without recognizing its potential, without an autonomous and strategic policy at the federal level that is able to formulate its own goals.

Culture cannot be subordinated to a welfare concept, an outdated vision limiting the artistic potential of one of the most creative nations in the world - and our music is the great example of this potential. We cannot simply throw to the wind the needed and qualified policies that boost Brazil’s participation in the creative and digital economy.

This is an appeal for a permanent, urgent and nationwide cause. Culture is not just for the few; it permeates all of us, whatever our backgrounds and interests. We, the professionals at the São Paulo International Music Week, as well as all of its participants, together with millions of other music and culture professionals throughout the country, strongly demand that the cultural area has its own goals, with updated policies and continuous development.

In addition, we underline the importance of music being given a qualified management and focused projects, in keeping with its own highly qualified and developed labour market, so that Culture can be worthy of its civilizing mission in the country.

SIM SP, December 2018

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