Newsletter, July 2023

BACH Workshop

The BACH workshop, held on June 12-13 at the University of Chieti (Italy) delved into the fascinating realm of Biobehavioral impacts of Arts and Culture on Health, Sustainability, and Social Cohesion. The event brought together experts, researchers, and practitioners to explore the profound impact of arts and culture on various aspects of human well-being and societal development. If you missed the workshop or want to revisit the insightful sessions, you can watch the entire event on the dedicated YouTube playlist.  Stay informed about upcoming events and discussions by following the newly activated BACH Research Center social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. Join us in exploring the intersection of arts, culture, and human flourishing!

Cases for Culture. Roots of Resilience

The Roots of Resilience project looked at and strengthen the mechanisms through which cultural heritage organisations can foster resilience in communities of the Quadrilatero Ferrifero (Iron Quadrangle) region in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. The project’s premise was to propose a participatory and co-creative research approach by working with cultural organisations and empowering them to conduct research independently and with their communities: Associaçao Cultural Clube Osquindô, Casa Quilombê, Banda Sao Sebastiao Musical Corporation, the Carlos Drummond de Andrade Cultural Foundation and Atras do Pano Theatre Group. Coordinated by People’s Palace Projects (PPP) and conceived in partnership with Inhotim Institute, the project has been funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) via the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). Read the Roots of Resilience Report English here.

For more Cases for Culture visit our Collection.

Alliance with 17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos

It is with great pleasure that we share with our community our partnership with 17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos. Recently from this platform we held the “XXXV International Colloquium: Critical Imagination” whose video recording can be seen here.

“What did We Do?” Weavers Meeting, Argentina

On Saturday, July 8, the Pre-Texts Argentina team met at its Buenos Aires headquarters, Casa Walsh, to share experiences on practices with psychologist Marta Giana, a specialist in mental health and collaborative work. For Pre-Texts Argentina’s work click here.

Winter Holidays at Centro Cultural Kirchner, Argentina

Research Project Selected by MEC, Brazil

A research project that was being developed by Professor Marilúcia Lago (Federal University of Goiás) and by Professor Matheus Batalha (Federal Institute of Sergipe) was selected by the Basic Education Secretariat of the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC). The main objective of this project is to support MEC in the development of innovative methodologies, such as Pre-Texts, for units/schools that comply with the socio-educational system for youth in deprivation of liberty. The general goals are mapping socio-education, identifying teaching methods and services, including verifying policies that are implemented in all Brazilian states; to implement a pilot intervention project; and to evaluate the necessity of reformulation of policies on Brazilian socio-education systems. This project aims to contribute to a new set of actions for the MEC.

Around Gabo, Colombia

We saw them arrive at two o’clock in the afternoon. Although disoriented and not very expectant, they seemed energetic and ready to embark on what they suspected was “a curious integration activity, during working hours”. They felt, laughed, played and reflected deeply around García Márquez’s story “something bad is going to happen in town. They did not expect it, they experienced a meeting between colleagues in which they met the person who was hiding behind the official in the office next to them and, based on the tragedy of Gabo who never was, they learned the stories, experiences and feelings of their colleagues who have been. We saw them leave at six o’clock in the afternoon. In the end no one wanted to leave.

Victoria Mena, Facilitator

Universidad Mayor and Aspire Chile

This organization will provide a unique education in English language learning. Our mission is to empower Chilean students, especially those in disadvantaged communities, by providing them with essential writing and speaking skills. We believe in the transformative power of English in a globalized world and we want to expand opportunities for success for all. Our team is motivated to create positive change in our community and create a future full of opportunities for all, following the example of the Aspire Institute.

3rd Cohort, Universidad Mayor, Chile

On July 3, Universidad Mayor began its third training program offered to its academics and administrative staff in addition to community services. On this occasion, the group to be trained is made up of undergraduate and postgraduate professors from the School of Education, academics from the School of Cinema and former students of Aspire Chile. In their first session they shared the poem The Raven, by the writer Edgar Allan Poe.

Pre-Texts Before and After, China




2023 Harvard Internship

The Pre-Texts Internship draws Harvard undergraduates with interests in the arts, education, and social reform and pairs them with organizations around the world. During their eight weeks on-site, interns create and implement Pre-Texts programming towards their host’s goals. In addition to the promotion of primary or secondary language literacy that the pedagogy is particularly well-suited for, interns this year are using Pre-Texts to preserve and spread understanding of indigenous cultures in California, pilot alternative prison rehabilitation programs in Paraguay, teach leadership in Chile, and promote arts integration in Chicago Public Schools. While the potential, institutional impact of this programming in these communities is large, the personal impact of participating in Pre-Texts workshops should not be neglected either. Watch the video to hear the interns’ final reflections upon graduating from their Pre-Texts training.

Emma Fang.




MaMiMò Teatro Piccolo Orologio, Italy


On July 10, Prof. PierLuigi Sacco met with the inmates of the 𝐎𝐫𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐞 ward! Dr. 𝐒𝐚𝐫𝐚 𝐔𝐛𝐨𝐥𝐝𝐢 𝐜𝐨𝐧 𝐂𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐚 𝐃𝐢 𝐃𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐨, in colaboration with the with the Reggio Emilia prison, initiated 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐭𝐨𝐜𝐨𝐥𝐥𝐨 𝐏𝐫𝐞-𝐭𝐞𝐱𝐭, a project with high cultural impact, designed specifically 𝐩𝐞𝐫 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢 𝐬𝐨𝐜𝐢𝐨-𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐢, tested in many different cultural and socio-economic contexts, including South America, India and Africa. The Pre-Texts protocol has been proposed in very diverse contexts, but the collaboration with MaMiMò has made it possible for the first time in the world to be applied in a correctional institution. Underlying this protocol is the idea of recovering the sense of learning and social integration through reading, leveraging the creative and expressive resources of the participants. The impact of the interventions is evaluated in terms of improving participants’ mental well-being and inclusion. Check all our work in Italy here.

Pre-Texts, the Book

Pre-Texts turns 15 and celebrates it with the publication of Pre-Texts International. The book will be available through Harvard University Press in Fall 2023.

Culture and Mental Health

Pre-Texts Argentina Group visiting Martín DiGirolamo Art Show in Centro Cultural Haroldo Conti, Marcelo Somma

Two decades’ worth of research and a pandemic have led to a boom in programmes using culture for its health benefits. A growing number of initiatives across Europe are using access to the arts as a tool to improve health and well-being alongside classic medical treatment. In the Danish town of Silkeborg, a group of new mothers who suffered from postpartum depression reported feeling closer to their newborns, calmer and more optimistic after taking part in weekly singing sessions designed to improve their mental health. Similar results were also observed in groups also participating in the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Music for Motherhood project in four other cities in Italy and Romania. Full article here.

The Creative Bureaucracy Festival


Let’s recap! We welcomed more than 1,300 participants onsite in Berlin as well as about 1,500 viewers who joined us live via our online stream. In 73 English and German speaking sessions, 182 speakers and project participants from 34 countries shared their expertise on administrative innovations. “The topics and impulses presented at the festival showed that public administrations have creative solutions and are ready to implement them. With the participation of all actors from administration, politics and civil society we can achieve change”, says festival director Johanna Sieben. Visit The Festival 2023 | The Creative Bureaucracy Festival for more

Cultural Value


How do we count the value of culture? Poets and philosophers can tell us in words, but are there other ways of measuring how much the arts are worth? What happens if we try to express that value in numbers? Over the last two decades, the worth of the arts has been counted in terms of its monetary contribution to GDP. But what are the other measures we can use to express the value of the arts? Since 2016, Paul Heritage and Leandro Valiati have developed a research enquiry that looks at how arts organizations in the UK and Brazil can produce coherent, consistent and comparable data about the value of what they do in relation to the territories where they operate and are based. This enquiry has informed a wider enquiry about the policies that Britain and Brazil have developed to stimulate cultural production and consumption. Visit site


Caminos de Paz Cases for Culture Cultural Agents Opportunities Partners Pre-Texts Rennaisance Now
July 16, 2023
by Rodriguez