RIO DE JANEIRO.-
The Museu de Arte do Rio, a public museum founded by the Rio de Janeiro City Government, has achieved worldwide recognition by combining an international artistic vision with educational programmes and by focusing on lower-income local communities.
As a city Rio de Janeiro is currently in dire financial straits. One of the many effects of this has been the endangering of its limited but crucial structural public funding to the Instituto Odeon, the organisation that has managed the MARs operations since its foundation. Throughout the MARs history, the Instituto Odeon has been responsible through its fundraising activities for securing the budget for the MARs exhibitions and educational programmes. The public funding, which is in the order of R$1 million reals approximately US$200,000 per month, is exclusively for salaries and maintenance costs. The loss of this public base would almost certainly result in the collapse of this unique institution.
The MAR was founded in 2013 to revitalise Rio de Janeiros port area. Since then it has built up one of the most important art collections in Brazil, with a collection of more than 9,000 works and an archive containing 20,000 documents representing and recording the cream of Brazilian visual culture. The collection was generously donated to the Brazilian state by the countrys civil society including artists, gallerists and collectors, as well as many other citizens as a vote of confidence in its senior professional team, which counted legendary Brazilian curator Paulo Herkenhoff among its number. Over the last six years the MARs team has implemented a programme of more than sixty internationally recognised exhibitions of Brazilian and international artists. It has also hosted one of the most vibrant educational programmes in the country, attracting more than 580,000 visitors in 2019 (40% up on 2018), and a total of three million national and international visitors since its creation.
The MARs outstanding educational programmes are attended not just by the museums visitors but by a wide range of lower-income local communities, families with children and state-funded schools. This makes the MAR one of the worlds prime examples of a museum conceived as an inclusive space for the most plural artistic concepts, expressions and traditions that define a nations culture, in this case Brazils.
Altogether this makes the MAR a cultural icon of Rio de Janeiro, and one of the most visited and revered museums in the country.
recognises the Museu de Arte do Rios invaluable cultural and educational contributions not only to the city of Rio de Janeiro and its people but to the whole of Brazil, and to communities and museums around the world. CIMAM wishes to express its deep concern about the MARs current critical financial ability to secure its salaries and services for 2020 and beyond.
It therefore urges the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, and the Rio de Janeiro City Government to secure public funding for the museum in order to guarantee:
1) the successful continuation of this unique institution;
2) the conservation and care of its collection according to international standards of museum best practices, as established by the International Council of Museums (ICOM);
3) the positions of the museums team of one hundred employees, including art professionals, educators, cultural managers, maintenance and security staff.