4 - Philosophy and management of the process

Philosophy and management of the process

What key principles inspired and guided the process for Matera European Capital of Culture 2019? First and foremost, a concept of culture as “caretaking”, which contemplated the transformation of spaces into commons, the involvement of citizens in the revitalization of what belongs to them, the use of unusual venues for the cultural events with the goal of bringing them towards people, reclaiming spaces for culture rapidly and inexpensively, developing new models of production, enjoyment and participation. Significant human and economic resources were deployed to sustain and nurture all the above: public entities and companies, as well as professionals from the Lucania area and beyond, who chose to invest in this important challenge.

New spaces for culture

The events in the cultural programme of Matera 2019 were held in the most disparate locations in the city, from the city centre to the suburbs, and in the Basilicata region, from the most accessible areas to the most remote. One of the solutions that was devised, in Matera in particular, to solve the problem of the lack of traditional spaces in which to create culture, such as theatres for example, was to bring culture into spaces that are usually foreign to it, such as gardens, prisons, hospitals, private homes, a call centre, a shopping mall. It was an original use for these spaces, which activated very special processes to create relationships between the traditional users of these spaces and the artists who intervened in them. Matera 2019 was also successful in bringing the audiences for the cultural events into spaces that had long been closed, giving them new life, or attributing new functions to them.

432 total spaces in Matera and Basilicata used for the 2019 Matera events

Spaces repurposed and/or opened to the public for the first time for cultural events, unusual spaces for staging cultural events

Matera 2019 income and expenditure

Budget composition

The total budget for the cultural programme of the European Capital of Culture for the period 2015-2020 amounted to 50,082,373.19 €, 94% of which came from public funding and 6% from private sources (sponsorship and various partnerships). Together with the major public bodies at national, regional and municipal level, also companies, from big brands to local entrepreneurs, have believed in the path and visibility of Matera 2019, sharing its values and principles.

The stages of budgeting

The public resources determining the composition of the budget, built according to the values of frugality (low cost) and concreteness (rapidity), have been allocated to the Foundation in several tranches over the years, thanks to intense fundraising work and close interaction with the institutions.

budget-phases € 12,470,731.55 2016 2015 2017 2018 2019 € 1,540,000 € 17,290,000 € 12,503,550 € 3,398,718

Total expenditure

The total expenditure of 50.082.373,19 € was allocated to the costs of the cultural programme, promotion and marketing activities, as well as the general running costs of such a complex administrative machine.

Investing in the new generations in southern Italy

A snapshot of the human resources in the staff of the Fondazione Matera Basilicata 2019 at the height of activities for the European Capital of Culture, shows a heterogeneous group, differing in origin, age, educational background, work experience and gender, with a prevalence of young people from Southern Italy. This reflects the significant investment made to develop skills and professional expertise, in a long-term perspective.

At the peak of its 2019 activities, the Foundation's staff included 79 people from northern, central and southern Italy and overseas.

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Foreign experience
  • Returning

Open data corner

At the centre of this platform, the data, now published in an open format. The Matera 2019 datasets are thus transformed into a digital commons that can inform, inspire and support new information and design practices for the local, national or international communities.

Below, you can download both the raw data related to the theme of this section and the aggregated data used for each of the above visualizations. You can also find more data in the site’s Open Data Center, which contains all the data available in the platform, or in our GitHub repo.

Detailed data on the individual locations, in Basilicata, of each event in the official and unofficial program of Matera 2019.
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Detailed data on funding sources and public entities that have invested in Matera 2019.
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Detailed data on funding sources and private entities that have invested in Matera 2019.
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Aggregated data for the visualization on spaces in Matera and Basilicata used for Matera 2019 events.
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Aggregate data for the view on new or unusual spaces that hosted Matera 2019 events.
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Aggregate data for the view on public and private funding sources.
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Aggregate data for the visualization on budget building steps.
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Aggregate data for the chart on expenditure categories.
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Aggregate data for the visualization on the Matera 2019 staff.
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Identity and image of the place


Dimensione internazionale

Matera open data