The city of Barcelos – Portugal, response to COVID – 19, has defined a set of measures to help the local crafts and folk art community during this very difficult period.
· The city created a support pack to protect the sustainability of the Creative sector with handicraft purchases.
· The Municipality of Barcelos has been supporting local crafts and folk arts – one of the identity factors that contribute most to the international recognition and distinction in the field of traditional crafts ad folk arts and also in terms of creative tourism (Creative City of UNESCO, Creative Friendly Destination and Sustainable Tourism European Award 2019). Handicraft and its creative community are, to Barcelos, essential elements of uniqueness, attractiveness, and both national and international notoriety, like in no other Municipality in Portugal.
· In the face of the current context, the epidemiological pandemic of COVID-19, in which no specific national support for craftsmanship is insight, we are observing the disappearance of some creative productions and clusters right at this moment. Therefore, immediate intervention is welcomed, in order to guarantee some sustainability, and mitigate the loss of assets in the sector, with obvious damage to identity, attractiveness, and to the creative tourism sector in the municipality.
· Concerning to national and international responsibilities the municipality carries in the Creative cluster, it was decided to establish a set of measures to support this specific sector. The aim is to reinforce the support for the artisanal community that lives exclusively from craftsmanship and has no other source of income. In this regard, the Municipality move forward with the acquisition of artworks to each craftsman/artisanal production unit that lives exclusively from the craftsmanship income, in a single act, but immediately, in the amount of 800 euros + VAT;
· With this support is intended to all artisans with address in the county of Barcelos in the attested exercise of functions and properly identified by the Tourism, Crafts and Folk Arts Unit of the municipality or by the National Register of Handicraft created by DL 41/2001 of 9th February, meanwhile changed by DL 110/2002, of 16th April, and who are working for at least 1 year, living with the income of Handicraft work, exclusively.
Cumulatively, the city created two programs strictly directed to the artisanal community:
1. OSAC – Operational Support to Artisanal Community, is a particular aid the city created to the Artisanal Community concerning supporting materials in all situations considered essential to preserve, boost and promote Creativity as a structuring axis of development, promoting the resolution of situations considered essential, categorical and fundamental to preservation and development of the activity of the existing artisans or future artisans, as well as for the development of creative tourism. This support can reach 2500 euros per artisan.
2. PISHB- Promotional Incentive System to the Handicraft of Barcelos – the aim of this program is to support the participation of Barcelos artisans in tourism, handicraft fairs, and exhibitions with a relevant value to BARCELOS Brand. This system supports up to 16 artisans/artists per year, paying their stand in exhibitions of relevant interest to the promotion in a national and international environment.
All these are measures that Barcelos, as Creative City of UNESCO, presents in order to, in short and medium-term, contribute to the sustainability of the Creativity Cluster, creative tourism and handicraft and also increase the ratios of sustainability of the sector agents. On another hand, the purchased artworks will serve as products of promotion, and the provided supports in the framework of OSAC and PISHB will be used as a reinforcement of creative tourism and promotion of the same territory, in a very centered commitment to make Creativity an argument of sustainable development.