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Valencia, Cultural Capital

"The city of Valencia has a rich heritage accumulated throughout its history (medieval, modernist and contemporary) that make it a cultural capital in the European Mediterranean. At the same time, (...) it has a rich intangible heritage that structures the city and gives it its own and distinctive identity in the context of the country and internationally. The creators have had to overcome great difficulties due to the absence of cultural planning and the crisis with a large dose of creativity and resilience that has created a dynamic and independent cultural sector. All these strengths indicate that Valencia can turn culture into an element of its own urban identity, provided that efforts are focused on strengthening cultural participation in a broad sense, the consumption of the arts and protecting creators. In this way, it can become a medium-sized, friendly and close cultural city that can attract citizens to live, create and spread their creativity in a transversal way in the capital and home"

Pla de Cultura de la Ciutat de València, 2017

Valencia, cultural capital responds to the strategic objective of developing city synergies and building a strong and sustainable cultural brand City of Valencia Culture Plan, 2017 (1) and proposes a series of initiatives aimed at turning culture into an element of our city’s own urban identity. The main initiatives of this program carried out by the Department of Cultural Heritage and Resources are listed and described below:

The City’s Honors and Distinctions are awarded annually by the Department of Heritage and Cultural Resources to people and groups of people whose merits have contributed to raising the prestige of our City in the various cultural fields: sports, doctors, artistic, etc.

The processing of these awards is contained in the Regulation of Honors and Distinctions of the Valencia City Council, approved by the Plenary Council on December 20, 1984 and modified in an extraordinary session held on February 11, 1994, with the purpose of recognizing special merits, noted benefits, extraordinary services, valuable work in any of the cultural, scientific, artistic, sporting, economic, professional, social, political aspects or unique contributions made to the State, the Valencian Community or the City .

With the purpose of turning culture into an element of our city’s identity, the Department of Cultural Heritage and Resources has followed a strategic management model, basing its government action on the recommendations contained in the Culture Plan of the City of Valencia entrusted to the University of Valencia in 2016 and which completed a first phase of diagnosis and proposal of strategic actions in 2017. This frame of reference, together with the principles contained in Agenda 21 of Culture and the objectives of Unesco in the field of Culture have generated the initiatives contained in each of the programs designed by the Council and share the objective of building a strong and sustainable city cultural brand.

The set of initiatives launched and projected by the Department of Cultural Heritage and Resources will shape the image of a cultural city that it wants to project, both to citizens and their visitors and to the outside world, generating cultural attraction and producing a story of city based on the elements of our identity and on our cultured and popular cultural practices. This process of building the image of our city as a cultural capital is reflected in the creation of the Cultural Valencia brand, a brand capable of explaining both the process and the vision of Valencia as a cultural capital. The Valencia Cultural brand has been conceived as an open and dynamic system represented by a symbology that gathers elements of our identity and that allows us to express the traits of tradition and modernity that define the image of Valencia as a cultural capital.

The configuration of the image of Valencia as a cultural capital must be built on the basis of the dimensions that define it. These dimensions have been identified based on the analysis and diagnosis contained in the Culture Plan of the City of Valencia (2017) and the review of the conclusions of different diagnostic documents on culture in our city. You can consult the document on the dimensions and the communication decalogue in this document.

Cultural Valencia is expressed based on the following dimensions:

Proximity, accessibility and universality: a close city that holds citizens together, that takes into account the sensitivities of each neighborhood, that includes everyone and that enables the enjoyment of culture by people with different abilities and of any condition .
Participation and collaboration: a cultural capital shaped from the needs, ideas and aspirations of its protagonists (which are citizens, private and public cultural agents, the third sector, universities and cultural companies) and which has developed with the collaboration of all of them.
Transversality and coordination: a city in which the voices of all sectors are taken into account (cinema, music, design, animation, illustration, comics, theatre, dance…) and all areas with influence and/or responsibility in the planning, management or promotion of culture (education, tourism, social welfare, economic promotion, innovation, environment…).
Legacy and projection: a city that looks inwards, towards its own, the signs of identity and its heritage, and at the same time it projects outwards looking for innovation, excellence, internationalization
Realism and challenge: a cultural capital that programs according to the real situation of its cultural system but that bets and risks and sets itself ambitious challenges
Right and opportunity: a city that repairs, recovers and guarantees the values ​​of democracy and cultural rights for all, without neglecting the opportunity of supporting the cultural and creative industries to create jobs and for development economic and social
Protection and freedom: a cultural capital that establishes a balanced relationship of collaboration with the cultural sectors, favoring creation, maintaining neutrality with cultural managers, guiding them and leaving them the necessary autonomy to develop their work in freedom . Everything, looking after the public value of public resources
Education and communication: a city that takes into account the importance of culture as an educational resource and education and communication as a resource for awareness and appreciation of culture

  • Capital: a cultural capital that showcases the city’s wealth and creative and heritage diversity; which normalizes the independent movements that have been born in recent years and that have maintained the creative pulse of the city. A project that favors this dynamism by encouraging cultural practices and promoting its material and immaterial heritage, its urban warmth, its festive sociability, the size and configuration of the city and its Mediterranean character and lifestyle.

    The communication decalogue is the set of messages or arguments that help interpret the brand and are developed based on the identified dimensions. In turn, these messages can be used to build the story of the city of Valencia as a cultural capital:

    Welcome, culture: Cultural Valencia opens its doors and brings museums closer, turns the square into a stage and premieres a function in your neighborhood; she wants to find you and you find her. That you stick to her. Welcome and welcome, families and young people, children and elders, equal and different, women and men, who live and come. Welcome, culture.
    Answer for you, count on you: Cultural Valencia listens to you and counts on you; respond to your wishes and build with you the exciting project to strengthen our identity, to popularize and make culture vibrate in the city, to make it generate wealth and well-being; to build a more united, more critical and respectful, more educated and free society.
    A shared effort and a single window to find it: Cultural Valencia is music and cinema; it’s theatre, comics and books; it’s dance, it’s circus; museums, monuments and festivals; is in cultural resources and heritage; in the parties and the neighborhood; in education and young people; in social welfare and tourism; in the economy and the environment; it is a shared effort and coordinated programming; a thousand ways to enjoy it and a single window to find it.
    A legacy of the past and a lever for the future: Valencia is a city that identifies with its heritage, its status as a Mediterranean city and its way of life. It is a city that looks inward and takes care of what is its own but that searches, worries, projects itself outwards; that innovates and imitates, that invites, travels and exchanges. Cultural Valencia is from here and from before and from now; it is international and contemporary, a legacy of the past and a lever for the future.

  • Without fear, with confidence: Cultural Valencia leaves the map of its strongholds and looks for opportunities within reach. He knows where he wants to go and he can get there. It is a project that bets and risks and challenges itself. That the culture of the city thinks and launches itself, without fear, with confidence. Participatory reflection, realistic optimism, excitement, take it easy.
    To enjoy it, to take advantage of it: Cultural Valencia is a priority challenge, a commitment to human rights and cultural diversity. It is the means to satisfy the enjoyment of culture and the sure path towards the transformation of our city. It’s creativity and it’s innovation. A field for peace and a smoke-free factory; it is economy and society; work and pleasure; solidarity and progress. It is to enjoy it and to take advantage of it.
    Gives tools and leaves you free: Cultural Valencia guides and cares, protects in the distance. Creators and managers in their eyes; free, autonomous and judicious. A thread that looks after the value of public resources, ties them together. It wants to make the ingenuity flourish, which you create, manage and explore. That art and knowledge rule. Cultural Valencia gives you tools and sets you free.
    It teaches, talks about it, wants you to get to know it and learn: Cultural Valencia educates and tells stories, it is in the classroom and on the street, dialogues with students and takes you on a route through your neighborhood; teach you, talk about it, what a great fortune it is to know your heritage; she wants you to know her, she doesn’t stop telling you her plans… She wants you to listen and learn, to make her yours and always accompany you.
    A river of culture towards the Mediterranean: Cultural Valencia is at the heart of the city, giving voice to creators, who have been able to keep their beat alone. Now it moves at its own pace. Sometimes it beats quietly, sometimes it flows with the music… Medieval, modernist and contemporary. Proud of its history, its party and its language. He welcomes the talent with open arms and like a river has taken over the street. A Mediterranean river, warm, calm and non-stop. Together, citizens and creators, from inside and outside, making the city flow, making culture the heartbeat of our city.

In addition to starting the various initiatives aimed at shaping the cultural capital of the city and developing a brand and a communication decalogue that reflect the image it wants to project, the Department of Heritage and Cultural Resources has developed the first promotional materials and communication necessary to channel all expressions of Cultural Valencia.

The development of the present Cultural Valencia website and the profiles on the social networks Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are the first supports in which the cultural capital of the city of Valencia will be accessible to citizens and their visitors. All of Cultural Valencia’s own communication media have been designed in a scalable way, as they aim to represent all the cultural richness and variety of our city so that little by little all the organizations, agents and cultural institutions of Valencia can go adding up and constituting a true unique window of culture in our city.

(1) Rius, Joaquim, Gisbert, Verónica, Martinez, Santi (2017). Pla de Cultura Ciutat de València, 2017. València: Universitat de València