The Council of Cultural Associations and Cooperatives supports its members through annual financial contributions, upon request, and through the free use of public structures and services for the promotion of their activities, for example, by providing free postage, free bill-posting, printing and binding of informative material, etc. A prerequisite to become a member of the Council is the social and / or cultural nature of the association, which must be non-profit. This is confirmed by Law n. 99 of 1991 establishing the Council, according to which the aim is to promote a better coordination of cultural activities within the country and to develop exchange and collaboration among them, to promote the circulation of information among the various cultural associations, cooperatives and centres. Approximately 10% of its associations (133, as of May 2015) deal with music, writing, painting or photography. Members from the music sector include: the Bluesmobile, the Camerata del Titano, the San Marino Centre for Music Studies, the San Marino Friends of the Music Association and Musamelica. Members from the literary sector include: the Libraries of Serravalle and Faetano. From the visual arts and photography, members include: ASART and NUA and ASFA (Photo Amateurs Association).
Financial support is also provided to the associations – Camerata del Titano and San Marino Imagine – by the Ministry of Culture, which, by virtue of specific conventions, offers them an annual contribution to promote and disseminate the culture and knowledge of music and photography through the organisation of special events and other initiatives.
From October 2004 to Summer 2005, San Marino RTV dedicated a weekly radio programme to national non-profit associations, which will probably be proposed again in the near future.
In 2010, for the first time, the San Marino Chamber of Commerce opened its doors to the young people of ASART (San Marino Association of Artists) by hosting the exhibition “Depart Retour”. The aim has been to promote culture, in its most comprehensive meaning, and to contribute to furthering awareness of the San Marino context and its intellectual and craft heritage, by regularly organising local art exhibitions. See also chapter 6.4.
Starting from 2013, the Ministry of Culture has opened its doors to artists and creative people of the Republic, to become a place where art is enjoyed and promoted. The invitation to showcase their creations becomes an opportunity for visibility for both artists and users, who can get in touch with the artistic context of the territory in an institutional space.
The SMIAF Project (see chapter 1.4.3) includes “SMIAFormazione”, that is a series of seminars and workshops held by San Marino and international professionals in the fields of theatre, art, culture, production and management techniques, new ICT and WEB 2.0 technologies, juggling and circus arts. This is an all-round experience in the world of arts and culture, innovation and the new forms of active citizenship.
“AltreMenti Festival” is an initiative promoted in 2010 by the cultural association Don Chisciotte. This week long event includes conferences, debates, theatre performances, lessons in schools, aperitif meetings, exhibitions and cineforums of a cultural and philosophic nature held by well-renowned intellectuals to promote dialogue with institutions, citizens and associations and therefore to favour social contacts, active citizenship and projects proposed by the public. This is a successful event both in cultural and tourism terms because it can involve, in the local context, an international public that listens and discusses, besides visiting hotels, restaurants and shops. Since this initiative was not so warmly welcomed in San Marino, in order not to risk its annulment for 2012, the organisers had to look elsewhere for financial and logistic support and therefore some planned events had to be organised in the nearby city of Rimini, Italy, which invested in this opportunity. Although the Festival was created by and for San Marino, it seems that the organisers intend to transform it into a transnational event, in collaboration with the cultural centres of the surrounding areas.
In 2012, the “Voice Academy of Singing and Theatre” was established. This is a new initiative in the artistic world both of San Marino and Italy, which fills a territorial gap relative to the study of professions linked to singing and acting. The training, promoted by the San Marino Artists’ Cooperative, under the aegis of the Ministries of Tourism and Culture, is directed to young singers and actors from all over the world who intend to study and specialise in lyric and modern singing, as well as acting. The promoters of Voice Academy hope that it will become an innovative cultural centre, which can be a point of reference for music and theatre, a dynamic and highly qualitative laboratory for the exchange of experiences, study and experiments, where international guests can be involved and prestigious masters can be organised. Among its teachers and promoters are some internationally renowned professionals from San Marino, including M° Augusto Ciavatta, Daniela Uccello, Luca Grassi, Fabrizio Raggi, Monica Hill and Martina Grossi.
In October 2012, on the occasion of parliamentary elections, A.S.A.R.T. – the association gathering San Marino artists – launched an appeal requesting politicians to pay more attention to the arts, to have an open mentality and a renewed awareness. A.S.A.R.T. believes it “fundamental to preserve artists and arts, intended as collective conscience, creativity and expression of the people’s culture”. Arts is defined as an “important growth factor”, strategically relevant for a small Country like San Marino. Indeed, thanks to it, the Republic could become an “artistically live country, a meeting point for artists, by becoming part of […] international circuits”. This Association has highlighted that, at least over the last twenty years, there has been a lack of policies for the protection, promotion and support of Arts: “There are neither incentives nor adequate structures and infrastructures to support this sector’s operators. The increasingly reducing resources available to the Country’s Arts are not used in an efficient manner”. This denunciation, which continues despite the economic and financial difficulties affecting San Marino, like other countries, “strongly reaffirms the non-cultural value of arts, especially in a small country like San Marino”. “Arts – continues the press release – can be a great opportunity, but it requires a joint commitment aimed at a specific objective. Institutions, private citizens, artists and all individuals could be the promoters of our growth”. Finally, A.S.A.R.T. urges politicians by saying that: “Arts is a good to be preserved, since it is strongly connected with liberty, which is our primary value. The great privilege of artists is the possibility of expressing themselves with maximum mental freedom, without any limitations. We urge all political forces and movements […] to include Arts among the main issues of electoral programmes. There is considerable artistic activity in the Country. For politicians and for our institutions, this is a great opportunity, which must be seized now, for the creation of a new State of Art”.
The “International Academy of Performing Arts Arengo” opened in San Marino in 2014: this business project of the cultural association “Erga Omnes” targets students from all over the world.