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Elisabete Paiva

I’m interested in arts and politics ever since I remember, but it took me time to find the path that would connect the two. I started studying Architecture, but I finally graduated as Theatre Producer and worked as freelancer with several Portuguese artists, in Lisbon. The experience that gave meaning to my voice was at CENTA, an arts residence centre in the far countryside of Portugal (2003—2005). Here I connected visiting artists and the local community, and I developed projects, such as Program for Continued Artistic Education, in primary schools, and (R)Existir, one of the first arts projects with imprisoned people in Portugal.

Then, for 9 years (2006—2014), I headed the Education Department of a municipal organization in Guimarães, including Centro Cultural Vila Flor (performing arts) and Centro Internacional das Artes José de Guimarães (visual arts). In this programme for young audiences of all ages, I put artistic experience at the centre of a sensitive and critical dialogue with the world. I conceived and edited LURA, first arts and education newspaper in Portugal, and Mais Dois – Performing Arts Education Program in primary schools, besides generating collaborations between all sorts of actors. In this context I also programmed the Education Department of Guimarães 2012 ECOC. Since 2015, I’m Artistic Director of Materiais Diversos, an independent organization working in the fields of contemporary dance and performing arts, whose better-known project is its annual festival, turning biennial this year to give room to a more engaged regular programme. I aim to shift MD from an author’s project to a collaborative project, involving local community and visitors in debating transnational relevant issues through arts projects.

I love teaching, for the sake of sharing knowledge and debate. Presently I teach Programming Strategies at Forum Dança (Lisbon), and Cultural Programming and Arts Audiences at the Lisbon Theatre and Film School.

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