SECRETARY OFFICE OF CULTURE, RECREATION AND SPORT
The Secretary Office of Culture, Recreation and Sport (Secretaría Distrital de Cultura, Recreación y Deporte), is an organization of the central sector with administrative and financial self-governing, created by the Agreement 257 of 2006. We operate as the head of the Cultural, Recreational and Sports Sector of the city and our goal is to guide and lead the coordinated formulation of policies, plans and programs in the cultural, heritage, recreational and sports field of the Capital District, in coordination with the District Planning Department and with the participation of our attached and linked bodies and the civil society. On December 2009, the organization earned the certificate in Technical Quality Standards NTC-GP1000 of 2004 and ISO9001-2000.
Our attached bodies are: Gilberto Alzate Avendaño Foundation, District Institute of Cultural Heritage, District Institute for Recreation and Sports and Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra. Canal Capital, the district's TV channel, is also one of our attached bodies.
We are the agency of the district government which leads the assurance of the conditions for the effective and progressive exercise of the cultural and recreational rights of Bogotá's inhabitants, through the coordinated formulation of policies and the implementation, assessment and follow-up of sectorial, population and local programs in the fields of art, culture, recreation and sports for its promotion as a human development and sustainability factor for the Capital District.
By 2016 we will have established the cultural scene as the fourth pillar of human development and sustainability of the Capital District. We will have an organization which fits to the changes of the environment, with a well established and participative sector in order to ensure the inhabitants, populations and organizations the right to exercise, preserve, visualize and take ownership of Bogotá's cultural, sporting and recreational practices.
- We lead, in a coordinated way, the formulation of policies, plans and programs in the city's cultural, heritage, recreational and sports fields, looking after the cultural and recreational rights of the Capital District's inhabitants and promoting them as a key factor to human development and social sustainability of Bogotá.
- We coordinate the implementation of policies, plans and programs in the cultural, heritage, recreational and sports fields that our attached and link bodies and localities develop.
- We work in order to transform the cultural scene in the fourth pillar of human development and of the Capital District, realizing that contribution in areas such as spaces and stages, heritage, participation and organization, artistic expressions, recreation and sports.
- We promote the creation and management of artistic, cultural, sports and high-performance activities and programs in accordance with the sectorial plans and with the economic, social and public works plan of the Capital District, for active citizens and individuals with some degree of disability.
- We promote strategies to ensure the preservation and enrichment of creation and cultural expressions pertaining to a city as diverse as Bogotá in its ethnic, sociocultural and historical composition.
- We promote the civic culture, with a strong emphasis on identity and sense of belonging to the city as a key condition to coexistence, solidarity and equality.
HAND IN HAND WITH OUR ATTACHED AND LINKED BODIES
With Gilberto Alzate Avendaño Foundation
- We develop programs of fostering, promotion and training of artistic practices with an emphasis on the areas of fine arts, literature and audiovisual arts and encourage the civic political culture.
- We promote a varied artistic and cultural schedule throughout the year and support the creation of clubs and artistic workshops for children, youth, adults and senior citizens in a wide range of artistic areas.
Manages the Cinemateca Distrital (District Film Library) and the Santa Fe Gallery.
With Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra
- We provide support and incentives oriented to strengthening scenic arts: music, dance and drama, which include scholarships, awards, strategic alliances, coordinated grants and exchange fostering.
- We guide the development, promotion and spreading of the national and global symphonic repertoire.
Manages the Media Torta Cultural Center and the Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Municipal Theater.
With the District Institute of Cultural Heritage (Instituto Distrital de Patrimonio Cultural)
- We look after the preservation of heritage, oriented to the development of projects and technical studies for the intervention, maintenance, restoration and preservation of the District's cultural interest goods.
- We develop a portfolio of public contests in order to foster interest studies in heritage preservation.
- We design strategies for the diffusion and preservation of the city's tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
- We support training processes for organizations and groups in charge of promoting the development of the city's cultural expressions.
Manages the Museum of Bogotá.
With the District Institute for Recreation and Sports
- We formulate policies through our Direction of Recreational and Sports Cultures.
- We develop programs to watch and supervise the right management and operation of the District Parks System and district recreational and sporting venues.
- We ensure the training and integral support of athletes.
- We promote the public awareness to outstanding and high performance athletes who represent our city in sporting events.
- We watch over the practice of sports in its recreational, competitive and vernacular expressions.
- We massively promote recreational activities and non-competitive sporting practices such as the Ciclovía (bike path) and Recreovía, city events, recreation for people with disabilities, senior citizens, childhood and youth and community recreation.
With Canal Capital
We contribute to the promotion of the city's identity and foster the practice of several sporting disciplines and healthy life habits among the viewers, apart from creating wide spaces for participation where citizens are able to express their ideas and conflicts and are informed at the same time, with the possibility of discussing openly the main public city policies. At present, Canal Capital offers a program grid composed by theme ranges which respond to the needs of each kind of audience (news, kids, youth, sports, talk shows, cultural and film ranges) which aim to promote a sense of belonging among citizens, as well as to consolidate Canal Capital as the most important regional channel of the country.
OUR SPACES FOR INFORMATION AND PARTICIPATION
Art, Culture and Heritage District System
(Sistema Distrital de Arte, Cultura y Patrimonio)
It's one of the most traditional spaces for participation in the city. It aims to promote, articulate and regulate in a coordinated and co-responsible way social interaction among several sector agents and facilitate the suitable management of public policies oriented to the cultural development of the city.
It is arranged through subsystems (arts, cultural heritage, groups, ethnic and rural community cultures, women, rural and social populations and sectors, arts, culture and heritage local subsystems and cultural equipment); district committee and Arts, Culture and Heritage District Council (Consejo Distrital de Arte, Cultura y Patrimonio).
The system summons organizations and bodies' representatives ('legal or natural persons, of public or private nature, profit-making or non-profit that make, finance, promote, have access to, enjoy and perform artistic, cultural and heritage activities') who become elected for a 4-year term in public electoral processes.
Observatory of Cultures: a space for observation, analysis, monitoring and measuring of the actions and processes of the cultural sphere, which contributes to the development of public policies in culture, recreation and sports, from the knowledge of contexts that affect the citizens of Bogotá's lifestyles.
Sectorial Information System: aims to contribute to the work of the Secretary Office and the sector's organizations in the data systematization as well as to be a source of reference to citizens about culture, recreation and sports in an articulated way with the Secretary Office's website.
COMMUNICATION MEDIA AND CHANNELS
The website, www.culturarecreacionydeporte.gov.co, the Ciudad Viva newspaper -with a monthly print run of 100,000 free distribution copies, and our audio-visual time slot in Canal Capital are channels that, with its sectorial information supply, pursue to establish permanent communication and interaction links between the agency and the citizens.
CULTURAL VENUES OF THE SECTOR
Cinemateca Distrital (District Film Library)
Since 1971, the Cinemateca accompanies Colombian both film lovers and cinematographers in their discovery of their own look and of the world film heritage. Through the Cinemateca Distrital several important film festivals in the city are supported, such as Festival de Cine de Bogotá (Bogotá Film Festival), Festival de Cine Francés (French Film Festival), Ciclo de Cine Rosa (Gay film season), Muestra Internacional Documental (International Documentary Exhibition) and Muestra Universitaria de Audiovisuales (University Audiovisual Exhibition), among others. More recently, and aiming to reach other audiences, the Cinemateca started its program Cinemateca Rodante (Mobile Film Library), which showcases the best movies with free entrance in the three public megalibraries and open-air spaces such as the Media Torta.
Planetario de Bogotá (Bogotá Planetarium)
The Planetarium operates from 1969 -the same year the man landed on the moon- in academic projects of a scientific nature and in programming exhibitions aimed to strengthen the processes of knowledge, teaching and enjoyment of Astronomy, Astronautics, Space Sciences and related sciences. It is considered one of the largest planetaria in Latin America; the Secretary Office of Culture, Recreation and Sport is currently moving ahead in the process of modernization of this venue, which includes the replacement of projection's equipment and the renovation of its stars theater. From the day of its opening, the Planetarium has received more than 8 million visitors.
Jorge Eliecer Gaitan Theater
Officially opened on February 15th, 1890, it is considered one of the most important cultural centers of the capital, where different activities and artistic expressions converge; these take place in the main hall, the small theater (Teatrino) and the Callejón de las Exposiciones (Exhibition Alley). It is host of great shows such as the Iberoamerican Theater Festival of Bogotá, the International Jazz Festival, the Contemporary Dance Festival and performances of great national and international artists.
Media Torta Cultural Center
Considered to be the main center of popular culture of the country, the Media Torta was officially opened on August 13th, 1938, within the framework of the 400th anniversary of Bogotá's foundation. In the beginning it was the sole recreation and leisure venue for working classes and neighbors of the area. During the 1960s and 1970s it became the suitable place for the performance of renowned international artists. At the Media Torta important festivals such as Rock al Parque (Rock at the Park) and Hip Hop al Parque (Hip-Hop at the Park) -part of the series "Festivals at the Park", were born. At present, it offers a varied cultural agenda every week-end, which includes family movies on Fridays, storytelling on Saturdays and music and dance in wide genres and formats on Sundays.
Santa Fe Gallery
Founded on 1978, it currently operates on the second floor of the Planetarium building and it was designed as an important space for the spreading of Colombian contemporary arts. It offers a permanent exhibitions program that changes from month to month and among its displays, exhibitions as notable as the Salón de Artistas Jóvenes (Young Artists' Salon), the Luis Caballero Prize, the Muestra Universitaria Distrital de Artes Plásticas (Plastic Arts District University Fair) have been established, as well as exhibitions summoned by contest, arranged at the Santa Fe Gallery and at its Sala Alterna (alternate gallery).
Museum of Bogotá
It is a cultural space for the encounter of diverse experiences of urban life, which favours reflections about the city and contributes in the building of an identity and a memory of the people of Bogotá. Its history starts with the creation of the Museum of Urban development as part of a cultural diffusion plan proposed by the Mayoralty of Virgilio Barco Vargas (1967-1969). Currently the Museum has its main site in the renovated Casa Sámano, located in Carrera 4 N° 10-18. Its alternate headquarters operates on the first floor of Bogotá's Planetarium.
Oriol Rangel Music Hall
It took its name in 1998 in honor of one of the most outstanding composers and pianists of Colombian music. Ever since its creation, this music hall -located in Bogotá's Planetarium, has hosted concert seasons, forums, gatherings and has been the meeting point of plastic artists, writers, dancers, actors and filmmakers. It is considered the second most important concert hall for chamber music in Bogotá, after the concert hall of the Luis Ángel Arango Library. Every Thursday of the year it features its concert series with the winning bands of the official announcements of Colombian regional music and jazz contests.
Otto de Greiff Concert Hall
This concert hall, first opened on February 28th, 2000, was created with the purpose of providing Bogotá's Philharmonic Orchestra with an alternate stage to Auditorio León de Greiff of the National University for its rehearsals. It was named as an homage to the musicologist Otto de Greiff, brother of the poet León de Greiff. Besides operating as a hall for the Orchestra's rehearsals, it hosts chamber music concerts series as well as new proposals by young musicians.
DISTRICT PARKS SYSTEM
Bogotá has the District Parks System, a set of recreational spaces of public nature, located in the twenty localities of the Capital District, available to all citizens for the enjoyment of leisure time. The district parks of Bogotá are classified as follows:
- Metropolitan scale parks or free areas with an area of more than 24.7 acres (10 hectares), intended for recreational use and to rest in harmony with nature. Examples of these parks are the following: Simón Bolívar, Tunal, Nacional, Tercer Milenio, Los Novios, La Independencia, Mundo Aventura, Renacimiento, Timiza, Deportivo El Salitre, Bosque de San Carlos, y San Cristóbal, among others.
- Zonal scale parks or free areas between 2.47 and 24.7 acre (between 1 and 10 hectares), intended for the fulfillment of active recreation needs of several areas of the city and with facilities such as pools, sport fields and covered coliseums, among others. Examples of these parks are: Atahualpa, Ciudad Montes, La Amistad, Las Cruces, La Estancia, La Gaitana, San Andrés, La Joya and Illimaní, among others.
- There are, in addition, Neighborhood scale parks or free areas intended for the recreation and integration of a neighborhood's community and the so-called Pocket parks or free areas as a neighborhood-scale type of park, with an area under 1,000 square meters, intended primarily for the recreation of minors and senior citizens.
OTHER RECREATIONAL SPACES
Other spaces of the sector, managed by the District Institute for Recreation and Sports are: La Santamaría Bullring (Plaza de Toros La Santamaría), the Sports Palace (Palacio de los Deportes), the Aquatic Complex of Simón Bolívar Park (Complejo Acuático Simón Bolívar), the Campín Stadium (Estadio El Campín), the Campín Coliseum (Coliseo El Campín), the Olaya Herrera, Techo and Tabora stadiums, El Salitre Sports Unit and the Children's Museum (Museo de los Niños), among others.
METROPOLITAN EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
- Rock at the Park (Rock al Parque): every year Bogotá vibrates with Rock al Parque, the largest free-entrance open-air rock festival of Latin America, that brings together more than 300,000 people in an atmosphere of healthy and extreme coexistence.
- Hip Hop at the Park (Hip Hop al Parque): Bogotá is the host of Hip Hop al Parque Festival, the most important festival of its kind in South America, which gathers every year the best national and international display of hip-hop culture.
- Bogotá is the host of other four cultural seasons: Salsa at the Park (Salsa al Parque), Colombia at the Park (Colombia al Parque), Jazz at the Park (Jazz al Parque) and Opera at the Park (Ópera al Parque). These seasons allow all citizens, regardless of social status, age or educational level, to get together in parks and open-air spaces and enjoy a wide array of artistic and musical expressions in one of the best examples of citizens coexistence.
- Summer Festival (Festival de Verano)
Every August the temperature rises to the top in Bogotá. The entire city celebrates its anniversary with the Festival de Verano: the biggest cultural, recreational and sports party in Colombia, with more than 4 million attendants.
- Metropolitan Parade (Desfile Metropolitano de Comparsas)
In August our city also celebrates its birthday with the traditional Desfile Metropolitano de Comparsas. It is an outstanding display of creativity and joy with the best ideas from artists of the 20 localities. This same experiences are repeated in October during the Girls' and Boys' Party (Fiesta de Niñas y Niños).
- Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra concert series
Bogotá has the only symphonic orchestra of the world to have been awarded a Latin Grammy prize in the Best instrumental album: the Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra (Orquesta Filarmónica de Bogotá). In addition, every year an average of 280,000 people attend live concerts programmed by the orchestra in enclosed spaces and open-air stages.
- Christmas Festival
During December, Bogotá fills with light and color: advent novena in the parks, concerts, Christmas choirs, fireworks displays and the traditional Bicycle Night (Ciclovía Nocturna) are part of the schedule of activities that citizens and tourists enjoy; all of that makes our city one of the best touristic destinations in the country.
- Iberoamerican Theater Festival of Bogotá
(Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro de Bogotá)
Bogotá is the world's Theater City. Every other year it hosts the Iberoamerican Theater Festival, with exponents from the five continents, more than 1,500 performing artists on stage and more than 3,000,000 spectators in the entire city.
- Bogotá International Book Fair
(Feria Internacional del Libro de Bogotá)
Bogotá International Book Fair, along with Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico, is one of the most important of its kind in the continent, and as well as the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, it is one of the most visited book fairs in the world.
- Books on the Wind (Libro al Viento)
More than 4,000,000 Libro al Viento books circulate from hand to hand in Bogotá's massive transportation system, in parks, in farmers markets, in hospitals and in more than 100 reading clubs, allowing millions of citizens to enjoy the pleasure of reading.
- Siga, esta es su Casa
On the last Sunday of every month, the museums of Bogotá offer free entrance to the public so more than 120,000 people get to know the cultural and historical heritage of the city, thanks to the Siga, esta es su Casa program.
- Astronomical activities - Bogotá Planetarium
Bogotá has a whole world for science: the Planetarium, where every year more than 180,000 children and young people discover, thanks to its clubs and workshops, the fascinating world of astronomy.
- Ciclovía (Bike path)
Every Sunday and holidays, Bogotá fills with color thanks to its ciclovía network, one of the largest in the continent (85 kilometers covering the whole city), where more than a 1,100,000 people participate.
BOGOTÁ HAS TALENT (BOGOTÁ TIENE TALENTO)
Every year, city artists put their talent to the test in the official announcements of contests launched by the Secretary Office of Culture, Recreation and Sport and its attached agencies in the cultural field: Gilberto Alzate Avendaño Foundation, District Institute of Cultural Heritage and Bogotá Philharmonic Orchestra. Nearly 6 billion pesos are allocated annually towards incentives to arts, culture and heritage, thanks to a wide program consisting of awards, scholarships and grants.
The so-called program Bogotá tiene talento, aims to broaden the opportunities for the members of the artistic field to develop their creative, research and circulation proposals and for non-profit private organizations to make projects in several areas and dimensions of the artistic, cultural and heritage fields come true.
This process, which nurtures a great portion of the city's artistic activities' schedule, represents in Colombia the highest support to artistic, cultural and heritage incentives; among them stand out the National Literature Prizes 'Ciudad de Bogotá' (Premios Nacionales de Literatura Ciudad de Bogotá), the national composition and performing contests (Concursos Nacionales de composición e interpretación musical) and the Luis Caballero Award (Premio Luis Caballero), the most important prize awarded in the plastic arts field in Colombia, among others.
BOGOTÁ IN THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE
Due to its progress in terms of culture, Bogotá has achieved important international acknowledgements; the most recent are:
- Golden Lion Award in the Venice Biennale Exhibition of International Architecture 2006: within the framework of the X Venice Biennale Exhibition of International Architecture (Italy), Bogotá was awarded in the best city category in recognition of its social economic and cultural transformations and also for its urban and architectural projects that have helped improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.
- Nominated Iberoamerican Culture Capital for the year 2007: on October 11th, 2006, in San Jose, Costa Rica, within the XXI Assembly of the Union of Iberoamerican Capital Cities (UCCI in Spanish), Bogotá received the unanimous nomination as Iberoamerican Culture Capital for the year 2007 due to its considerable advances and its Culture Programs for Social Inclusion, a project that has been coordinated aiming to change the city and transform the society and culture from the human rights' perspective.
- Bogotá, World Book Capital 2007: title bestowed to Bogotá by UNESCO due to its network of public and private libraries and the wide variety of initiatives and activities to promote books and encourage reading, such as the Libro al Viento campaign. Cities like Amsterdam, Vienna, Dublin, Coimbra and Rosario were also candidates to that title.
Honorable mention to the Ciclovía and Recreovía Program:
II Active Cities-Healthy Cities International Contest 2005
This award recognized Bogotá's outdoor bicycle and physical activity program for its contribution to the development of alternative and efficient physical activities and the improvement of life quality.