Government «did shit» and gave ACTA support to the Lisbon company

Luís Vicente guarantees that he will not “lower his arms”, despite insisting on the injustice suffered by ACTA

Luís Vicente does not mince words: the Government «did shit» by leaving ACTA – A Companhia de Teatro do Algarve out of funding for the Sustained Support Program of the Directorate-General for Arts (DGArtes) and by choosing, instead of the Algarve company , a structure based… in Amadora. The coming times are uncertain for ACTA, but there is one certainty: «we will not give up». 

ACTA's artistic director is not satisfied. In an interview with Sul Informação, Luís Vicente confesses that he has not yet “reformed” the DGArtes decision, known on the 10th of January.

The candidacy of ACTA, a structure that also manages the historic Teatro Lethes, in Faro, was made for four-year support (from 2023 to 2026) and involved financing of around 1,6 million euros, essential money for the Algarve company to be able to work in the next four years.

According to Luís Vicente, the rules are clear. «When an application is made, if it has 60% or more validation, it is supported. From 60% down, no. Well, it turns out that we had 71,4%... and we were not supported», he tells our newspaper.

The justification, according to the artistic director of ACTA, is that «there was no money».


Luis Vicente


What is certain is that there was a structure that applied for the Algarve and that was contemplated in these supports – it is the Teatro do Eléctrico, based in Amadora and that has been working in Loulé.

Although it is possible for a structure to apply for a region other than the one where it is headquartered, Luís Vicente considers that, in this case, this proves to be «a terrible mistake because it undermines our regional reality».

«We work with the 16 municipalities, with the schools, etc. The Tram Theater will be restricted to the municipality of Loulé. And isn't it that the General Directorate of Arts thinks this is good?», says the artistic director of ACTA.

Contacted by Sul Informação, Rogério Bacalhau, president of the Chamber of Faro, was available «to help, in some way, ACTA», after this «tremendous injustice» of which he was the target.

Moreover, ACTA and the municipality already had a meeting, where the municipality left this message of support.

“I find it regrettable what happened. The only professional theater company we have is ACTA which, despite being headquartered in Faro, works in all counties. It is evident that this was possible because ACTA had this support, in addition to that of the municipalities, and now the continuity of at least the work that was being developed is at risk”, he said.

The mayor complains that, «once again», the Algarve was «harmed by the decisions of Lisbon».

«There is another company, which is not from the Algarve, and it was supported. I don't understand the criteria that lead to this situation », she reinforced.

With regard to AMAL – Comunidade Intermunicipal do Algarve, it already supports ACTA, but, as Rogério Bacalhau mentioned, «it was never free support».


Rogerio Cod


«It was always in exchange for shows, dynamism, work with students in schools... Now, without this support from DGArtes, all this work is compromised because, unfortunately, ACTA will certainly not be able to do the same work», said the mayor from Faro.

For now, the structure in the Algarve has already had to «lay off two people», now having 10 workers.

Luís Vicente guarantees that he will not "lower his arms", despite insisting on the injustice suffered by ACTA.

«The Government talks about the need to spread culture throughout the territory, talks about the importance of creating balances and then does this shit», he said, bluntly, to our newspaper.

The director of ACTA also appoints batteries to the jury of this competition. «I did not appreciate the way they evaluated our candidacy. We couldn't understand how ours was evaluated differently from Teatro do Eléctrico's », he contests.

At issue may also be the functioning of Teatro Lethes, historic cultural space of Faro, for which the theater company has been responsible, in recent years. According to the mayor Rogério Bacalhau, «for now we are going to keep ACTA there», but «certainly the programming will not be the same».

Moreover, for tomorrow, Saturday, January 21, the presentation of the Teatro Lethes program is scheduled, but which, according to the mayor of Faro, will be, for now, only for the «first six months».


Alexandra Diogo


But it was not just A Companhia de Teatro do Algarve that was left out of support. There were other structures in the Algarve, such as Folha de Medronho – Associação de Artes Performativas, JAT – Coletivo Janela Aberta Teatro – Associação Cultural and Mãozorra Associação Cultural

O Sul Informação spoke with Alexandra Diogo, president of Folha de Medronho. The tender, made by this association, for biennial support was also not contemplated.

Despite the programming «not being in question», largely due to the fact that the Câmara de Loulé is «an inexhaustible partner», the fact that Folha de Medronho did not receive support from DGArtes compromises the «dynamics» dreamed of by this association.

«We competed with an essential aim: to consolidate the team. We have two regular people and we wanted at least two more. We need to be more ambitious, but that growth is now compromised», he explained.

One of the ideas was to "start doing work in schools, but we won't be able to do that, because we don't have the funding to set up a team", he added.

For Alexandra Diogo, both the cases of Folha do Medronho and ACTA are «symptomatic of the lack of support for culture both in the Algarve and at a general level».


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