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IDB approves $20 million to support cultural activities in low-income areas of metropolitan São Paulo

The Inter-American Development Bank today announced the approval of a $20 million loan to finance cultural and artistic activities to promote social inclusion of at-risk children and youth living in nine districts of metropolitan São Paulo, Brazil.

Professional educators will offer courses in art, music, theater, sculpture, design, woodwork and multimedia in sites of both existing community-based organizations that offer social services to children and youth and in nine new cultural centers that will be built and operated in nine districts. The educators will also offer literary workshops and cross-cutting curricula for all artistic activities to encourage reading.

The program is based on studies showing that the artistic learning experience improves the overall academic performance of children and youth and has a positive effect on social inclusion, family unity and citizenship. The project reflects the IDB strategy for Brazil of reducing social inequity.

The districts to be served by the project have a target group of 200,000 disadvantaged children and youth now lacking opportunities to participate in cultural activities. Beneficiaries will also include members of the low-income communities who will have accession to art exhibits, concerts, theater, and other presentations that will take place in the cultural centers.

The program, which will be carried out by the São Paulo State Secretariat of Culture,* will apply a methodology to promote a high degree of participation by the community in the decision-making process of the project and a monitoring and evaluation component that will assess the results of the activities.

The Japanese Special Fund, administered by the IDB, is supporting activities to start up the project with a $450,000 grant.

The IDB loan is for a 20-year term, with a six-year grace period, at a variable interest rate based on LIBOR.

Local counterpart funds total $10 million.

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