Book Chapter

Institutionalizing Entrepreneurs: The Case of Brazil's Forum for Cultural Rights



Rodner V & Rjabbes P (2020) Institutionalizing Entrepreneurs: The Case of Brazil's Forum for Cultural Rights. In: Fillis I & Telford N (eds.) Handbook of Entrepreneurship and Marketing. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 320-337.

First paragraph: This is the story of how Brazil’s cultural sector actively engaged in entrepreneurship in their effort to safeguard the local cultural scene from potential macro-level threats. Specifically we unpack here how these cultural agents demonstrated their institutionalizing entrepreneurial work as they collaborated in the lobbying for cultural policies and specifically the Lei Rouanet (or Rouanet Law) as a key source of funding for cultural production in Brazil (The Brazil Business 2014). The Lei Rouanet is a unique three-part fundraising policy that includes a Cultural National Fund (based on lottery funds), a tax-deductible patronage scheme, and a Cultural and Artistic Investment Fund (which is not yet operable). The most successful of these initiatives, and the key source of funding that Brazil’s cultural sector is fighting for, is the tax-incentive sponsorship or patronage scheme . This cultural patronage works as a very attractive and efficient tax incentive that allows companies and individuals to use a percentage of their income tax (4% for corporations and 6% for individuals) to sponsor cultural events in theatre, dance, the visual arts, literature and music. It is worth noting that companies greatly outweigh individuals taking part in the scheme with 98,35% versus 1,65% of investments in sponsorship since the introduction of the law in 1991 (Menezes 2016). Recently this federal law has come into question by members of parliament, the press, and consequently the general public (who voice their opinion very openly through social media) due to some unfortunate yet highly visible incidents of misuse of funds as well as poor marketing of the law to the wider public as being instrumental in financing cultural events across the country. Since the introduction of the law back, professionals working in the creative industries have witnessed a mammoth rise in cultural events, with over 35 thousand cultural projects being financed by Lei Rouanet and Reais 14 billion (US$ 4.5 billion) of tax payers money invested in the arts (Menezes 2016). In the last two years alone, Lei Rouanet has financed over 1500 theatre productions, nearly 500 dance shows, over 550 art exhibits, and just under 1500 music events. Lei Rouanet not only enables the production of a wide variety of cultural events across the country, but it also helps to democratize the arts and make cultural consumption accessible to all: thanks to the law, cultural events are able to offer 10% free tickets for low income families, 20% of tickets sold as Cultural Vouchers (Vale Cultura), and 20% free entry for state schools and libraries. Many events, including museums exhibits, concerts, and art education sessions, have been offered completely free of charge. The law is not merely a fundraising tool; it is also instrumental in the democratization of culture, especially in a country like Brazil where social inequalities are still rife.

Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online31/07/2020
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publisher URL…81785364563.html
Place of publicationCheltenham
ISBN978 1 78536 456 3