IMAGINARIUS – International Street Theatre Festival of Santa Maria da Feira is celebrating in 2021 its 20th edition, consolidating its standing as the largest street arts event in Portugal and as a benchmark festival in the international networks for the dissemination of street arts and contemporary circus. This standing has contributed to the strengthening of the IMAGINARIUS identity brand, as the festival becomes the first place of contact and diffusion of the most attractive, current and provocative street arts.
Two decades of festival allowed unique experiences that led Santa Maria da Feira to shape its intervention strategies in the region, establishing an unequivocal connection between art and the public space. Much more than a festival, IMAGINARIUS today is a point of convergence of regions and cultures, whether through cooperation and collaboration between artists, or the domestic and international public who visit Santa Maria da Feira to participate in this event.
In Santa Maria da Feira, the cultural and creative ecosystem breathes the IMAGINARIUS brand, from its cultural facilities to the region’s events and public. The artistic creations in residence that take place at the IMAGINARIUS Creation Centre foster the municipality’s creative energy, giving rise to the creation of artistic projects that cross our borders, through the participation of the local, national and international community.
The IMAGINARIUS festival, since its first edition, in 2001, has been transforming the local community, leading it to participate in community intervention projects, transforming ordinary citizens into participating actors, collaborating directly with artists in creations to be presented at the festival. In response to this challenge, the local community has revealed a strong sense of belonging and identity, which is present in its unconditional involvement in artistic activities and projects integrated in the IMAGINARIUS programme. This connection has given rise to a unique set of learning and reflections that generate opportunities on the new directions to be followed by IMAGINARIUS, both in enhancing its accessibility, and in investing on its digital transition and on a green transition aimed at its environmental sustainability.
IMAGINARIUS intends to stand out as a project of plural scope, promoting social, intellectual and physical accessibility to all audiences, without exception, so that they can participate and enjoy culture. In this context, the digital transition, which was already an option in the implementation phase with the aim of extending the festival’s reach to other and new audiences, gained even more meaning with today’s “new normality”. In 2021, IMAGINARIUS is thus conquering a new public space, of virtual dimension, in the great network of the World Wide Web. In this context, local, national and international partnerships will be established to promote networking and enhance the dissemination of IMAGINARIUS’ creations and programme through the internet, thus making its access and enjoyment even more comprehensive and plural.