The fifth edition of MAPAS positions the Canary Islands as a business platform for the cultural industries

The South Atlantic Performing Arts Market, organised by the Canary Islands Government, the Cabildo de Tenerife and the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, will be held on the two main islands from 4 to 9 July.

It will feature six days of professional networking and showcase performances, with 198 music and performing arts groups and more than 200 programmers from 34 different countries.

The fifth edition of the South Atlantic Performing Arts Market, MAPAS, organised by the Canary Islands Government, the Cabildo de Tenerife, the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, unahoramenos and Circulart, will be held on Gran Canaria and Tenerife from 4 to 9 July, reaffirming its commitment to providing an Atlantic platform for the internationalisation of the cultural industries and an internationally renowned networking and business venue for music and performing arts professionals.

The organisations participating in MAPAS are dedicated to fulfilling this commitment. In the words of Juan Márquez, Deputy Minister of Culture for the Canary Islands Government, at the presentation of the fifth edition of MAPAS held today at the Auditorio de Tenerife, the market offers “an opportunity to connect, not only with the companies who visit us but also with Canarian companies, who are able to use MAPAS as a springboard to move beyond our borders”. The presentation was also attended by the Mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez; the Minister of Culture for the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, Guacimara Medina; the Director of Culture for the Cabildo de Tenerife, Alejandro Krawietz; and MAPAS directors Mario Vega and Octavio Arbeláez.

“The Canary Islands have a limited market due to their geographic location. Although we often speak of the Canary Islands as a strategic platform connecting three continents, few projects create something tangible from that intention and here we have an event that has been transforming the Canary Islands into a platform for professional networking for the last five years”, added Juan Márquez. According to Márquez, “since last year, the project has united the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife and the cities of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife through culture, so it is a strategically important project for the Canary Islands Government”.

Like the other representatives attending the presentation, the Mayor of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, José Manuel Bermúdez, expressed his satisfaction with the institutional partnership to promote culture, saying that “MAPAS was launched in 2017 and has since made a name for itself as one of the main cultural events on the Canary Islands”. In his opinion, “this year, the presence of Canarian artists is key and it is important to promote our culture beyond our borders in order to consolidate our talent and our cultural sector. The event is the product of ongoing collaboration between the institutions”.

Guacimara Medina, Minister of Culture for the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, described the latest edition of MAPAS as “proof of the entire organising team’s rigour and courage amid very difficult circumstances, successfully pulling off a challenging project in which different institutions with different circumstances have participated. It hasn’t been easy and we’ve had the chance to improve aspects that could be improved upon”. According to Medina, “in a complex cultural ecosystem that can make it impossible for projects to prosper, we were certain that externalising and positioning our creative industry on the international scene was the way forward”.

For the Cabildo de Tenerife, represented at the presentation by Director of Culture, Alejandro Krawietz, MAPAS “involves incorporating a space for international outreach into our performing arts ecosystem. We have always believed in the project and its regional scope as a space for networking and business in the performing arts sector based on a joint effort”. MAPAS is “a gathering place that offers space for dialogue”.

On behalf of the organisers of MAPAS 2022, Mario Vega noted that “this year, the event has been joined by new municipalities and the Ministry of Culture, and this photo [showing the institutions participating in MAPAS] speaks to the project’s strength and capacity for growth”. “This fifth edition aims to promote the Canary Islands performing arts scene internationally”, he continued. “For months, we’ve been training the local sector to equip them with tools and we’ve established quotas for the number of participants from the Canary Islands, because the project is intended to boost Canarian music and performing arts”.

Vega highlighted the catalogue of Canarian artists that will be published and disseminated through the MAPAS platform and the creation of a “support network to accompany the process, because MAPAS doesn’t end when the market is over – we maintain contact throughout the year”. The organisers are also working with the local university on a study analysing the impact of MAPAS on the burgeoning Canarian performing arts and music sector.

Artistic director of MAPAS 2022, Octavio Arbeláez, concluded on a similar note. “We’ve put on five editions over the last five years and that’s something to celebrate because it’s not easy for projects of this kind to become established, especially in an area like this. There’s huge potential here and we believe that MAPAS is here to stay, and with good reason”.

With the aim of positioning the Canary Islands as an international benchmark for the South Atlantic performing arts scene, the fifth edition of MAPAS will feature six days of professional events in Gran Canaria and Tenerife, including networking events, showcase performances, seminars and workshops. More than 200 programmers from 34 different countries across the regions covered by MAPAS have confirmed their participation in the networking events, including 112 from the music industry and 110 from the performing arts sector, around 30 of whom are from the Canary Islands. In addition, 198 artistic groups have been selected for this fifth edition: 80 music groups, 96 performing arts groups and 22 agencies. Canarian creators will also be present in large numbers in the showcase performances for MAPAS 2022, which will be held in Gran Canaria and Tenerife. The shows are open to programmers and the general public alike, and will be performed by 47 different groups: 34 concerts and 13 performing arts shows, including theatre, dance, circus and street arts.

MAPAS is a professional platform that aims to boost the Canarian music and performing arts industries by including numerous artistic groups, companies and programmers from the islands in the market. Previous editions have encouraged Canarian creators to establish collaborative partnerships for theatre, dance, circus and street arts shows and concerts. The market offers new networking opportunities for artists, companies and booking, management and distribution agencies from Africa, Latin America and southern Europe, especially the Canary Islands, and plays a particularly important role as the pandemic draws to an end and cultural and social activity resumes.

The work of the Canarian authorities – the Canary Islands Government, the Cabildo de Tenerife and the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, with collaboration from the municipal councils in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Arucas and Agaete – allows MAPAS to continue to pursue its objectives in this fifth edition: to promote a business culture in the arts sector, to train cultural operators in internationalisation, and to create channels allowing music, dance, theatre and circus shows to circulate between the three continents.

MAPAS 2022 will be held in Gran Canaria and Tenerife from 4 to 9 July, offering networking events and performing arts shows and concerts in a showcase format, which will be open to programmers and the general public. In previous editions, MAPAS has brought together 514 artistic groups and agencies from disciplines such as theatre, dance, street arts, circus and music and more than 430 programmers from 60 different countries, boosting the cultural and creative industries in the geographical area covered by the event. The market’s networking events have seen a total of 7,600 professional meetings, with 1,319 appointments made through the MAPAS platform in the fourth edition alone, which was postponed to December last year for public health reasons.

MAPAS also aims to provide training and information about new challenges facing the market in the digital era, with the Campus MAPAS workshops, which will be led by experts from different fields linked to music and the performing arts, and the Digital Music Rights Seminar (SEDD), which will bring professionals from three continents together on Monday 4 July at the Sala Insular de Teatro (SIT) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, opening the fifth edition of the market.

The networking events and showcase performances for the music industry will be held from 4 to 6 July at several venues and locations across the island of Gran Canaria: the Edificio Miller near Santa Catalina park will be used for the networking events, while the showcase performances will take place at the Centro Insular de Deportes in the island’s capital. Open-air venues in the municipalities of Agaete and Arucas will also feature on the programme for the fifth edition of MAPAS for the first time. The performing arts activities will be held from 7 to 9 July at leading cultural venues in Tenerife: the networking events will take place at the library at Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA), while the theatre, dance and street arts performances will be distributed between the Auditorio de Tenerife, Teatro Guimerá, Espacio R and Espacio La Granja.

For this fifth edition of MAPAS, 198 artistic projects linked to music and the performing arts have been selected from more than 1,700 applicants. Among the projects selected for MAPAS, 96 are from the performing arts sector, including theatre, dance, circus and street arts, and 80 are music groups with different styles and formats. They will participate in the networking events and showcase performances, alongside other participants attending MAPAS 2022 as a result of international agreements with government institutions.

Meanwhile, 222 programmers from 34 different countries have confirmed that they will be attending MAPAS 2022: 94 are from Europe (France, Germany, Italy and United Kingdom); 76 are from Spain, including approximately 30 from the Canary Islands; 44 are from different parts of Latin America, including Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, with 17 coming from Colombia alone; and 30 are from Africa, including 9 from Senegal and 6 from Mali, among other countries.

At this edition of MAPAS, the ‘Cartógrafo Ilustre’ Award will be presented to José Sanchis Sinisterra (Valencia, 1940), one of the most revolutionary figures on the Spanish theatre scene, who has maintained a close professional relationship with the Latin American performing arts scene since the 1980s. He has written more than 50 plays, including original works, adaptations of classic plays and versions of narrative texts, and has received numerous prizes and awards for his work. He has developed innovative projects such as Teatro Fronterizo and Nuevo Teatro Fronterizo, which have influenced generations of playwrights and theatre directors. The author of Ñaque o de piojos y actores (1980), ¡Ay Carmela! (1986) and El cerco de Leningrado (1993) will receive the award at a ceremony to be held at 13:00 on 7 July at the Auditorio de Tenerife following a live interview with Fabio Rubiano, a Colombian director, playwright and writer and director of Teatro Petra.

On Saturday 9 July at the Auditorio de Tenerife, the performing arts will be taking centre stage once again with the presentation of a report by the Federación Insulares, an organisation founded in 2020 by the professional associations in the Balearic and Canary Islands (Illescena and Réplica), and the Asociación de Profesionales del Circo in the Balearic Islands, which brings together around 100 companies from the sector. The Federación Insulares is calling for improved access to the Spanish market for productions created on the islands, as well as for greater regional balance when it comes to national and local measures to promote the performing arts.

MAPAS 2022 will open with the Digital Music Rights Seminar (SEDD) which will be held on the morning of Monday 4 July at the Sala Insular de Teatro (SIT) in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The seminar will focus on the difficulties of managing and optimising the resources generated by copyright in the digital era, bringing together experts from the industry from the three continents covered by MAPAS: Africa, Latin America and Europe. The training section for the fifth edition of MAPAS will be rounded off by a workshop on TikTok taught by Gabriel Llano (Bytedance Latam) and a workshop on music synchronisation led by Patricia Carrera (Control Freaks), Jaime Nieto (Massive Music) and Patricia Varas (Alondra Music) at the Sala Insular de Teatro on Wednesday 6 July.