Emilia-Romagna is a fertile territory where art, culture and creativity constantly reinvent themselves: it is a place where the traditional world and the contemporary one meet, mix and give life to new artistic expressions. Places, of all kinds, preserve the vast tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
The region collects and protects this legacy in a vast array of cultural spaces: public or private, institutional or informal, historical or modern. Some of them have been there for decades or centuries, others keep blooming in accordance with the needs of communities.
The artistic unrest of the last years has led creatives to experiment out of traditional spaces, with positive spillover in other domains and places. The artistic imagination, for instance, has created a new wave of urban dwellers. Unused and abandoned buildings are now often used by cultural organizations which adapt them to new desires and circumstances: cultural urban regeneration is a virtuous and widespread phenomenon in Emilia-Romagna. Although it is more difficult to map, it has demonstrated it can generate a positive impact both on the livability of areas and the vitality of communities.
The focus of this page concerns those cultural places that host the regional cultural heritage, initiatives and events. Precise indicators on museums, libraries, cinemas and theatres are shown. The locations that hide a more hybrid nature – which can be more difficult to monitor through standard sources – will be illustrated through reports, news and storytelling in other sections of this website.
The theatre sector in Emilia-Romagna counts on a long-lasting tradition: well-established companies, young artists, historical theatres scattered all over the region, experiments carried out in unthought-of places… The performing arts sector is diverse and sparkling.
There are 211 theatres, distributed from Piacenza to Rimini: some of them belong to local administrations, some are managed by private organizations or directly by theater companies which can be involved in different activities at a time, from programming to producing.
Among these theatres there are also the historical ones, which are still in use thanks to public investments and actions carried out at a local level.
Experimenting and researching are not only related to the act of performing: indeed, many organizations have started exploiting performing arts languages and methods in other sectors, in schools, in prisons, in enterprises.
Places are also the fil-rouge of the audiovisual industry: they are part of it in all of its phases, from production to distribution.
The Emilia-Romagna Region has a law dedicated to this sector (L.R. 20/2014 “Norme in materia di cinema e audiovisivo”) which made it possible to invest several resources in this field: professionals and organizations can apply for specific grants but also tailor made services conceived to improve conditions on the set and attract national and international producers on the territory.
For instance, Location Gallery allows access to a catalogue of places that can become the set of future productions: rural buildings, urban contexts, factories, forests, mountains…
To enjoy films of any kind – documentaries, blockbusters, art films – places are essential. Even though the sector has been experiencing drastic changes in its business models due to the advent of online platforms, cinemas are still a pivotal element to involve and connect with audiences.
The Emilia-Romagna is the second Italian region for the number of museums, monuments and archeological sites, which amount to 545. These organizations are managed by either regional administration or private entities; indeed, only a small part belongs to the national government.
The cultural heritage preserved in museums is ever more important for local development. Today, many museums implement activities aimed at connecting with communities, creating innovative formats to collaborate with schools, co-designing with other sectors, such as that of health and well being.
There are 625 libraries in Emilia-Romagna alone.
These structures can be run by both private and public organizations. The former consists of book collections supported by private funding. The latter can either be public libraries belonging to the national government or public libraries managed by local authorities. Those administered by the state focus on collecting and preserving books while libraries managed by local entities – such as municipalities – aim at promoting information and listening to the needs of citizens to develop a diversified offer.