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Towards 2017's 'participatory budgets'

Foto consell entitats febrer 2017Yesterday evening Formentera's league of associations, the “Consell d'Entitats” (literally, “Council of Entities”), convened its regular gathering at Casal d'Entitats, the group's rendezvous point. Not just the occasion to inform association reps on the projects included in 2016's so-called “participatory budgets”, the meeting also served to lay the groundwork for a new set of funding directives in 2017.

Community involvement councillor Sònia Cardona said the current effort was about “taking a step forward with respect to last year's spending” and pointed out that it would be up to the league “to suggest new projects and decide which ones receive funding”. Attendants at last night's meeting also decided on a time line for proposals and were briefed on application protocol.

2016 spending
Additionally, the gathering was a chance for attendants to learn about betterment initiatives carried out in 2016. Rafael González, the administration's councillor of infrastructure, held up playground improvements at four local schools and upgrades to children's parks. He also referred to works to make the island's urban centres more accessible.

Tax office councillor Bartomeu Escandell spoke about the Council's 2017 budget, €23,815,000. For the second year in a row, the decision on how to allocate ten per cent, or €325,000, of the administration's budget will fall to the Consell d'Entitats. That money represents a €75K increase on 2016's figure (€250K).

L'Illa a Escena: theatre, music and opera for all

Foto niu angel dimoniThe cultural arm of the Formentera Council pulled the veil back today on its programme of performing arts and music for the first quarter of 2017. According to CiF culture councillor Susana Labrador, the events will take place across three months in the local cinema, the Council's Sala de Cultra. An effort, she said, to offer a rich sampling of theatre and musicals to everyone on the island, children too.

February
Formentera Viu l'Òpera continues through February with Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco, a work based on the Old Testament and Francis Cornue and August Anicet-Bourgeois' Nabucodonosor. The screening will be held February 4 at 8.00pm in the cinema.

Audiences this month will also be able to see L'Etern Mecanoscrit. Winner of the Bòtil prize and based on stories by Salvador Oliva as well as Manuel de Pedrolo's novel El mecanoscrit del Segon Origen. La Impaciència, the theatre group behind the show, says the production is for young and old audiences alike, one that underscores the importance of books and reading and conserving the heritage they represent. Part of Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics' Talent IB initiative, this production of L'Etern Mecanoscrit will take place February 11 at 9.00pm in the cinema.

Young audiences are invited to come February 18 for Hanna dels tres països. It is a tale of three young women, each from a different country, who, for different reasons, are forced to leave home. A variety of symbolic interpretations can be made of this particular theatre format, presented without acrimony, and refusing to recoil at the task of discussing such controversial topics with children.

As part of the Dia de les Illes Balears events programme, music lovers can look forward to two Formentera performances on February 25, from Marcel Cranc and Quin Delibat! Mallorcan composer Miquel Vicensastre —alias Marcel Cranc— will share his most recent work before our neighbours on Eivissa, Quin Delibat!, close out the evening lineup. Both are scheduled for 9.00pm in the cinema.

March
In March audiences will have their chance to see Tennessee William's celebrated Un tramvia anomenat desig (A Streetcar named Desire), whose neurotic, fierce and tormented characters are all set to board the last train. The show, brought to Formentera by director Sergi Baos, with a premiere cast including Alexandra Palomo, Marga López, Joan Manel Vadell and Rodo Gener, can be seen Saturday March 4 at 9.00pm in the cinema.

The bill on Sunday March 5 is for children. Integrating techniques from shadow theatre and the music of the islands, Els Músics de Bremen (Town Musicians of Bremen) takes on the popular tale by the Brothers Grimm. It's the story of when four hard-luck animals, banding together and trying their luck as musicians, make for Bremen. Musics viatgers (“traveling musicians”) is the name of the stage troupe, and they will perform Els Músics de Bremen on Sunday March 5 at 6.00pm in the cinema.

Another feature of Formentera Viu l'Òpera pulls up on March 15: Il Trovatore. A four-act opera composed by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvatore Cammarano, the work was completed by Leone Emanuele Bardere and based on a drama of the same name by Spanish playwright Antonio García Gutiérrez. The screening of this opera will start at 8.00pm in the cinema.

April
Acorar returns to Formentera on April 1. Toni Gomila, heading up writing and acting for the production, delivers visceral monologues as he carries us to the heart of Mallorca, bound for the most important social event for any islander: the hog slaughter. Gomila uses the decadence of the happening to explain the end of traditional Mallorca and, by extension, the world as we now know it. The Ferro theatre group performs Acorar before Formentera audiences April 1, at 9.00pm in the cinema.

On Saturday April 8 it's another one for the kids. Dud & Cia troupe brings street theatre to Plaça de la Constitució in Sant Francesc with El niu. This family-friendly production reinvents itself at every turn, but without words or rules, just an ongoing interplay with spectators that cuts new imaginative paths and incubates surprises and laughter.

At the end of April, there's Piotr Tchaïkovski and Yuri Grigorovich's El llac dels cignes (Swan Lake). This fairly tale, told as a ballet in four acts, was taken up by the Bolshoi Theatre in 1875 and debuted in 1877. It will be screened on Formentera April 29 at 8.00pm in the cinema.

Ticket prices
Entry to Formentera Viu l'Òpera screenings is eight euros. For theatre productions, tickets are five euros for the general public and three for viewers under 25, part of an effort to encourage young people to attend theatre. Tickets for both children and accompanying adults are three euros at kid's productions, except for Els Músics de Bremen and El niu, which are free to attend. The Dia de les Illes Balears concerts with Marcel Cranc and Quin Delibat! are also free.

Support for culture
L'Illa a escena is backed by Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics' Talent IB initiative and the Spanish cultural ministry's Programa Platea, both bids to promote the performing arts. It was renewed this year and will be back again this autumn with even more cultural and artistic excitement.

Loyalty card purchases totalling €100K lead to €1.5K in discounts

foto presentacio compra a casaTrade councillor Alejandra Ferrer was joined earlier today in the Formentera Council's plenary hall by Pep Mayans and Vicent Roselló, president and spokesman of Formentera's small and medium-sized business association (Pimef), to report on the loyalty programme Compra a Casa six weeks on.

Roselló explained that to date 600 cards have been handed out of which 526 have been activated by making one or more purchases. He pointed out that in a month and a half, Compra a Casa cards had been used to buy €100,000 worth of goods for an accumulated €1,500 in discounts.

Councillor Ferrer encouraged Formentera residents to sign up for the free card in any member business. Shoppers receive a minimum 1.5 per cent discount in food stores and 3 per cent in restaurants. The councillor reminded those present that Compra a Casa's main goal —to give a leg up to local businesses that operate year round— is reflected in one imperative to adhesion: opening at least eight months out of the year.

The Pimef chair extended special thanks to Compra a Casa's 50 member establishments. Any business owners interested in joining should contact the CiF Office of Trade or Pimef. The campaign's associated app, formentera365, will also be pitched to tourists in an effort to educate them on all of the local businesses open through winter.

Gift cards
Members who have used the Compra a Casa card in purchases were entered in a drawing to win four €50 gift cards that could be used in member stores. The winners were: Àngel Escandell Tur, who shopped at Expert; Manuela Amador Rodríguez, a shopper at Ofiusa; Remedios Sánchez Amores, a customer at Sant Ferran's BTQ supermarket and Fina Castelló Costa, for shopping at Avenida de la Mola.

Formentera's programme to stand with Syrians

foto premsa formentera amb siria autor foto patxi galanTogether with the NGO Progreso y Desarrollo Humano (“Progress and Human Development”) and backed by the administration's departments of culture and social welfare, the Formentera Council will host a bill of events and activities in solidarity with Syrian refugees. Formentera amb Síria (“Formentera with Syria”) is a programme of documentary and film screenings, theatrical performances, classroom discussions and exhibitions which, starting February 5 and spanning two weeks, focus on the situation of refugees.

In the spotlight
Saturday February 18 at 2.00pm the keynote event —a community paella— will be held in a festival tent pitched at the Sa Senieta parking lot. The municipal music school's troupe of clarinetists will perform at 5.00pm, followed by a dance production headed up by the local dance school's Nieves Portas. After that, Lunares, Voice & Senses and La 22 will hold down entertainment duties until 11.00pm, when a “discomobile” will carry the crowd through to the 1.00am end time.

Film screenings
The cinema offer gets under way Sunday February 5 with a screening of the short 53 Moons and a talk with the film's director. The same day, at 6.00pm in la Mola's Casa del Poble, a presentation of the Mòbil Kitchen project will take place with a round-table discussion.

Exhibition
On Monday February 6 at 7.00pm, Aleix Oriol Vergés will unveil a collection of his own photos on the Syrian exodus and then stick around for a related discussion. Under the heading “struggle for survival”, the display is financed by Fons pitiús de cooperació and can be visited February 6-17 in the gallery of the old town hall (Ajuntament Vell).

Recycling workshops
Wednesday February 8 at 5.30pm in Casa del Poble, Thursday at the same time in the Sant Ferran library and Friday at 6.30pm in the Sant Francesc library recycling workshops will be held.

Soap workshop
After an initial opening Saturday February 10 from 11.00am in Centre Tur Gabrielet, the Formentera amb Síria market will remain open February 13-17. Also Feburary 10, at 5.00pm, Ana Negre will lead a workshop on creating Aleppo soap.

Standing together in cinema and theatre
Friday February 17 at 9.00pm in the cinema (Sala de Cultura), a screening of Jordi Évole's documentary Astral will take place. Sunday February 19 at 5.30pm, a children's theatre production by Iguana Produccions, Hanna dels tres països, will be staged in the same venue for children ages six to twelve. Later that same evening, at 8.00pm, Astral will be shown once again. In a fundraising effort that will benefit the non-profit group ProActiva Open Arms, tickets for the events will be sold for three euros.

Across Formentera schools, educational talks are being coordinated with representatives of Progreso y Desarrollo Humano and the photographer from Fons pitiús de cooperació in an effort to bring awareness to the issues.

Formentera amb Síria was organised between the Council and Progreso y Desarrollo Humano, a group created in 2012 to further social and cooperative work in the global south. All money raised will go to ADSN, a non-profit working with Syrian refugees in Greece. Fons pitiús de cooperació, Carlin, Baleària, Dignitis, Acción Directa Sierra Norte, Formatierra Service and comunica360 all took part as well.

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