Message from the President
If in our 2018 report, we highlighted one of the Foundation’s most important milestones—the completion of the restoration of the Portico of Glory—in 2019 we must begin by highlighting this project’s international recognition. The European Heritage Award, Europa Nostra, received in Paris in a gala commemorating all European heritage, was a must-have award for this restoration work, because it is the restoration of a jewel of Romanesque sculpture that can be considered the finishing artistic touch of the Way of St James in Santiago. A city and a community whose history is so closely linked to that of all of Europe, fruit of its artistic tastes and the culmination of its leading international art, it fits in perfectly with the notions of a heritage and identity to which the award is linked. Together with this recognition, maybe on a smaller but equally important scale, we have seen how the newly restored Portico of Glory has set off on its journey, now out of our hands. It has been truly comforting to discover society’s response to the restoration, because there is a before and an after to the Portico.
This desire to leave a lasting impression, when what we have accomplished truly has meaning, is the real vocation of a forward-looking foundation like ours, and being able to verify its accomplishment is our greatest reward.
Following on from promoting the protection of heritage as an asset at the service of society for economic and cultural development, we would like to highlight two awards: the Arte y Empresa award from the Ars Magazine, which we also received from our main partner in the Portico, the Fundación Catedral itself, and the Premio Galicia de Turismo 2019 in its first call.
Otherwise, our work continues on already established lines with photography exhibitions and an important collection of Dutch drawings, always trying to bring to the people of Galicia works that despite being great are unknown in our region, in the same spirit that is the guiding thread of our cycles of conferences on art or our concerts.
In the social sphere, our programmes have continued running, always under the premise of strengthening the associative network and giving it a key role in its own development. Our efforts to professionalise the third sector were once again translated into the support for the creation of communication and management platforms for entities, as well as the implementation of specific programmes in the key aspects that determine the needs of today’s society. A look at the projects will be sufficient to convince the reader of the wide range of issues we have managed to address thanks to all the institutions we collaborate with.
Our scholarship programmes have continued to focus on our best investment: the individual talents of our young people. All our scholarship recipients are a programme in themselves, and we place a great deal of trust in their achievements, which we feel are ours too, thus fulfilling our mission of improving as a society.
All our activity can be understood as one big training cycle, encompassing making culture accessible to everybody; taking special care of our young people through our educational workshops; providing access to the most basic tools of self-empowerment when life, for whatever reason, has deprived a section of our society of them; and providing access to study for the most eligible students with the goal of improving our level of development. But the cycle would not be complete without supporting research and, once again, our strategy is one of transferring protagonism because we are convinced that this is the role a foundation like ours should play. The programme outlines in the following pages offer the reader of this report a better explanation than my words.
Finally, this year, marked for the Foundation by its international context, I would like to share with you our presence, in the forum of the European Foundation Centre and the OECD, which we jointly coordinated with the OECD in May, at a round table where the future challenges of philanthropy were discussed. A place where a foundation that is a pioneer in sponsorship work in Galicia and Spain and whose special vocation is seeking new paths of development for everybody, felt very much at home.
José María Arias Mosquera
President, Barrié Foundation