Matera 2019

2019: an extraordinary year lived intensely. But what was the perception of permanent and temporary citizens who took part in the Matera European Capital of Culture journey?

On 19 February 2020, in the Conference Room of the Basilicata Chamber of Commerce in Matera, during a meeting aimed at 'Connections and Reflections' there was a presentation of the results of a survey commissioned by the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation and carried out by the company Datacontact, which provided useful and important food for thought and the stimulus to take on new challenges, areas for improvement and opportunities arising from the legacy left behind by this great event.

Based on a sample of almost 5000 permanent and temporary citizens, both from Italy and abroad, who were asked to complete a questionnaire either face-to-face or online, it immediately catches the eye that almost all of the interviewees now believe that Matera is a more international and well-known city, compared to the pre-candidacy phase, whilst 77.9% consider it to be more culturally vibrant. There are also important data that highlight how around 85% of citizens have taken great pride in the path taken by the city, with 87.4% and 82.5% who are now open and willing to welcome both tourists and citizens coming from other cities or countries, and those with different abilities.

Furthermore, 60% of the interviewees felt sufficiently involved as a protagonist and not only a spectator of the cultural programme, a feeling that has increased the desire to personally take part in the future, and around 70% of the respondents have stated that, thanks to the Matera Passport 2019 (the cost of which was considered by the majority as fair if not negligible compared to what was on offer), they felt more motivated to participate in the events and activities of the cultural programme. Indeed, 83.5% said that the Passport also helped to bring more spectators to the cultural events in general, broadening the horizons of the public and attracting those who did not usually attend this type of event.

Richness and variety, as well as originality, are the most suitable adjectives to describe the perception of the content proposed by the cultural programme, which corresponds to an appreciation for the enhancement of new spaces (such as Cava del Sole), the unprecedented use of some (Matera prison, for example) or the rearrangement of others (especially the museums).  The survey, in fact, shows that 85.9% of the most attended events were exhibitions, 73% were shows and performances (theatre, opera, dance) and 64.3% were concerts and events at Cava del Sole.

In addition to widespread sadness for the intense year that has just ended and that many would have liked to continue (31.7%), the most perceived feeling is that of happiness for having had such an exceptional experience (36.8%): these feelings, in fact, affect almost 60% on average of citizens who are hoping for a future in which Matera and Basilicata remain places where culture is produced and where international events are still organised. There is a hunger for shows, music and events at the Cava del Sole, a desire for exhibitions, opera and theatre, and a strong hope of even more engaging activities for young spectators.

It is also important to note that the year of Matera European Capital of Culture influenced 68.1% of the choice of the city as a holiday destination, significantly increasing the number of temporary citizens in the city.

pdf 16x16 The results of the survey on the perception of Matera, European Capital of Culture 2019