Danilo Miranda, considered symbolically as Minister of Culture, receives tributes from professionals in the sector

2023-10-31 00:29:04

On the night of October 29th, the death of one of the biggest names in cultural management in the country was announced, who had been admitted to a hospital in São Paulo since the beginning of the month.

Danilo Miranda at the head of one of the Sesc-SP units. Photo: Fernanda Procópio. Reproduction: Itaú Cultura.

Born in Campo dos Goytacazes, in the interior of Rio de Janeiro, on April 24, 1943, Danilo Santos de Miranda would complete four decades as director of SESC-SP next year. An inspiration and reference in the country’s cultural sector, he was a member of the boards of entities such as Fundação Bienal de São Paulo, Itaú Cultural, MASP and MAM-SP. He was also president of the Steering Committee of the World Cultural Forum, in 2004. His wake took place on the morning of the 30th, at Sesc Pompéia.

His career at the Social Service of Commerce (Sesc) began in 1968, as a public advisor. Interested in culture since his childhood, he took over the direction of Sesc in the State of São Paulo in 1984.

Under his management, Sesc expanded in every way. The institution has become a reference in promoting access to culture, sport and leisure. Felipe Machado, musician and journalist, comments in his tribute to Miranda as “[o] Sesc is a dream for any artist”; just as Karina Sérgio Gomes, also a journalist, concludes: “in 40 years, Danilo Miranda created an oasis for cultural workers at Sesc-SP”.

In the field of arts, Sesc promoted different formats of artistic expression, with special attention to theater. It launched artists and also brought renowned names to its spaces. With a progressive outlook, Danilo gave special value to transgressive expressions and defended them when attacked and censored. Natália Mallo, artist and curator, recalls Miranda’s position when the play “Evangelho Segundo Jesus, Rainha do Céu” faced conservative opposition regarding its exhibition in units in the interior of São Paulo: “the program is maintained”.

Miranda had a broad view of culture. She considered everything made by human intervention as culture. Be it science, formal education and, of course, art. During her years at Sesc, she saw the Institution’s work as permanent informal education, “through theater, music, dance, visual arts, for all types of people”. Not only for São Paulo, but for everyone in the country, the work carried out by Sesc gained enormous recognition under its management. So much so that Miranda was affectionately considered by many to be the informal Minister of Culture – being one of the most relevant figures for the cultural scene in the country.

Other personalities from the cultural sector shared their grief through social media. Ale Youssef – former secretary of culture of São Paulo – comments that Miranda was a “foundation of São Paulo art”, with a “legacy so impactful that it is impossible to calculate”.

On this 30th, the Ministry of Culture released a note of condolence, lamenting the death of the cultural manager “thinker and formulator of the most relevant artistic and cultural projects in the country”. Miranda declared, in 2022, for Itaú Cultural, in the series “Trajectories”, that he saw his mission as “attempting to change the world”. And so it was.

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