Regenerating historic villages with culture and entrepreneurship, Civita was chosen for Molise. 14 projects will be financed, including an art gallery

When a Molise native thinks of a small village that has believed in culture to regenerate – or recover, if you prefer – he thinks of Civitacampomarano and its street art festival. Well, he must have thought something similar too Ministry of Culture That has decided to allocate funding for local cultural and social regeneration projects of small historic villages to Civita, the only municipality in Molise, financed by the European Union (188 million total budget). These are Pnrr funds, linked to Line B of the measure “Regeneration of small cultural sites, cultural, religious and rural heritage”. To be clear, Line A was the one, again for the investment in the attractiveness of the historic villages, which saw Castel del Giudice receiving 20 million euros (in that case one project was financed for each region).

This time, however, the one who defeated everyone was the municipality which for years has been trying to get back on top by making itself known even outside the borders with cultural initiatives which have earned it the association with the phrase ‘The Molise that re-exists’, which stands out – not to case – on one of its walls revitalized by street artists. Announcement of villages, therefore, with Civitacampomarano emerging as the winner – after having applied (it was 2022) – with the local project “Civitacampomarano: between identity and innovation to look to the future” financed for 1 million and 600 thousand euros (the maximum that could be assigned for a municipality in single form was 2 million, around 2.5 if in associated form. It goes without saying that Molise could aspire to a maximum of funding). A project that the local authority will not do alone, because the private part is associated with the public part. And, with a procedure on Invitalia with the Call for Businesses – and not passing directly through the Municipality “so much so that I don’t know many of the projects”, explains the mayor Paolo Manuele – many responded, even from outside, and 14 projects (but more were presented, ed.) were accepted for funding. Proposals that come from – to give a few examples – MoliseCinema, Frentania Teatri, the CivitArt association (that of the festival, in fact), but also from hospitality businesses, from a carpentry shop and from individual proponents. “Not everyone is from here – argues the mayor – where we have organized informative meetings with the citizens. But the fact that some come from outside, yes, fills us with pride.”

The Notice, as stated on the MiC website, is aimed at promoting the recovery of the economic-productive fabric of the 294 villages assigned the resources, “historic villages that are the backbone of the Italian cultural heritage”. It allocates almost 200 million euros of the funds provided by the MiC for the National Villages Plan, financed with the Pnrr, to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises interested in promoting the regeneration of small municipalities in an innovative way through the offering of servicesboth for the local population and for visitors, as well as environmental sustainability, proposing projects attentive to the reduction of polluting emissions, the reduction of consumption, the disposal of waste, and circular economy solutions.

paolo manuele mayor civitacampomarano

Well, for Civitacampomarano (and other 293 Italian municipalities) a great opportunity, as confirmed – enthusiastically – by the mayor. “We believe in it a lot, on the other hand this intervention is part of a continuum of initiatives – such as the festival – that we have been carrying out for years”. This new project – which adds, as seen, different ones but with a single common denominator – “strengthens us in our intent”. Also because the projects presented, and positively evaluated by the Ministry, had to have the characteristic of being able to ‘continue on their own feet’ once the financing ended. Projects, explains Invitalia, to be carried out in 18 months and in any case no later than 31 December 2025. Therefore, while waiting for the decree that will distribute the funds – project by project – Civitacampomarano is nevertheless enjoying this positive news, official just a few days ago.

“It is really possible to set up – Mayor Manuele explains – a real system that, on a local scale, creates a microeconomy”. Entrepreneurship, therefore, cultural, artisanal, gastronomic and hospitality. All with the aim of achieving a regeneration of the small village – around 300 souls and subject to dynamics of depopulation incipient, especially after the landslide event of a few years ago – who just don’t think about pulling the oars in the boat. On the eve (from 14 to 16 June) of ninth edition of the Cvtà festival Street Fest and the inauguration (which will take place in July) of the exhibition, at the Castle which therefore becomes a Museum, of a collection of contemporary art (thanks to a project of the Regional Museums Directorate included in the PaC – contemporary art plan of the MiC), new cultural horizons open up for the village that was the birthplace of Vincenzo Cuoco.

Yes, because among the 14 projects there is that of the association Civt’Art and the mayor knows this well. He foresees the realization of a contemporary art gallery, with a stable exhibition space, in a property located in the upper part of the town and which could act as a new tourist catalyst for Civita. In the intentions of the mayor and his administration also the ‘chest dream’ of becoming artist residency (Lucito and Provvidenti have also been experimenting with this form of artistic-cultural tourism for years, ed.). Even in that case, a house has been identified in which this further project could be put into practice.

Everything is linked, therefore. Civitacampomarano has chosen what it wants to become when it grows up and, step by step, it is reaching its goal.

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