Argentina’s official government gazette announced yesterday the creation of a cultural ministry department to be headed by folk singer and composer Teresa Adelina Sellares, also known by her stage name, Teresa Parodi.
Prior to the creation of the Cultural Ministry, the government cultural department was run through the Secretary of Culture, Jorge Coscia, who resigned from his position with the appointment of Parodi. The decree issued by the government noted the importance of recognizing culture, given that “political decisions, economic and financial initiatives and social reforms have much more possibilities to success if the cultural perspective is considered.” Among other areas, the Cultural Ministry is in charge of all national museums, and will also work closely with the Assistant Secretary of Sociocultural Policies, Franco Vitali.
Prior to her appointment, Parodi—a former teacher, artist and Peronist activist—had been working at the Espacio Cultural Nuestro Hijos (ECuNHI), a human rights organization run by the Madres de la Plaza de Mayor (Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo). Over her lifetime she has produced 30 albums and received various awards, including the Platinum Konex Award for best author-composer of the decade in 1995, the Award of the National Endowment of the Arts in 1999, the Gardel a la Música in 2003, and the Grand National Prize of Arts and Sciences in 2011.
Cultural development has been a priority for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration, supported by leaders in the music, film and art world. With the addition of Minister Parodi, Fernández de Kirchner’s cabinet is now comprised of 16 ministers, all headed by Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich.