Matera’s “Pending Passport” Initiative Makes Culture Accessible

Alexsandra Arlia (June 24, 2019)
Started by the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation, This year’s European Capital of Culture launches a cultural crowdfunding initiative for Italians and tourists alike to enjoy.

Matera, a city in Southern Italy admired for its rich history and known for being carved out of a mountain, has recently undergone a local initiative called the “Pending Passport” project begun by the Matera-Basilicata 2019 Foundation. Embracing the ancient city’s beloved cultural aspects, and its less fortunate inhabitants, crowdfunded donations will fund the cultural event donation program, which needs 10.000 euro to operate.

The purpose of the donation program is for more people to “enjoy a day dedicated to nourishment of the soul.” With various events ranging from festivals, museum lectures, tours, community projects and more - citizens and tourists alike are able to participate in many different activities meant to be enriching and engaging.

Inspired by the Napoli-born “Pending Coffee” kindness campaign where Italian locals anonymously pay for an upcoming stranger’s cup of coffee, “Pending Passport” takes on a similar air of giving and sharing in the abundance of local culture and experiences. For only 19 euro for the rest of 2019, people are able to purchase daily “passports” that allow them to attend any event part of the cultural exploration program.

Donations as part of the “Pending Passport” initiative can be made online anywhere from 10-1.000 euro and passports have since been sold at a whopping count of 36,000 between Italians and visiting tourists.

Matera is a cultural phenomenon of a city, considering its past is filled with momentous time periods driven by poverty, lack of attention, reconstruction and nearly becoming lost in history. Also known as “the underground city,” Matera is telling a different story flourishing with global attention and admiration and taking full advantage of the opportunities that come with being named European Capital of Culture.

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