On November 12 a framework agreement was signed between the institutions, universities and entities promoting the Campus of the Arts, a project that aims to strengthen higher education in the arts. The other main aim of the project is to restore the Can Ricart factory site, declared a cultural good of national interest, as its headquarters. The University of Barcelona, which leads the project, has applied for funding under the EU Next Generation funds for the refurbishment and adaptation of the building.
During the signing ceremony of this framework agreement, Joan Guàrdia, rector of the UB, stated that Campus of the Arts is "the fundamental axis for strengthening a field of knowledge such as higher arts education”, setting artistic investigation on the level of academic research in other fields of knowledge. The rector also noted that "the commitment of the UB to Can Ricart, a cultural good of national interest, and to 22@, is firm and is one of our main commitments for the future". According to Professor Guàrdia, "the activity of the Campus of the Arts will include research projects, postgraduate courses, lifelong learning and knowledge transfer activities in the city and the country".
The Catalan Minister of Research and Universities, Gemma Geis, considers the Campus of the Arts to be a "unique project in Catalonia". "It results from our conviction that the country needs a university of the arts, a thematic university, which does not exist either here or in Spain, but which does exist in most European countries", she said. The minister believes that it is necessary to generate more knowledge and develop more research in the field of the arts "because we also need the study and reflection of the contemporary human on artistic disciplines."
Jordi Martí, deputy mayor for Culture, Education, Science and Community of the City of Barcelona, said: "The Arts Campus shows the capacity of the universities and institutions of the city to work together and promote Barcelona as a benchmark in higher education and as a cultural capital. The project strengthens the field of arts and design at a university level and creates a broad alliance to promote it.” Martí insisted on the strategic role of Can Ricart and the cultural and creative legacy of its context.
During the signing ceremony, the coordinator of the initiative for the UB, Carles Martí, reviewed the history of the Campus de les Arts and its priority concerns. Emerging after an initial report of the Catalan Arts Council (CoNCA) in 2018, Campus de les Arts has focused since then on the organisation of the congress “INDISCIPLINES”, in 2019, as well as other activities, commissions and research publications. Besides, the scientific and pedagogic character of its future activity has been jointly defined, along with designing Can Ricart’s architectural project and spatial uses.
The Campus of the Arts plans to have 6,800 m2 available on the Can Ricart site. In 2015, the City Barcelona Council, which owns the site, granted the UB the use of the main industrial building and some outbuildings. This agreement will enable the development of a project of fundamental use both from an educational perspective and for the future of this emblematic space.