MiratecArts, the organizer of the Cordas Festival, in partnership with the Associação de Juventude Violas da Terra and the greatest promoter of the instrument in the Azores, Professor Rafael Carvalho, with the support of the groups Casa da Música da Candelária, Tocadores de Violas de São Jorge, the Associação de Músicos da Ilha Branca, and also the musician Bruno Bettencourt, who later founded the cultural association Sons do Terreiro, declared that Viola da Terra Day should be October 2, "because the music day is not only one and the two hearts must run through all the islands and lands of the Azorean communities", referencing the two hearts from the most typical viola of the autonomous region of Portugal. The news came out in the media and the challenge was placed to the Regional Government of the Azores to officially declare this day. Viola da Terra Day has been celebrated by the citizens ever since.

Four and a half years have passed, and after many meetings and opinions, the representative of the Socialist Party, Marta Matos, presented in the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores, ALRAA, the project of resolution "VIOLA DA TERRA" PLAN OF VALORIZATION IN THE AUTONOMOUS REGION OF THE AZORES", which received the positive opinion of the ALRAA, being voted on and approved unanimously, this past april 20th, 2023.

"Now, the fifth year is being prepared to value the most unique musical instrument in the region, through Viola da Terra Day," adds Terry Costa, artistic director of MiratecArts, "which has always had the objective of embracing citizens and government entities who wish to give space to the Viola da Terra in dignified events that not only celebrate the instrument and its traditions, but elevate it to the center stage of everyday Azorean life, whether on the islands or in our communities around the world."

In addition to including declaring the 2nd of October as the “Viola da Terra Day”, which happened on the 20th of April 2023 in the ALRAA by unanimity, the Plan for Valorization of the ́Viola da Terra ́ in the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes four points of recommendation to the Regional Government:

1 - Declare the 2nd of October as "Day of the Viola of the Earth".

2 - Recommend that the Regional Government of the Azores develop the necessary procedures for the classification of Viola da Terra as Intangible Cultural Heritage.

3 - Recommend to the Regional Government of the Azores that it develop the necessary procedures for the implementation of a «Regional Plan for the Valorization of Viola da Terra», which has as its main axes: a) Promotion, dissemination and cultural creation; b) The musical training of students and trainers; c) Professional training in the art of construction and restoration; d) Inventorying, recovery, dissemination and museological and digital availability of the existing collection and material heritage.

4 - Recommend to the Regional Government of the Azores that the Plan referred to in the previous number be developed in partnership with associations, recreational societies, houses of the people, conservatories, schools, museums and other public and private entities in the cultural sector, including in diaspora communities Azorean.

Credits: Supplied Image; Author: MiratecArts;

MiratecArts, Associação de Juventude Violas da Terra and Sons do Terreiro Associação Cultural are already making plans to mark the fifth year of Viola da Terra Day, in 2023, which, among other entities and musicians, have been celebrating since the day of its Citizenship Foundation. www.diadavioladaterra.com