About Fundição Progresso
In 1982, an avant-garde group in Rio de Janeiro culture, which had already revolutionized the city since the 1970s with the creation of the theater company Asdrúbal Trouxe o Trombone and, later, Circo Voador, decided to fight against the demolition of a deactivated stove and safe factory in Lapa, a property of great historical value. The resistance worked, the old foundry was preserved, and, over the past 20 years, it became the largest independent cultural center in Rio de Janeiro.
Concepts currently on the rise such as creative economy, sharing of ideas, entrepreneurship, innovation, and sustainability have always been the driving force of Fundição. Especially since 1999, when, with its founder Mayor Fortuna leading it, the space adopted the model it maintains today, and started to gather pioneering and autonomous initiatives in art, education, environment, and social projects.
During that time, Fundição promoted projects and events of great relevance for the city and for the country, such as the National Carnival Marchinhas Competition, the Lapa Carnival – which totally changed Rio’s street carnival and influenced carnival throughout the country in the last 10 years – and the Education and Culture Center, which built a bridge between the artists and educators of the Cultural Center and the young people who can develop their talents there, discover skills and enter the job market.
Today, the Cultural Center hosts cultural initiatives and groups, including the Orquestra Petrobras Sinfônica, Intrépida Trupe, Teatro de Anônimo, Armazém Companhia de Teatro and Rio Maracatu. With a varied and accessible schedule, the space also offers a wide range of courses and workshops, ranging from crafts to virtual reality.
Fundição Verde, an area of development of the circular economy in favor of nature, covers different initiatives, such as:
– Canto das Flores: hanging garden and urban agriculture laboratory;
– Plante Rio: a periodic event that discusses alternatives for a healthier and more inclusive life through agroecology and agroforestry;
– Workshop of the Lixo Zero movement: reverse collection of glass and recycling waste generated by the cultural center, minimizing the impact on landfills;
– Feira Mercado Fundição Sustentável: valuing small producers and proposing new forms of consumption. It takes place monthly.
– Among other proposals.
Fundição Progresso is also one of the main stages for concerts in the country, where the biggest names of Brazilian music, of all genders and ages, who made history in the arena of the cultural center are presented.
To preserve and expand this vocation, the space permanently increased its infrastructure. In recent years, it has installed modern air conditioning, sound, lighting, and stage systems; promoted architectural improvements and makeovers in its floor and terrace, and created a new area for cabins. More recently, Fundição offered the city the first rain garden to reduce the impacts of floods in Lapa.