Despina Network Partner

Despina is a non-profit cultural association whose mission is to develop and implement platforms for the creation, dissemination and collaboration in the field of contemporary art.


Despina is responsible for the conceptual and operational management of the ongoing projects at Largo das Artes, a cultural centre located in the old downtown area of Rio de Janeiro. These projects include a residency programme, exhibitions and courses. Also, several studios are occupied by associated artists and researchers.


The projects developed by Despina are based around the following proposals:

– Create a lively, supportive and dynamic environment for the development and exhibition of contemporary art

– Facilitate experimentation and innovation in contemporary art practices by stimulating dialogue between artists and across cultures

– Encourage the professional development of artists through a non-judgemental and process-based art residency programme

– Widen access to contemporary art, instigating critical thinking

– Contribute to the urban and cultural revitalization of the city centre of Rio de Janeiro, where the space is located.

Despina has become part of the Prince Claus Fund board of international partners and will receive a financial support to develop the project “Art and Activism in Latin America” for the next three years, starting in 2016. This project consists of an art residency programme open to three artists and a cultural activist from various communities in Latin America. Each year, the programme will comprise a series of workshops, public lectures, collaboration with public schools and the Academy of Arts in Rio, networking visits to other cultural institutions in the city, regular meetings with local curators and a public exhibition.


This project runs parallel to a broader Residency Programme, which is also open to international artists outside the Brazilian region. Through its activities, Despina focuses on promoting emerging, mid-career and more experimental local and international artists.

Film: Consuelo Bassanesi of Despina (Brazil) discuss the Prince Claus Fund Network Partnership.