Musiquetes de paper wins the 3rd Innovation in Popular Culture Grant


This grant is supported by the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa, which will be premiering the show at the 16th edition of the fair this November

The winning entry is based on the little “paper theatres” which were very popular with child audiences in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Musiquetes de paper project, presented by the visual artist Joan Alfred Mengual and the music group Fem sonar les musiquetes, has been chosen as the winner of the third Innovation in Popular Culture grant. The Jaume Casademont foundation is currently staging the award of the Jaume Casademont grants at the Teatre Municipal de Girona. Among these awards is the Innovation in Popular Culture grant. This is the third year running that the Jaume Casademont foundation has organised this award, with the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa as its associated market and with support from Girona City Council and the Llet Nostra company. As the winning show, Musiquetes de paper will be premiered as part of the coming edition of the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa, to be held from 7th to 10th November.

Musiquetes de paper is a multidisciplinary show which revisits the repertoire of songs for children by composers associated with the modernista and noucentista movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It does this using the popular “paper theatres” which delighted Catalan children at this time, in a period which saw a boom in cultural products aimed at the youngest members of society as a result of the realisation of children’s needs. The idea behind this show sprang out of the confluence of different artists interested in childhood in Catalonia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: on the one hand Fem sonar les musiquetes, a music group that focuses its work on the world of childhood, and on the other Joan Alfred Mengual, a visual artist interested in the relationship between visual and performing arts. The show is conceived as a concert, where the stories told in the songs are acted out in little puppet theatres by figures made of paper.

The aims of the project are to present a new view and contextualisation of enjoyable, visual musical material from the early 20th century (by working on pieces by authors of the day Narcisa Freixas, Joan Llongueras and Apel·les Mestre); to create a unified show based on two forms of entertainment which were separate in their day (songs and puppet theatres); to show people this material which was so popular at the time yet so unknown today, and to pay homage to the multi-disciplinary way of working of creative artists associated with modernisme (linked to Art Nouveau), among others.

Since it was set up in 2009, the group Fem Sonar Les Musiquetes has worked to bring the world of music to children on the basis of discovering and working on Catalan songs. The ensemble was founded to perform the album Musiquetes per la bressola (PPF, 2008) live, a commission by the organisation of friends of La Bressola, which runs Catalan-medium schools in the part of Catalonia lying north of the Pyrenees. Joan Alfred Mengual, on the other hand, has been working for years on the inter-connections between the visual arts, the performing arts and teaching; seeking a language to allow a dialogue between drawing, construction, teaching and narrative.

The grant is aimed at the production and staging of performances based on popular culture. The idea of the scheme is to back the creation of new shows based on popular culture which are modern, up-to-date, attractive to audiences and able to create synergies with different artistic languages, including visual arts, music, circus, literature or museums.

The jury for the award is made up of Bienve Moya, a national popular culture prize winner; Natxo Morera, an arts expert at Girona city council; Manel Vilanova, co-director of Xarxateatre; Carme Jariod, an arts administrator, and David Ibáñez, artistic director of the Fira Mediterrània de Manresa. In assessing the 47 entries submitted, the jury took into account their artistic and cultural interest, and the financial and technical quality and viability of the projects submitted.

The award is worth €5,000. As well as premiering at the Fira Mediterrània, the winning show will be hired by Girona city council, another partner in the project, to perform during 2014.


Fem Sonar Les Musiquetes
Joan Alfred Mengual


Staging the award of the Jaume Casademont grants