EGEAC is responsible for managing some of Lisbon’s key cultural spaces and for organising Festas de Lisboa and other street festivals.
For more than 20 years, this municipal company has been promoting cultural activity in Lisbon through its street festivals and management of cultural spaces, including the São Luiz and Maria Matos Theatres, various museums and art galleries, and monuments such as the Monument to the Discoveries and São Jorge Castle. These cultural spaces are visited by more than 2 million people each year, while close to 1 million participate in activities held in the street. As a key actor in the city, EGEAC provides programming that is multidisciplinary, comprehensive, inclusive and democratic, striving to be an agent that is active and receptive, interacting in both contemporary and popular activities.
In August 1995, in line with the urban revitalisation and regeneration policies inspired by the Quartiers en Crise network, the Lisbon City Council established a municipal public company, EBAHL – Equipamentos dos Bairros Históricos de Lisboa.
The main objectives of this new company were to invest in projects that anchored and galvanised the local residents of neighbourhoods, revitalise and transform large facilities (buildings or groups of buildings), and to develop cultural initiatives.
The facilities the company was responsible for managing included S. Jorge Castle (museum and surrounding neighbourhood); Teatro Taborda and the surrounding vicinity; Palácio Pancas Palha (Pancas Palha Palace) in Santa Apolónia; a former wastewater pumping station in Largo do Chafariz de Dentro, where a museum dedicated to Fado was to be established; Convento das Bernardas (Bernardas Convent), where the idea for a puppet museum first germinated; and Palácio Marim Olhão (Marim Olhão Palace) in Calçada do Combro.
In 1996, EBAHL took over the organisation of Festas de Lisboa after it was recognised that the festival’s cultural programming was rooted in Lisbon’s historic neighbourhoods “and that, due to the ephemeral nature of these events, roots should be laid down for the future”.
Since its founding, the company has been staffed by multi-disciplinary teams who prepare projects, monitor initiatives and plan out new cultural spaces. In 2003, EBAHL was renamed EGEAC – Empresa de Gestão de Equipamentos e Animação Cultural and a new strategy was adopted.
The company’s activities expanded in scope from the historic neighbourhoods to the entire city, while new cultural spaces came under its wing: The São Luiz and Maria Matos Theatres, Cinema São Jorge and Fórum Lisboa (the former Cinema Roma). At the same time, its mission now encompassed an integrated cultural vision of the city.
In 2015, the company celebrated its 20th anniversary. Our management portfolio now includes Atelier-Museu Júlio Pomar, Casa Fernando Pessoa, Museu Bordalo Pinheiro, Museu do Aljube, the various branches of the Museum of Lisbon and five Municipal Galleries.
In parallel, we have further developed and diversified our programmes in public spaces, now offering them year round. With our firm commitment to rigour and quality, and to the democratisation of access to cultural goods, we continue to grow in both visitors and cultural events.