·        The president signed the decree creating the Ministry of Culture, “A historic decision that will allow joint institutional efforts to guarantee access to culture,” he said.

·        It will not imply a greater budgetary burden or more bureaucracy, nor will it affect the rights of workers in this key sector, he said.

·        The government validates and protects the richness of artistic and cultural expression: “We are committed to freedom and diversity of thought.

During the National Science and Arts Award 2015 ceremony, President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the decree amending, supplementing and repealing various provisions of the Organic Law of Federal Public Administration, as well as other laws, to create the Ministry of Culture.

He declared that his mission will be to provide effective public support to creators, promote art and culture, protect our heritage,  safeguard our plurality and bring artistic activities to children and youth.

This will happen because a country with culture is a country with a solid foundation for building a better future on a day to day basis:

President Peña Nieto said that the government validates and protects the richness of artistic and cultural expression: “We are committed to freedom and diversity of thought. The best causes of Mexico are nourished by its ideas, visions and expressions,” he declared.

He said that, “Today, society and government have a very clear purpose: to democratize culture, in other words, to ensure that it reaches all segments of the population throughout our country.”

At the 70th presentation of this award, the president said: “With a renewed ethical commitment, we continue to make our culture the soul of Mexico’s greatness.”

He said that the creation of the Ministry of Culture is certainly a historic decision that will permit the coordination of institutional efforts to ensure access to culture, the right enshrined in Article Four of the Constitution.

It does not imply, and this I must stress, a greater budgetary burden. Nor it will mean more bureaucracy nor will it affect the rights of the workers in this important sector. It will be an efficient agency and should be modern, transparent and inclusive,” he explained.

He thanked the legislative branch, “For fulfilling a long held wish of the cultural community of our country.” He said that the new Ministry will enable education and culture to, “Focus on efforts, so that we can advance these two major fields of endeavor in our society.”

After presenting the award to 13 winners -12 individuals and 1 group- President Peña Nieto declared: “Today, Mexico acknowledges those who have earned the National Prize for Arts and Sciences 2015. This is a very special edition because this year, as the Secretary of Education noted, we celebrate seven decades of acknowledging the leading representatives of art and science.”

“The Mexican State values the creativity and thinking of artists and intellectuals, and recognizes the rigor and innovation of our researchers and scientists,” he explained.

“Due to the excellence of your creative work, from the most varied expressions of art to folk art, all of you are an outstanding example of the creative genius and intellectual talent that distinguish our country,” he said.

The president said that, “Culture is the matrix that generates identity and social cohesion, it is our common home, the source of our idiosyncrasy, traditions and customs and our way of seeing and understanding life.”

“Aware of its importance for the development of our nation, from the beginning of this administration, we have given a fresh impetus to culture,” he said, after explaining that in this Administration, over 2,200 grants have been provided through the National  System of Art Creators together with 620 scholarships for young artists, among other forms of support.

It involves, he said, “A huge national effort to encourage creation, to increase the enormous legacy whereby the arts and culture enrich our lives. They are grants that translate into plays, music, literature, projects to recover and disseminate heritage, movies that receive awards in Mexico and the world; incentives for creative freedom and imagination. “

He said that this national system supports writers, musicians, painters and virtuosos from a range of artistic expressions: “It also supports young people who are determined to play a key role in Mexican culture in the coming years.”

Likewise, he added, efforts are being made to support researchers in science and technology, by promoting the creation of knowledge for the benefit of Mexican society. “Promoting the work of artists and scientists ultimately means planting the  future, projecting the best of a nation into the future,” he said.

President Peña Nieto presented the National Prize for Arts and Sciences 2015 to: Felipe Garrido Reyes, David Huerta Bravo, and Clementina Merced Yolanda Lastra in the category of Linguistics and Literature.

Sebastián, Fernando López Carmona and Ignacio López Tarso were the winners in the category of Fine Arts; Antonio Armando Garcia de Leon Griego in History, Philosophy and Social Sciences; Jorge Carlos Alcocer Varela and Fernando Mario del Rio Haza in Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Natural Sciences.

Enrique Galindo Fentanes and Raúl Rojas González won the award for Technology, Innovation and Design; and Victorina López Hilario and Los Folkloristas in the category of Arts and Popular Traditions.

PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PEÑA NIETO IS LEADING  THE MOST SWEEPING TRANSFORMATION IN EDUCATION, SCIENCE, INNOVATION AND CULTURE: AURELIO NUÑO

Aurelio Nuño Mayer, Secretary of Public Education, said that the Federal Government is determined that every Mexican should be able to develop his or her full potential and write his or her own success story and therefore, he said, President Enrique Peña Nieto is leading the most sweeping transformation in decades in education, science, innovation and culture, essential pillars for meeting that goal.

He said that a process  is underway to implement one of the most sweeping educational reforms in the country in its modern history, through a transformation that seeks to reorganize the educational system, and overcome relations based on opaque, corporate, clientelistic relations that priotized political objectives over educational and pedagogical objectives.

He announced that next year, an in-depth review will be conducted of the educational model and the elementary and middle school curricula will be updated to bring them into line with the new economic and technological realities of a global world and the values of the country we have today of plurality, democracy, the rule of law and a renewed patriotism.

And in culture, he said, after an initiative submitted by the president to create a ministry in this year, yesterday, Congress took an important step, “To free culture from what we have called a bureaucratic trap.”

“At last,” said Nuño Mayer, “Culture will be able to have a Secretary of State that will give it the place it has deserved for many years in our country.”

He also confirmed the government’s willingness to consolidate a fruitful dialogue with intellectuals, artists and scientists, through a relationship based on the understanding and absolute respect for their freedom and their ability to create.

NATIONAL AWARD AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND ACCUMULATED EXPERIENCE, AND DECADES OF WORK, RESEARCH AND TEACHING: GARCÍA DE LEÓN

On behalf of all the winners, Armando Antonio García de Leon Griego, who received the National History, Social Sciences and Philosophy Award, expressed his thanks for the distinction conferred on them by the government, since he said that the National Science and Arts Award means the acknowledgement of various types of knowledge and experiences accumulated throughout their lives, and decades of work, research and teaching.

The National Award, he said, is an acknowledgement of the everyday work in various fields of art, science and folk traditions. “A sum of the skills we have sometimes acquired by unexpected means,” he said. He explained that, “We often experience discouragement in our work, particularly at times of uncertainty and violence, such as those we are currently experiencing.”

And he added: “The only solution for this disappointment, which, however, is often compensated by what we experience in the classroom and the results of our work, is to push on ahead.”

He considered that the challenge is in the future, since history is a continuous movement backwards and forwards, sometimes with important results and at others, marked by misunderstandings and impatience at having to cope with long periods of maturation.

“All those present,” he said, “Are part of this story that inexorably drives us into the future, with the hope that the younger generations we have trained in classrooms and laboratories, will acquire a useful legacy.”

 The president presented the National Science and Arts Award 2015 to 13 winners.