• Coinciding with its fifth anniversary, the Fundación Botín arts centre in Santander has received 150,566 visitors: 117,796 of those visitors came to see the exhibitions and 32,770 participated in different activities. In fact, the numbers for the last quarter of the year exceeded those for the same period in 2019.
  • The 340 artistic, cultural and training activities held in 2022 had the highest participation rate since Centro Botín was opened (90.5%) and, also, achieve a satisfaction rate of 4.74 out of 5.
  • Visitors from abroad accounted for 14% of all visitors to the centre, compared to just 7% in 2021. On the other side, 48% of visitors were from Cantabria, while the remaining 38% were from other autonomous regions across Spain.
  • The day that held more visitors (1,347) was the 25th of June, the day that Centro Botín celebrated its fifth anniversary. Moreover, August was once again the month with the higher exhibition visits (17,126), which represents a 15% of the yearly total.
  • Centro Botín ended 2022 on a very positive note, with 149,517 residents from Santander city and from the Cantabria region already in possession of a Permanent Pass that gives them free and unlimited access to the exhibitions. There are also 2,681 Friends of Centro Botín, 32 volunteers, and 25 sponsors.

This morning, as part of Spain’s International Tourism Fair (FITUR), the General Director of Fundación Botín, Iñigo Sáenz de Miera, announced the figures for Centro Botín in 2022. Just like other years, Sáenz de Miera insisted that the number of visitors should not be the main focus when it comes to measuring the success of the project, and instead ensured that “knowing that in 2022 Centro Botín had the highest participation rate to date in the many activities it holds, a 90.5%, and a satisfaction rate of 4.74 out of 5, should be a clear indicator to us that we are on the right track and that Centro Botín is fulfilling its social mission to contribute to developing the creativity of the citizens of Santander and Cantabria through the arts”. Sáenz de Miera also highlighted the great success of the courses for fostering creativity through the arts. These courses were created alongside the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, where adults improve their ability to come up with ideas by 47%, and children by 68%.

A very positive year for Centro Botín

In 2022, Centro Botín received 150,566 visitors, which represents an increase of 35% compared to the year before. The Centre has been visited by 860,777 people since the reopening in 2017. Out of those visitors, 117,796 people attended the exhibitions, with the highest number being from Santander city and Cantabria region, representing a 48% from the total. There was a substantial increase in the number of visitors from abroad (14%), doubling the figure for 2021, which went from 7,029 that year to 16,825 in 2022. France, United Kingdom and Italy brought the most visitors, but Centro Botín had also visitors from such far-away countries as Mexico, New Zealand, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. The remaining 38% came from other autonomous regions across Spain, including Madrid (16%), Castile-La Mancha (4%) and the Basque Country (4%) bringing the most visitors. Meanwhile, 862,216 visitors passed through the building, its walkways, squares and outdoor spaces.

The number of people visiting the Centre’s exhibitions in the last quarter of the year is also noticeable, having even exceeded the figures for the same period in 2019. Once again, August was the month that received the most visitors to the exhibitions (17,126), representing 15% of the yearly total, followed by July (12,645) and December (11,457). The anniversary of Centro Botín, celebrated on the 25th of June, was the day with the most visitors in 2022 overall (1,347).

Another positive development was the issuing of 4,950 new Permanent Passes in 2022. This means that 149,517 residents of Santander and Cantabria are now in possession of this Pass that gives them free and unlimited access to the exhibitions. Moreover, there were 2,681 Friends of Centro Botín by the end of the year.

In addition to this, there are 32 volunteers and 25 sponsors. These sponsors include two strategic partners (Fundación Mutua Madrileña and Fundación Prosegur), 16 collaborating institutions (Vocento, El Diario Montañés, JCDecaux, Unidad Editorial, El País, Eurostars Hotels, Spend In, Onda Cero, Cervezas Alhambra, Alsa, Cadena Ser, CANTUR, Santander City Council, Renfe, IMEM and Fundación EDP) and seven associated companies (Bridgestone, Viajes Mesana, Derwent Group, Café Dromedario, Bathco, MiCampus and Uría Menéndez), who work alongside Centro Botín to make art a tool for the development of society.

The yearly figures for Centro Botín can be deemed complete with its following on socials, with 38,088 followers on Facebook (+3.02%) and 12,598 on Twitter (+1.78%). However, once more it experienced the biggest growth on Instagram, with almost a growth of a 15% in the number of followers (30,146). Meanwhile, there were 530,367 visitors to the website in 2022, which is a 25.12% increase over 2021.

Greater participation in activities

Of the 150,566 visitors that Centro Botín received in 2022, 32,770 took part in its wide range of artistic, cultural and training activities, with 340 activities in total and an average satisfaction rate of 4.74 out of 5. These activities included 49 concerts, 35 film sessions, 11 performing arts shows and six literary activities, all intended to cover a wide range of arts and to provide a programme that will interest all kind of visitors. The music concerts covering all genres (10,602), film activities (8,018), the various types of visits (4,584) and the workshops (3,465) received the most visitors over the last year.

It is also important to note that some of the innovative activities that were launched in 2022, such as “On session. You bring the art”, which for the first time gave young people between the ages of 16 and 25 the chance to experience an exceptional space to show off their creative skills. By that time, they also launched the event “Creativity is more necessary than ever and it can be developed”, held at the end of November as a way of presenting the “Arts, Emotions and Creativity: research, application and results” report, the third in a series that Fundación Botín has been holding since 2012 to boost international research concerning key matters for societal development.

Exhibition programme

With regard to the exhibitions held in 2022, Centro Botín gave its visitors the chance to bask in the best of national and international art in a one-of-a-kind space. It was here that Spain’s first exhibition of Ellen Gallagher was to be held, alongside Edgar Cleijne; visitors were invited to discover the drawings of sculptor Juan Muñoz through the first retrospective exhibition of his drawings; and it was also opened the Damián Ortega: Visión expandida exhibition, which for the first time brought together nine suspended pieces created by the Mexican artist, and can be visited until the 26th of February.

Looking ahead into 2023, Roni Horn will be opening the year’s exhibition programme with a display that she has meticulously conceived herself in dialogue with the spaces, the architecture, the light and the flow of visitors to Centro Botín. Curated by Bárbara Rodríguez Muñoz, Director of Exhibitions and of the Centro Botín Collection, the exhibition will be opened to the public on 1 April. Later on in the year, on 7 October, the first exhibition by Tino Sehgal in Spain will be unveiled, and it is set to be a show-stopper with his “Constructed Situations”, which involves live performances. It is a live piece, curated by Udo Kittelmann, a member of the Fundación Botín Arts Advisory Committee, through which Sehgal confronts the famous painting by El Greco, The Adoration of the Shepherds (1577-1579), which he painted for an altarpiece of the Monastery of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo.

Furthermore, this year Fundación Botín is going one step further in its support of mid-career artists with the launch of a new exhibition cycle, to which it will be inviting artists that have already received an art grant from Fundación Botín. Entitled ENREDOS, the first exhibition is by Eva Fábregas, who received a grant from the foundation back in 2010, and will open her work up to the public on 20 May. The exhibition programme is completed with “Itinerarios”, which year after year shows the work of those artists who received a Fundación Botín Art Grant. Opening on 18 November with “Itinerarios XXVIII”, it will show the projects created by the artists awarded as part of the XXVIII call for grants.



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