Director of the Department of Economy and Culture

Raquel Brazão is the Director of the Department of Economy and Culture of the Funchal City Council since 2015, having previously been Director of the Strategic Planning Department of the Funchal City Council, between October 2004 and April 2006, as well as the CMF representative on the Board of Directors of CITMA – Madeira Science and Technology Center (Member), since 2001-2011. Raquel has a degree in “Geography and Regional Planning” and a Master’s in “Territory Management”, from the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Her training includes a Course in “Specialization in Urban Management”, given by the Center for Studies and Municipal Training of Coimbra and the “FORGEP – Training Program in Public Management”, given by the National Institute of Administration, IP, having been invited Professor of the Geographic Information Systems discipline, at the University of Madeira, in the academic year 2002/2003.

In the Funchal 2027 mission structure, Raquel Brazão coordinates the CMF team.


Head of Culture and Tourism Division

Sandra has a Degree in Social Communication, branch of journalism, from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and she is a Postgraduate in Marketing and Protocol and Master in Human Resources Development Policies by the Institute of Social and Political Sciences of the University of Lisbon. She also has an Advanced Course in Social Sciences, Management and Public Administration.

She has been an employee of the Funchal City Council for 27 years, having served as Head of the Service and Information Division and more recently, since 2015, Head of the Culture and Tourism Division.

She also holds the position of Director of the Municipal Theater Baltazar Dias and is responsible for most of the major municipal cultural events such as the Funchal Book Fair, urban festival Fica na Cidade and popular festival Altares de São João.

Throughout her career, she has worked as a trainer in the areas of Group Dynamics, Pedagogical Communication, Public Relations and Protocol.

She is a member of the Board of the Educational Community of the Conservatory – Professional School of the Arts of Madeira (2019-) and a member of the Board of the Association of Cerebral Palsy of Madeira (2019-). She is fluent in French, English, Spanish, Italian and German.

In the Funchal 2027 staff, Sandra coordinates the team at the Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias, as well as the other teams from CMF several cultural infrastructures.


Programmer and Cultural Manager

Catarina has a Degree in Psychology, with a Masters in Educational Psychology from the University of Madeira. She was Vice-President of the Psychology Students Nucleus at the University of Madeira (2011-2013). She received an honorable mention under the Maria Cândida da Cunha Prize, in 2013, by the National Rehabilitation Institute, with the research: “Perception of higher education teachers about the access of students with special needs to higher education”. Catarina collaborated in the project developed by the Department of Mental Health and Psychiatry of Hospital Central do Funchal on “The incidence and prevalence of mental illness in the Autonomous Region of Madeira” and co-authored several articles in books and scientific magazines such as Iberian Journal of Clinical & Forensic Neurosciencie, Journal of Applied Reserach in Higher Education. 

She is a certified trainer, manager and cultural programmer. Since 2017 she has been responsible for the programming of the Municipal Theater Baltazar Dias and coordinator of cultural projects for the Funchal City Council. She iis a member of the Consultative Council of the Conservatory – Professional School of Arts of Madeira and the Cultural Council of the University of Madeira. She is a member of Plateia – Association of Performing Arts Professionals. Fluent in English and Portuguese sign language.

In the Funchal 2027 project, Catarina assumes cultural programming functions.


General Coordination

Maurício was born in 1968 and has developed almost his entire professional career in the area of ​​culture and creative industries. He is a EU funding consultant for regional governments and other public and private entities, a book writer and also a founding partner of several cultural associations, beeing currently the Chairman of the Board of APCA – Atlantic Culture Promotion Agency, an entity leader in Portugal in the sector, employing 20 qualified CCI’s professionals. He’s working with EU funds from 1997 as a consultant for regional governments and other public and private entities having managed more than 20 projects, such as Aprender Madeira (Portugal’s largest scientific research project ever in Social Sciences involving 12 universities from 10 countries and more than 500 researchers and authors) and was the co-founder of the Infante D. Henrique Scientific Chair for Atlantic Island Studies and Globalization, co-promoted by Universidade Aberta, APCA , IAC and supported by FCT. He has a degree in Social Communication from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a postgraduate degree from INDEG / ISCTE in Cultural Management in Cities. He was a journalist at DIÁRIO de Notícias between 1992 and 1995.

Mauricio is APCA’s team coordinator for Funchal application to be European Culture Capital 2027.


Cultural Programming

Maria Fernandes (Funchal 1983) provides press consultancy and communicational contents in the cultural area, as well as management and production of cultural projects. She is a mentor and producer of the project “Brincos de Ponta – Plan to Revitalize the Practices of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Ponta Delgada” and in 2016 she founded the Cultural Association ACANGA – A Cultura a Norte Ganha Alento. In 2015, she founded the online journal A.Poética, which published and disseminated until 2018 several new authors in Portuguese contemporary poetry. She maintains the poetry blog “Ventos Obtusos” and collaborates in the digital edition of the arts & culture magazine Umbigoº. She has been publishing her works in several poetic anthologies and as well as taking part in several literary meetings and international poetry festivals. In 2014, she published the author’s edition “Contemplações, Constataçõe e 30 Ventos”, in 2019 she organized and published the works “Mostrengo – Antologia Poética” (Ed. Jóias de Cultura) and “PROCESSO continuous: poemas mecânicos” (Poética Edições). Since 2019, she curates the poetry programe for Funchal Book Fair and she is the World Poetry Movement delegate for Madeira island.

In the Funchal 2027 mission structure, Maria acts as coordinator of Open Call for artistic projects and to support cultural programming.


Research and Cultural Programming

Sónia Tomás Marques (Funchal, 1972). Studied Cultural Anthropology at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of Lisbon. She collaborated for several years as a social researcher in a cultural heritage association mapping and reflecting the intangible heritage in various territories of Mainland Portugal. Between 2014 and 2015 she began a close collaboration in a production company, Transcendent Media Capital, as assistant director working in the area of human rights. She returns to Funchal in 2018, rediscovering a connection between herself and her roots. At present she works as a project manager at the Atlantic Culture Promotion Agency, developing a project in the area of intangible heritage, researching and mapping practices associated with the gastronomic heritage of Madeira Island and, simultaneously, writing gastronomic cultural tourism itineraries for the island territory.

She´s part of the mission team of the bid of the city of Funchal to the European Capital of Culture 2027 working with cultural programming staff. She has been participating in several trainings in the area of project management and cultural organizations.



Vítor Sousa was born in 1984. After finishing high-school, went to Algarve University to study Psychology. Meanwhile, the communication calling was stronger and returned to Madeira. In Madeira University, studied Comunications, Culture and Organizations, degree yet to finish. As a Madeira University student, did Erasmus in Pisa, Italy, and a won a scholarship which took him to Florianópolis, Brazil. Worked as journalist in Notícias da Madeira and Essential Madeira Islands magazine. Wrote chronicles to JM, Diário de Notícias and the online platform of Sábado magazine. Worked as a publisher for Nova Delphi, publishing house responsible for the Literary Madeira Festival. During 3 editions, was in charge of all the thematic component, including the authors invited. In 2017, emigrated to Bucharest, Romania, city where he lived until the end of 2020. Has poems and fiction texts in Portuguese literary magazines. Some of his poems were translated into Romanian and published In Romanian literary magazines. Was invited to read some poems for the radio program “A vida breve”, of Antena 1. One of his poems was part of the tv show “Literatura Aqui”, from RTP 1. Recently, contributed with a text to the anthology “A condição de ilhéu”, promoted by Catholic University.

At Funchal2027 CEC mission, Vitor is managing social media posts and also writing the application dossier.


Design and Communication

Marisa Velosa, also known as Mizzi, was born in 1991 on the island of Porto Santo and has always been a lover of arts. She has a degree in Design from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Madeira, and Interior and Exterior Design Technician from the Professional School Cristóvão Colombo. And she also has a course in the area of Webdesign at Unicenter.

 She attended the Municipal Training and Occupation Program in the context of work and the Professional Internship as a designer in the Division of Culture and Tourism of the Funchal City Council – Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias. An opportunity that made her grow as a person and as a professional, expressing herself and marking some projects with “her signature”. Through this experience, she obtained the chance to create the illustration of the book “A História do Livro Branco” by Isabel Fagundes.

She is currently part of the Funchal 2027 mission team, which intends to guide Funchal as the European Capital of Culture.



Silvestre Chícharo, 51 years old, grew up on Madeira island and lived almost all of his adult life, from the age of 20, in the city of Lisbon. In addition to the Madeira island and the city of Lisbon, he has other influences on the formation of his personality. His mother’s family is originally from Trás-os-Montes and the parents were emigrants for 25 years in Brazil, in the city of São Paulo, where they met. He is a professional journalist and has a degree in Communication Sciences from Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa. He likes to discern efficient forms of communication and to always contribute to the quantification of the best solutions. Understanding people’s motivations, knowing their origins, culture and the complexity that surrounds their relationships is a permanent challenge. He loves the sea, nature, music and cinema.

He is currently part of the communication of the Funchal 2027 mission team, which intends to make Funchal the European Capital of Culture.


Projects with Educational Community

Joana has a Bachelor´s degree in Educational Science, minor in Social Education, at Madeira University. Her educational experience, as an Educator, was in developing and planning educational activities for primary school and kindergarden. Also, as Production Assistant in promoting pedagogical activities for children and elderly people of the local community. In addition, several fashion shows were created as well as short play scripts. 

In Funchal 2027’s team, Joana is responsible for coordinating and production of all activities and projects with schools and students.


Projects with NGO's and Associations of Social Solidarity

Ivan Faria (LIsbon 1979) is following and coordinating all projects regarding social and community entities in Funchal for the CEC2027 application. He has a degree in Sociology by University Nova de Lisboa, at the Human and Social Science College. In 2011, was the co-responsible for the opening of the Social Security Cabinet at Porto Santo City hall. And the year after reorganized the local library. He was one of the founders of the Sociology student group at the University Nova de Lisboa (NESNOVA), organizing and fostering through its activities, debates, national meetings, workshops amongst other activities. He was assistant to the writer José Manuel Barroso. In 2018, he worked as a social technician promoter at CRIAMAR social solidarity association. He cataloged the library Comendador Manuel Pestana. He is a founding member and vice president of Sports Association “Os Profetas”.


Funchal CEC 2027 project, Ivan is coordinating projects in the social area.


Institutional Relations

Cláudio Telo Pestana, born in Funchal in 1984, has a degree in psychology from the University of Madeira and is currently pursuing an MBA in Human Resource Management at Cognos. With a background in leadership and group dynamics, in 2016 he chose to work as a volunteer coach and mentor of young fencing practitioners in the Associação de Esgrima da Região Autónoma da Madeira. This association instructed him since he was very young, leading him to conquer, with only 16 years old, the title of National Champion by teams, in the foil weapon that took place in Lisbon in 2001.   Between 2004 and 2005 he spent a short period in the United States developing and deepening skills in interpersonal relations. He has a vast experience in the commercial and administrative area, was commercial director and worked as an advisor at ALRAM between 2011 and 2015, being in charge of organizing agendas and planning and organizing events of various natures. In 2017 he was distinguished by the Funchal City Council as winner of the “Prémio Municipal Maria Aurora” with his work “Condição”, a narrative about domestic violence, based on true facts.

At the team, Claudio is responsible for all institutional relationships and communication, besides helping the research staff.