Inscribed in 2012 on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Frevo is a popular artistic expression that emerged over a century ago during the carnival of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil. A mixture of African and European cultural references, Frevo was created by the Afro-descendant, marginalized segments of Pernambuco’s population, and has successfully brought together a range of different territories ever since. Paço do Frevo provides a permanent home for this popular artistic expression.

Since 2017, the Paço do Frevo has been officially recognized as a reference center for safeguarding intangible heritage by Brazil’s National Institute for Historical and Artistic Heritage (Iphan). Located in Recife, the capital of the state of Pernambuco, the Paço do Frevo is a multipurpose space occupying 2,300m² and four floors of a centuries-old heritage building with exhibitions, a documentation center, music and dance classrooms, a studio, rehearsal rooms, and much more. Ideally positioned in Recife’s historical center and port region, the Paço do Frevo forms part of the area’s rich social ecosystem, which includes the Pernambuco Craft Center and the Porto Digital complex – a hub of technology and innovation companies.

Founded in 2014, Paço do Frevo offers training sessions, exhibitions, debates, artistic presentations and other activities for the dissemination and preservation of Frevo as an exponent of Brazilian popular culture. Under the management of the Institute for Development and Management for the past five years, the Paço do Frevo has received over 570,000 visitors, trained more than 2,000 students and promoted over 500 artistic presentations. The Paço do Frevo has also won important awards such as the Prêmio Ayrton de Almeida Carvalho for the Preservation of the Cultural Heritage of Pernambuco (2016), the Prêmio Nacional Funarte for Continuous Popular Music Programming (2015) and the Prêmio Darcy Ribeiro Award for Education (2015).

As an articulator and positive catalyst for territories, traditional knowledge, institutions and communities, the Paço do Frevo has served as a veritable platform for partnerships, projects and ideas, stimulating the participation and engagement of the public at large. Among the partnerships of note are those developed with the Federal University of Pernambuco, the Pernambuco Conservatory of Music, the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation, the Rede Memorial network, the Permanent Forum of Accessible Museums, and other institutions – always with the goal of making education and culture central elements for citizenship building.

As part of its permanent program, the Paço features presentations of Frevo and parades by local carnival associations. The venue is also visible on the Google Arts & Culture platform, through which visitors can get to know its facilities and exhibitions via a complete virtual tour.