On September 20th, 2014 a press conference was held in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez where five panelists discussed cultural life in Mayagüez.
The panel included five “arts people” definitely had different points of view. The first panelist was Olga Lopez, representative of the Mayagüez municipal administration followed by Artistic Director of Western Ballet Theatre, Nana Badrena. In third place Dr. José García, representative from the cultural and social activities department of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. Finally, Amil Ortiz and Wilfredo Guilloty, students of the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez,
For many arts and culture have different meanings. “Art is Culture” said López, in the press conference. On other hand Badrena said, “it’s a legacy to trace history.”
Moreover, the arts and culture field includes all the performing, visual, and fine arts, as well as applied arts. Some of these are architecture and graphic design, crafts, film, digital media and video humanities and historic preservation, literature, folk life, and other creative activities. Arts can be classified in 13 categories: acting, announcing, architecture, fine art, directing, animation, dancing and choreography, design, entertainment and performance, music and singing, photography, production, and writing.
The arts and culture sector is continually developing and changing. Further, the ways in which arts and culture activity is defined, manifested, and valued vary somewhat by locality and community.
A community with a thriving arts and cultural life is a functional community.” The benefits of artistic and cultural engagement are far-reaching and long-lived” states the American Planning Association (APA). Art and culture’s principal practice is one of the most participative, active and social forms of human behavior. It has the capacity to generate reflection, generate empathy, create dialogue and raise new ideas and relationships. It also offers a powerful and democratic way of expressing, sharing and shaping values. The APA supports the thought that art and culture can help us “build new capabilities and understand how to imagine and rehearse a different way of being and relating.” It can enable us to design useful and meaningful things.
In adittion, Dr. García said during the press conference that culture can be defined as the arts as well as the intangible shared beliefs, values, and practices of a community. “Culture is the expression of a civilization and the way it expresses itself; art is one of them.”
Ortiz and Guilloty, students of the UPRM, also agreed with the other three panelists. Ortiz added that “not every type of art is good nor bad, but just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not art.”
The final question of the press conference was; how do you predict the cultural appreciation in citizens from here to ten years? Dr. García rapidly answered that, “the rapid advance of technology can be a blessing or a curse.” In ten years people would need a deep appreciation of art because it will go hand on hand with technology and they will become one.
On the other hand, López was very optimistic about this. “Culture is what we were, what we are and what we are going to be.” There is now a clear path on which way we need to go Controversially, Badrena states that she wishes to survive in the art industry. “I rather avoid the union (group of people joining for a cause) and be one that makes the difference” claimed Badrena.
Both Ortiz and o Guilloty, stood together in their points of view. “In ten years we will have to adapt and evolve with it”, stated Guilloty. “The internet globalized our culture and we have to identify that, we like it or not”, said Ortiz.