by: Melissa A. Padilla Cintrón
On Monday, October 20, 2014, a group of students from Professor Jocelyn Géliga’s “Writing for the Media” class of University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus (also known as “Colegio”) reunited five panelists for a press conference on, “Cultural enrichment activities in Mayagüez”. The purpose of the conference was to interest students and residents to participate in cultural activities on campus and in the West of Puerto Rico. The panelists: Director Nana Badrena from Western Ballet Theater (WBT); Mr. Jose Garcia Ressy from Social and Cultural Activities Department of UPRM campus and also collaborator with “Presencias”, a cultural and arts project going on every Thursday in “Colegio”; students Amil Yafet, representing plastic arts program of the Department of Humanities in campuss and the president of Asociación de Estudiantes de Drama en la Educación (AEDE), Wilfredo Guilloty; and a representative from the municipal government of Mayagüez, Olga López. All panelists answered questions of interest about art and culture for the Mayagüez community.
Panelists discussed past and future art events in the region, the art scene in Western of Puerto Rico and how they are working for a future development. Every panelist had their own say, some agreed and others did not. One of panelists, Nana Badrena did not agree with Guilloty in that there is not an active art and culture agenda in the West, especially Mayagüez unlike San Juan. Bradrena argued that there is cultural movement in Mayagüez and the problem is the society does not promote them.
Furthermore, Guillermo and Amil argued that the activities are not properly promoted. One of the problems can be there is insufficient communication with students from “Colegio” stated Olga. It was one a fairly point made by both students and an explicit argument by the director and Olga.
A part of the arguments, they agree on defining art and culture. All of panelists agreed that art supports culture and culture is history. Art is an expression communicated by dance, paintings, sculpture, music which is all part of a culture and as García expressed that culture is “an expression of civilization”. Amil added that art and culture can be good as bad, he gave an example about “peleas de gallo” from his hometown, which for some people is bad but they are part of their culture.
Further on, Mr. García said there are many activities going on the West of Puerto Rico a part from Presencias in “Colegio” and Yagüez Theater. There is Salsa nights every Tuesday on la Nasa in Dulces Labios, Mayagüez; “Bomba y plena” nights in Hormigueros, Café Betances and many other activities which they are all part of culture and art.
According to Mr. García, ther is a website for Presencias in for the public is aware of the events. On Presencias website the people will find a brief explanation of Presencias vision and mission. There is also a scheduled of the events with the day and hour they will be presenting. For other activities on campus the student can search for http://www.uprm.edu/decestu/ActSocCult/ website.
Moreover, Olga expressed the municipal government has created funds for these types of activities for the town and there are many activities going on in Mayagüez for next months. She exhort everyone to stay aware for them to attend.
Briefly, Bradena communicate she is connected to Mayagüez municipal government activities and WBT has been invited and work for “Festival de la danza”, participated on “Bienal y Cultura Santiago de los Caballeros” on Dominican Republic and also was invited to open for the Math Olympics in San Juan for 2015.
For more information about events in the area you can search in http://www.apasear.com/. In the website there are a variety of events to choose and enjoy. If you are more interested in Mayagüez area you can go to https://www.facebook.com/mun.mayaguez and find more information.