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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

For Mérida’s year of culture: Music, lights and shadows

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Merida's 2017 American Capital of Culture program was announced Monday.
Mérida’s 2017 American Capital of Culture program was announced Monday.

Mérida, Yucatán — Hundreds of shows will help the city live up to its designation of 2017’s Cultural Capital of the Americas. That’s the international prize that will put the White City in the spotlight all next year. 

It’s the reason Lonely Planet chose Mérida as one of the 10 cities to visit next year. So now it’s time to answer the call with culture. The lineup is starting to unfold.

The city’s inaugural show will be in the atrium of the Cathedral, featuring the avant-garde Compañía Ilai, on Jan. 6.

A spectacular called "Per Te" is part of the Capital of Culture program in 2017.
A spectacular called “Per Te” is part of the Capital of Culture program in 2017. Photo: Courtesy

The announcement was made today at noon in a ceremony at Casa Faller, a historic park-like facility in Itzimna. The press conference was led  by Mayor Mauricio Dosal and Erika Millet Vila Corona, executive secretary of Mérida American Capital of Culture.

The shadow theater Manual Cinema is on the Capital of Culture lineup in Merida. Photo: Courtesy
The shadow theater Manual Cinema is on the Capital of Culture lineup in Merida. Photo: Courtesy
In his speech, the mayor noted that Mérida is the only city in the world that holds the title of cultural capital twice. The city was the first to earn the designation when the program began in 2000. 
A Sistine Chapel replica first seen in Mexico City last summer comes to Merida in 2017. Photo: Courtesy
A Sistine Chapel replica first seen in Mexico City last summer comes to Mérida in 2017. Photo: Courtesy

Activities including concerts by Argentine rock pianist Fito Paez; Cecilio Pereram, the Mexican guitarist; and Armando Manzanero the 80-year-old singer, musician and composer of Maya descent.

The program will also include the presentation of  “Per Te” by the Finzi Pasca Company, demonstrations by the International Festival of Lights, a visit by the Manual Cinema shadow theater and the installation a life-size replica of the Sistine Chapel previously exhibited in Mexico City.

Fito Paez, the Argentina rock pianist, will perform in concert for Merida's Cultural Capital year. Photo: Courtesy
Fito Paez, the Argentina rock pianist, will perform in concert for Mérida’s Cultural Capital year. Photo: Courtesy

The city appears to still be ironing out details. Bookmark their webpage to keep informed about this Capital of Culture year.

The Cultural Capital of the Americas, established in 1998, aims to promote inter-American integration from the cultural field, contribute to a better awareness between the peoples of the Americas, while respecting their national and regional diversity, highlighting the common cultural heritage.

The IBOCC, established in 1985, promotes international cultural capital cities and establishes new bridges of cooperation with Europe. It is accredited by the Organization of American States (OAS) and has recognition of Latin American and European parliaments.

Mérida will gain visibility across Latin America, the U.S. and Europe now that it beat out about 10 Latin American cities that competed for the honor.

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