City allocates funds to local artists following dustup over pop star payout

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A workshop that uses visuals to help prevent domestic violence in Mayan communities got a city grant to continue its work. Photo: Instituto de la Mujer de Mérida

Mérida, Yucatán — Local artists shared a 3 million peso fund today after winning the 2017 Call for Culture and Development.

Checks ranging from 50,000 to 230,000 pesos, funding 20 projects, were handed out at the Olimpo Cultural Center.

Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal thanked the artists present for being part of the cultural scene, and stressed the need to support them more.

“That is why we created this fund of 3 million pesos, to continue strengthening,” said Vila Dosal.
“Culture is a special weapon for the social fabric and that is why we bet very strongly on this item.”

When asked to respond to the negative reaction of the artistic sector to paying 2 million pesos for pop singer Mario Bautista to perform at Noche Blanca, Vila Dosal denied any knowledge of any grumbling. But he said the budget was justified by the huge crowd the young singer attracted.

He commented that members of the artistic community also benefit from the workshops, courses and seminars that some national and international artists offer when city money funds their visits here.

Paula González Reconret, artistic director at Bunker Mérida and manager at INAMM, said in an earlier interview that the Bautista concert, attractive mainly to young teens, “is very sad.”

So much money went to a mainstream, commercially successful star “who comes one night to sing” while more culturally significant projects are funded with much less, she said.

A 214,000-peso check went today to an artistic program that highlights domestic violence prevention with a series of workshops in four Mayan communities. Games and visual presentations called “Creciendo desde Adentro” or “Growing from the Inside” were created in collaboration with the Women’s Institute of Mérida.

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