Panama Celebrates the Inter-American Year of Culture in a Gala Night

Under the theme “Panama: Our Cultures, Our Future,” and in the framework of the Inter-American Year of Culture, declared in 2011 by the members states of the Organization of American States (OAS), Panama held a Grand Gala of Culture on August 4th, in Panama City’s Ciudad del Saber (City of Knowledge), gathering approximately 100 artists from all over the country.

The event was organized by the OAS National Office in Panama, the National Institute of Culture (INAC), the Specialized University of the Americas, the Ciudad del Saber Foundation, AES Panama, and the “Calle Arriba de Las Tablas” Society.

Inspired by Panama’s history and cultural diversity, the Gala displayed indigenous dances, multi-ethnic musical concerts and a parade of typical Panamanian costumes. Also the event included a pictorial exhibition of Panamanian brushstrokes and a poetry reading. In its closing ceremony, the Gala culminated with the display of autochthonous costumes from the Carnival tableño and with the presence of Astrid Carolina Tejada, queen of the 2012 Carnival Calle Arriba de Las Tablas.

The event sought to promote the establishment of synergies and cooperation at a regional and local level across the Americas, so that countries join efforts to recognize the central role that culture plays in the economic, social and human development of the Americas.

The Gala was a wonderful opportunity to remember that the countries of Central America, as well as all the countries of the Americas, are a multitude of artistic manifestations, all of which can contribute to the development of their peoples.

Photos: Lois Iglesias / National Institute of Culture (INAC)


News clips (Spanish)

Un sentido a la vida (El Siglo)
Hoy es la gala cultural “Panamá: Nuestras Culturas, Nuestro Futuro” (Panamá América)
Panameños en celebración cultural (Panamá América)
Una gala de raíces y de folclore ((La Prensa)

The see the photos of the event click here

To access  videos of the event click here


With 34 000 participants, the Market of Cultural Industries of Argentina (MICA) turns out to be a great success

From June 2nd to 5th 2011, the first “Market of Cultural Industries of Argentina (MICA) (Mercado de Industrias Culturales de Argentina), took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was a space where producers and artists of the entire country met with cultural industries from around the world and discovered and/or took advantage of business opportunities throughout numerous rounds tables, conferences and seminars.

Organized by the Secretariat of Culture of the Nation (Secretaría de Cultura de la Nación), along with the Ministries of Industry; Tourism; Work; Foreign Affairs, and of International Commerce and Trade, the MICA brought together for the first time, at the same place – the Tribunal Plaza Complex, in Buenos Aires – about a hundred institutional stands of the following sectors of the cultural industry: audio-visual, publishing, music, video games, scenic arts and design. The event also included numerous round tables, international conferences, chats, forums, debates and workshops.

Photos: Romina Santarelli / Secretariat of Culture and Vero Mendoza for Natura

The objective of the MICA was to position Argentina’s cultural sector on the world market, by putting into light not only the quality of its cultural products but also its very competitive prices. At the same time, the event sought to attract the small and medium-size enterprises (SME) from the different provinces of the country in order for them present their production in a federal space.

In total, 4500 round tables were conducted, with more than 1500 cultural local producers and 200 foreign guests coming from 18 different countries.

At the end of every day, the MICA offered in addition many free shows, opened to the general public, which attracted more than 5000 people daily. The most remarkable presentations were the parade "Pasarela Nacional", which displayed the works of about 400 creators and designers; the concert of the National Orchestra Juan de Dios Filiberto, under the direction of Jose Luis Castiñeira de Dios and the recital offered by Elena Roger.

The event was attended by the Ministry of Work, Carlos Tomada; the Secretary of Culture of the Nation, Jorge Coscia, the Secretary of Tourism of the Nation, Enrique Meyer; the Subsecretary of Cultural Management, Marcela Cardillo; the Chief of Cabinet of the Secretariat of Culture, Alejandra Blanco; and the National Director of Cultural Industries of Argentina, Rodolfo Hamawi.

"This is a unique event in the world: at the moment, there is no other international reference that congregates in a same place the six sectors of the cultural industry", noted Rodolfo Hamawi, the National Director of Cultural Industries of Argentina.

Considering that cultural industries contribute to 3.5% of the national GDP in Argentina and generate 200 thousand jobs, the MICA appears as an event of major importance for the economy of the country. In addition, Jorge Coscia, Secretary of Culture of the Nation, stated that: "We are speaking about an industry that allows the circulation of symbolic values and the strengthening of our national identity".

In the end, the success of the event could be measured not only by its number of visitors but also by the amount of agreements that were concluded over the three days of the Market. For example, in the publishing sector, the most important chain of books of Barcelona, La Central, signed an agreement to publish samples of the Argentinean cultural magazines between the months of December 2011 and March 2012 in Spain. Also, the distributor of the books La familia (Peru), closed a deal of exclusivity for the distribution of the national stamps Katz, Argonautas and Continente.

In the design sector, 20 national designers were summoned to participate in an exhibition in Colombia; the Smitshonian Folk Live Festival (Washington D.C., United-States) said it would incorporate the Argentinean national project Identidades Productivas, in its tour in the design festivals of Africa, India and Australia; and the director of the Festival "Toronto Fashion", in Canada, Susan Langedon, announced that she would invite the young Argentinean designer Nicolás Bertolo to participate in a fashion show.

For its part, the musical industry, besides the sales of about 50 licenses of local discs to the foreign countries, concluded many agreements between artists and national producers. Among the most important ones figures the one concluded with National Geographic, which wants to add soundtracks to its programs; also, the Funatsu and Latina Co from Japan agreed to incorporate into their musical catalogues Argentinean music; and finally, more than 30 live shows were sold to Canada, Portugal, United-States, Spain and Australia.

It is in the plan of the organizers that the MICA will take a biennial character. Therefore, the next meeting should take place in 2013.

To see photos of the event click here.