Identities Asserted: The Idb Cultural Center

By Brezina, Carlos V. | Americas (English Edition), May 1999 | Go to article overview

Identities Asserted: The Idb Cultural Center


Brezina, Carlos V., Americas (English Edition)


Seven years ago, amid celebrations of five hundred years of discovery between Europe and the Americas, the Cultural Center of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) launched an encounter of its own. Nobody could have imagined the kind of instantaneous success the Center would achieve in Washington, D.C., with its promotion of the arts and culture of Latin America and the Caribbean.

For IDB president Enrique V. Iglesias, the timing of the Center's inauguration at IDB headquarters, a stone's throw from the White House, was perfect. "The new Center will be a permanent cultural showcase," Iglesias said at the opening, "a meeting place and a forum for all who are interested in the artistic and intellectual accomplishments of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Bank's nonregional member countries."

At the close of the 1980s, Latin America had acquired a monochromatic image as the region was racked by economic crisis, notwithstanding the economic and political liberalization that transformed an apparent "lost decade" into a time of change and renewal. Iglesias wanted to introduce balance and currency to the image by promoting the rich and diverse cultural output of the region.

"In opening this Cultural Center," Iglesias continued, "we are helping our member countries to further their economic and social development, an essential element of which is cultural expression. This goal has inspired the IDB from the outset, as summarized in the words of my distinguished predecessors, who described the IDB as `more than just a Bank.'"

The Bank understood that culture, in conjunction with political and social institutions, was part and parcel of integrated development. Such an idea clashed with the reigning creed of the previous decade, which viewed development as a discrete process taking place in stages, with economic development dependent on social development, which rested in turn on political and social institutions. That concept failed to recognize that economics and politics are indeed culture, just as are the many forms and styles of human interaction, architecture, and art. From this perspective, culture encompasses values, rules, and customs that help to maintain the structure and cohesiveness of society. In the new concept of development, these disparate dimensions interact, alternately fueling and impeding one another.

Imbued with this philosophy, the Cultural Center presents a unique voice through a trio of programs: Visual Arts, the Concert and Lecture Series, and the Cultural Promotion in the Field Program. Its professional staff has planned original exhibitions and programs that have sought to provide a balanced perspective of the region.

Director Ana Maria Coronel de Rodriguez and Curator Felix Angel forged ties with the major cultural organizations of Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as those in the Washington community, undertaking joint activities with universities, the Organization of American States (OAS), the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Washington Opera, and the Library of Congress.

The Center devoted itself to encouraging dialogue among cultures, preferring to feature individual cultural identities while shunning broad-brush and the facile but artificial construct of unity throughout the arts in Latin America and the region. Thus, with every exhibition of visual arts, the Center has issued a catalog that provides explanations not just of the artistic origins of the styles on display, but of the historic, economic, and social environment in which they developed. Today, these catalogs present significant chapters on the social and cultural history of Latin America. Identidades--the title of the book-length compilation of the first five years of shows, concerts, and lectures--reveals the Center's pluralistic philosophy.

The truth is that Latin American unity has never been more than an ideal. The Spanish empire imposed a radial structure in which many colonies peripheral to the central monarchy answered to it while keeping scant ties with one another. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Identities Asserted: The Idb Cultural Center
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.