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Panama's Art Scene On The Rise

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Written by Matt   
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 11:03
Kristin Dove - Pinta PanamaThe historical timeline of Central America's newest boomtown reads like a checklist for sophisticates in search of the next cultural hotspot: a rich pirate past, recipe a strong indigenous population, and the construction of a canal that drew connections with many nations around the world. But with tourism, no rx real estate and overall infrastructure making headlines, the Republic of Panama's appreciation for the arts appeared to be low on the priority list. The hills of Veraguas, one of Panama's largest interior provinces, are dotted, just below the surface albeit, with artifacts from a pre-Columbian era, yet few if any preservation or security measures exist on their behalf. The nearby Los Santos province, a cultural-core of Panama tradition, offers next to no museums or societies to embrace its folklore on display. And in the capital of Panama City, only a small handful of institutions dedicated to the arts are well maintained enough to attract tourists and locals alike on a regular basis.

In the emerging world of culture tourism, Panama historically seems to have overlooked the development, promotion, and consumption of its nation's authenticity. However according to Kristin Dove, director of Pinta Panama, a charity event held in Panama City's historic district of Casco Viejo, embracing the country's culture isn't as difficult as most might think.

"We wanted to create a space for local artists to not only display their talent," said Dove, a Seattle-born event planner relocated to Panama, "but also interact with locals and tourists in a way that helps educate people. In a way that helps take the dusty veil off Panama's deep heritage." Her project coincides with Panama's Jazz Festival and will be held in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Casco Viejo also known as Casco Antiguo, arguably the nation's epicenter of artistic expression.

According to expert Bob Bowes, a heritage conservationist and Vice-President of Heritage Canada, the event comes at a time, for both Panama and its neighbors, of "burgeoning demand by modern, discerning tourists to learn about the culture they are visiting, through interactions with local people." Incidentally, Panama's tourism sector reached an all-time high of one million visitors by August of 2008: visitors whom Panama's Tourism Authority (IPAT) has targeted with eco or sustainable tourism efforts.
"Panama has so much to offer from a cultural perspective, people just need to tap into it," reiterated Dove in a phone interview. Her event, the first of its kind in the Republic, will bring local painters together for a day of imaginative creation in one of Cacso Viejo's breezy postcard plazas, after which the finished work will be sold via silent auction to the highest bidders.

Held amidst the neighborhood's annual Jazz Festival, which is expecting more than 20,000 visitors, it is the first step of many from both expatriates and locals alike in Panama, who not only recognize the country's rich cultural roots, but are making efforts, one event at a time, to share them with the rest of the world.

Pinta Panama 2009
January 17, 2009
Plaza Bolivar, Casco Viejo – The plaza next door the Panama Jazz Festival Free Concert
8AM – 6PM (Auction from 4PM – 6PM)

Comments (2)Add Comment
Writer's Block at the Theatre Guild of Ancon
written by Amit Nathani , March 09, 2009
please check this site --->

Barbara Dove is displaying her work.
We've been blessed to start off this production with 3 full houses.
Our last 3 shows and will be March 12,13, and 14.

Feel free to call me if you'd like more information on this event.
It's written by Woody Allen.
2 one act plays, an art exhibit, and jazz during intermission thanks to Fundacion Danilo Perez
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written by James Tidswell , March 26, 2013
Hello barabara, I understand you promote art fine art shows? i'm an artist painting in oils my subject matter includes portraits of people and animals, usually dogs and cats, i was wondering if you might be interested in promoting my work? i will be in Panama on the 2nd April for two weeks perhaps we could meet and discuss possibilities? best wishes James
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 January 2009 10:59