San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Alajuela Gets Own Theater at Noon Program

Lunch-hour cultural events – a very new idea in a very old building – are part of the renovated JuanSantamaríaMuseum’s latest outreach to the public in Alajuela, northwest of the capital. The 50-minute programs of stories, dance, music and song, at ¢500 (about $1) a ticket, will surely change the perception of Alajuela as a backwater  town that has not seen much of the arts in the past.

That the public embraces the idea was evident at last month’s opening event, when Culture Minister Manuel Obregón made the grand piano even grander with his own arrangements of Central American folk music. With the house full, not one person coughed, shuffled or riffled a program.

In a brief speech, Obregón praised the idea that bringing the fine arts to the people will generate changes in ourselves and in the country.

For those who don’t want to go out at night or during the rainy afternoons, this is a great opportunity to enjoy some culture at the museum in downtown Alajuela, facing the Central Park. The noonday programs, held every Thursday at 12:10 p.m., will include storytelling, music, dance, monologues and short plays. Upcoming performances include trova music by Dúo Tukay Aug. 19, storytelling by Juan Cuentacuentos Aug. 26, stories by Rodolfo González Sept. 2 and Latin American music Sept. 16. Keep an eye on the Calendar pages for future schedules.

–Mitzi Stark

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