Arts delegates learn ropes in Dublin

Four delegates from Chile visited Dublin on Monday, April 28, to study the arts, the first stop on their tour of Ohio to learn about cultural centers' infrastructure, human resources and programming.

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet has charged each community in Chile with a population of more than 50,000 to develop a cultural center.

Delegate Jorge Moreno, consultant for the National Council for Culture and the Arts in Chile, said his government plans to build more than 50 centers by 2010 at a cost of about $1-million each.

The delegates from the South American nation soaked up information on how to maintain cultural centers, how to create and implement a mission statement and how the changing of municipal administrations could impact a center.

"It's been an incredible day in every way because you've so generously shared your experiences, your work, your goals and your dreams," said Daniela Müller, formerly a U.S. embassy staff member in Santiago, Chile, who now serves as the Ohio Arts Foundation Inc.'s representative in Chile. "All of it is and has been very inspiring to us."

The Dublin Arts Council (DAC) exchanged ideas by letting the delegates experience DAC offerings. The delegates made pinch pots in the DAC ceramics studio, attended a lunchtime concert and picnic at Scioto Park, toured the Titration outdoor sculpture exhibition in Coffman Park and searched for Riverboxes along the Scioto River.

"I loved the Riverboxes and the Fields of Corn," said Constanza Guell, of the Chilean North American Institute and Binational Center. "I didn't even know (letterboxing) existed, so it was a big surprise. The Dublin Arts Council took it and adopted it to their vision and to the river. It's amazing."

Carmen Gloria Larena, representative of Corporacion Cultural de lo Barnechea, a local arts council in a suburb of Santiago, also was a fan of the Field of Corn.

"It doesn't pretend to be so complicated and it says what it wanted to say," she said.

Moreno said his favorite part of the day was watching how the members of the DAC worked together.

"There is no hierarchy. Everyone has their roles and knows their part, but everyone feels a part of the mission," he said.

But capturing that spirit and inspiring the masses in Chile are going to be difficult, delegates said.

"It's a big challenge when you have a group of people to inspire them and make them know it affects a larger group of people," Larena said.

The delegates are visiting Ohio throughout the week to tour arts centers.

As part of the project, Dublin Arts Council executive director David Guion and independent cultural facilities consultant Jay Panzer will travel to Santiago on May 26-29 to make a presentation at a symposium on cultural centers.

Guion and the DAC were selected as a result of a previous trip Guion made to Santiago.

"Since that time the work he's done in Dublin has become very well-known," said Jami Goldstein of the Ohio Arts Council. "We wanted to start with the best example we know of a local arts center."