Every year Valparaíso hosts 14 major festivals, encompassing the realms of dance, circus, theater, cinema, literature, photography, music, design and art, and earning the city a reputation for being one of the most important cultural centers in the continent.
Now, starting from January 26, the port will attempt the ambitious and try to bring together the best elements of all 14 in a four-day event dubbed the “festival of festivals” – the Festival de las Artes de Valparaíso 2012.
Organized by Chile’s Council of Culture and the Municipality of Valparaíso, the festival will consist of 130 entirely free events scattered across some of the city’s most important venues, public spaces and world-heritage listed streets.
Among the stand-out performances will be graffiti artist Inti Castro, who will add to the city’s incredible range of street art with a live mural painting aiming to capture the “customs, aesthetic and synthesis of Latin American creole cultures” as well as the color and poetry of the port city. Castro can be seen from Paseo Atkinson on Cerro Concepción, starting Friday.
Cerro Concepción, along with the neighboring Cerro Alegre, will host another outdoor highlight with evening light shows that will project images and colors onto the many restaurants and galleries of these hills in the center of the city. The shows will take place on Friday and Saturday evenings and run until midnight.
A more traditional exhibition can be seen for the duration of the festival at the Centro de Extensión en Identidad y Patrimonio del Consejo de la Cultura, which will display the ancient weaving techniques of the Aymara culture, from Northern Chile, Bolivia and Peru. The center is located on Sotomayor 233 and open from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm during the week and from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm weekends.
For a not-to-be-missed musical performance see Mahani Teave, the virtuoso known as “the only pianist from Easter Island.” Teave made her debut at the age of 9, studied classical music in some of the most prestigious universities in the country, competed internationally and, in 2007, was named among Chile’s “one hundred female leaders.” The performance will be held in the Plaza Justicia on Friday at 9:00 p.m.
For a full list of events, see the official website.