New Literary Room at Bellas Artes
By Sandra Ríos
A literary room provided by the National Institute of Fine Arts, intended primarily for children and young people, will open within the next few months at Centro Cultural Ignacio Ramírez “El Nigromante, Bellas Artes.” INBA recently agreed with the Writer’s Conference organizers to install this Literary Room. They will donate the furniture along with a large number of books. With the support of CONACULTA, INBA will put the rest of the book collection within their facilities. Activities such as writing workshops, lectures, reading, and book presentations in both English and Spanish aimed at the young generation will take place in the new Literary Room. Meanwhile, the Literary Room Association is featuring the “Books without Borders” program, aimed at young people between 12 and 15 years who live in communities around San Miguel de Allende. Each attendee will read a book and bring it to the Literary Room at Bellas Artes. The book’s author will speak to them and sign their books. The next guest writer, scheduled for November of this year, will be Juan Villoro.
This same association gave scholarships to young Mexicans to attend workshops taught by Rosy Zorrilla and Duncan Tonatiuh within the Writer’s Conference in Spanish. These workshops will also be offered in the new Literary Room, which will be a space for development, reading, interpretation, and literary expression workshops. “The aim is to try to consolidate students from secondary school to high school level and to work with them in literary sessions, not only to promote reading but also to promote writing, working with them throughout the year and bringing them into the Writers Festival,” says Armida Zepeda, General Coordinator writer’s conference.
“The Literary Room will be named after Benito Díaz de Gamarra, a priest and philosopher in New Spain in the 18th century, born in Michoacán. He had a strong presence in San Miguel. He introduced modern science and was a major driver of Descartes’ rationalism and the philosophy of the Enlightenment in Mexico (New Spain) and one of the teachers of the Mexican liberals of the Independence. “Díaz was a man who inspired tolerance,” says Alberto Lenz, director of Bellas Artes.