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The Biblioteca Puts on a Fundraiser


Artist Harry Kerker

Eduardo Sánchez, Debra Broussard, Heriberta Torres and Ana Laura Mendoza, A Night at La Biblioteca's dream team

By Debra Broussard

For the first time in its 65-year history, the Biblioteca is required to pay rent.

The beautiful colonial building that houses the Biblioteca is owned by the federal government. INDAABIN is the government entity that manages all federally owned buildings, including Insurgentes 25. In February, the library entered into a new contract with INDAABIN, which changed the status of the library from a comodato to a concesión. With the change in status, the Biblioteca is now required to pay rent.

With this additional expense, the Biblioteca needs to raise funds to support its ongoing mission to provide cultural and educational activities that contribute to the formation of our integrated community. The Biblioteca offers the second largest collection of bilingual books in all of México. In addition to lending books, a huge array of cultural programs and classes are offered to children and adults, to residents and visitors.

On Thursday, March 14, from 6 to 9 pm, the library is hosting an open house entitled, “A Night at the Biblioteca: Our Legacy, Their Future. It’s More than Books.” In many respects, the name of this NGO does not reflect the full scope of its activities. Yes, the library lends books, but over the years, the Biblioteca has really evolved into a community center.

Walk through the library on a Monday afternoon, and you will observe a sewing circle where traditional embroidery is being taught. On Tuesday or Thursday afternoons, you will see a long table of expats and locals practicing their conversation skills. Pass through on a Saturday morning, and you will see a volunteer leading the Science Club. Any afternoon after school, you will see students working with tutors. Meet a friend for lunch in the Café Santa Ana, and you will frequently see a group lining up to attend a lecture in the Sala Quetzal or a film in the Teatro Santa Ana.

This fun event will not just be a fundraiser but an opportunity for the library staff to showcase the diverse range of programs the library offers the public. During the course of the evening, you will realize that there are many opportunities to volunteer at the Biblioteca, and you may find one that is perfectly suited to you.

Delicious food and drinks will be served by Penzi, one of the premier event planners in San Miguel. As you visit the various rooms of the building, there will be music of all sorts: mariachis, a chorus, a student pianist, a classical guitarist, and a harpist. You can even dance salsa to a DJ in the Teatro Santa Ana.

In the Café Santa Ana, a silent auction will be held. Locally taken photographs by the award-winning California photographer, Harry John Kerker, will be on the auction block. Kerker is the recipient of over a hundred national and international awards for his work and recipient of an Emmy nomination. Kerker attributes much of his success to having worked with some of the greats of photography, such as Sebastião Salgado, Robert Farber, and Reid Miles.

Additionally, a very limited number of paintings on metal canvases by the late Troy Bel-Jon will be auctioned too. Bel-Jon worked with her husband, fabricating commissioned metal murals in their studio in San Francisco and also in New York. As a widow, Bel-Jon retired to San Miguel de Allende in 1986. The works to be auctioned are pieces she created in her studio in San Miguel. They are fantastic. Because of generous donations by Kerker and the Estate of Troy Bel-Jon, one hundred percent of the auction proceeds will go to the Biblioteca.

Proceeds from ticket sales and the silent art auction will go to the Biblioteca general fund to help defray the cost of the new rent obligation. There will also be sponsorship opportunities posted throughout the library for items that will make the Biblioteca more comfortable for its clientele, such as better lighting, ceiling fans, chair cushions, window coverings, and the like.

So don’t despair if your walls are already filled with art; there are plenty of other ways for you to support the Biblioteca. Sponsor the purchase of one of these items. Purchase a Biblioteca membership for yourself or for a child you know in our community. Consider volunteering. Perhaps you always wanted to be a librarian, a teacher, or a tour guide. Would you be a good mentor to one of our scholarship recipients? Maybe you have a creative new idea for an activity at the Biblioteca that will promote the integration of the local and expat communities. Tell us.

Many of the costs for the evening have been underwritten by CDR Christie’s and Agave Sotheby’s. The Biblioteca has also received generous in-kind donations from Cava Sautto and Penzi.

Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Biblioteca in the Tesoros Tienda or at the Teatro. Tickets are priced at 400 pesos each or two for 700 pesos.


Fundraiser event

A Night at the Biblioteca

Thu, Mar 14, 6–9pm

Biblioteca Pública de San Miguel de Allende

Insurgentes 25

Tickets 400 pesos each or two for 700 pesos


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