Youth Art from El Salvador and United States in MARTE
On June 24, an art exhibit entitled "Two Museums, Two Nations, One Identity" opened at the Museum of Art of El Salvador (MARTE) in San Salvador. The exhibit, which included photos and artwork by 60 Salvadoran youth and 20 youth of Salvadoran descent living in the Washington, DC area, was sponsored by the organization "Museum and Community Collaborations Abroad" (MCCA) in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador.
The goal of the project, which began in October 2011, was to provide opportunities for at-risk youth in the communities of Intipucá, Sensuntepeque, Chirilagua, and Ciudad Victoria to develop their creative abilities and increase their engagement with their cultural heritage through artistic workshops focused on issues of family, school, neighborhood, cultural heritage, immigration and bilingualism. The effort is part of a strategic effort by the U.S. Department of State to strengthen ties between peoples through its "Connected Museums" program.
In El Salvador, participants used the workshops to develop art projects focused on the cultural links between Salvadorans at home and those who have migrated to the United States. Meanwhile, Salvadoran artists in the United States, who participated as volunteers from the Latin American Youth Center (LAYC) in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC, likewise focused their art on the Salvadoran experience abroad.
Artist William Araujo and photographer Sandro Stivella led the workshops in El Salvador, while Salvadoran-American photographer Muriel Hasbun taught workshops in Washington, DC. Hasbún and a group of art students from the U.S. Corcoran School also traveled to El Salvador in March 2012 as part of the project in order to better understand the experience of Salvadorans living in both countries.
The exhibit "Two Museums, Two Nations, One Identity" premiered in Washington’s Museum of Art of the Americas on May 30, where it was open to the public for two weeks. In El Salvador, the exhibit will be open to the public until July 8, 2012 at MARTE.