At Yucatan Today we are extremely impressed by the astonishing work that the contemporary art museum Museo Fernando García Ponce-MACAY is doing for children in Yucatán. Here are some of the cultural and artistic activities which their incredible travelling art school, “Xíimbalarte,” provides.

In the words of Carlos García Ponce, coordinator of the Fundación Cultural MACAY, “The museum has a mission, which is educational, and for this reason, since the beginning of the museum we offered programs for children.” The foundation has always been interested in artistic education programs for children, and Xíimbalarte is one of them.

It all started with the creation of the program “El MACAY va a las comunidades” (MACAY goes to the communities), in which the museum’s programs for children went to the municipalities of the state of Yucatán. Then the travelling art school “Escuela Itinerante de Arte” was created, bringing painting, literature, cinema for children, and environmental education documentaries to the communities of Yucatán. The travelling art school, known as “Xíimbalarte” (xíimbal: to walk, in Maya) meaning: “to walk toward art.”

The school’s objective is to support the artistic formation of children between 8 and 12 years of age, through visual and literary appreciation. The goal is to attend 120 children per day, and a total of 27,600 children per year.

In each working day of the school, they organize three groups of 40 children in three different areas: painting, literature, and cinema. In the painting and literature activities, the children have enjoyed much more than just seeing paintings and reading stories, and have had some wonderful experiences!

The Xíimbalarte art trailer has planted seeds of great interest in art students and teachers. At the end of the activities, the children receive a notebook with more artistic activities, as a way to continue the art school activities, so that the children can continue learning.

In five years, the school culturally attends all primary students from grades 3-6. When Xíimbalarte starts its journey over again, it attends another generation of the same age students during its next five years, and so on.

One of the goals which has been set in the program is to be able to create “Espacios Culturales” (cultural spaces) in each municipality, where a part of the heritage of the museum can be placed, as well as making art books available to the public, do exchange programs with children and teachers, and other activities. The idea is to create these spaces in 25 municipalities per year, and the fourth one is now up and running! Tizimín, Panabá, Hunucmá and Sotuta are the first communities to receive this benefit. These “Espacios Culturales” form part of the “Taller Itinerante de Arte”, travelling art workshop, which, along with the travelling art school, make up the artistic education program which is available in the state of Yucatán.

Visit and learn more about this wonderful work!


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