More than 800 performers have taken to the streets of Cali this week to make a literal song and dance about debilitating budget cuts and possible closure of four major cultural institutions in Colombia’s third largest city, reported Colombia’s El Pais newspaper.
Due to a severe lack of government funding, four of Cali’s major cultural institutions risk having to close their doors: Academy of Fine Arts, Incolballet Ballet Academy, the Institute for Research and Preservation of Cultural Heritage (INCIVA), and the Valle de Cauca state library.
To protest the “cultural crisis” befalling these cultural institutions, hundreds of students, teachers, and employees staged a creative demonstration filled with music, ballet performances, Gothic mime, and theatrical performance to showcase their talents and remind local government what would be lost if the institutions were no longer able to function, according to El Pais on Wednesday.
The issue at hand is that the institutions have not received the funding promised to them that they need in order to continue operating in the second half of 2014.
The state library is owed $500,000 by the government. “We’re not only responsible for the central branch, but the network of libraries in the 42 municipalities in the [Valle de Cauca] state,” said Nelson Parra, spokesman for the protest, quoted in another El Pais article. Furthermore, the Valle de Cauca state library has not been able to renew its book collection in four years.