We Have A New Cultural Center

And it’s a beauty
BY: REN DRAKE HILL

On April 6 local dancers and musicians heralded the opening of the new building for Ceart, the academic arm of the Cultural Institute of Baja California. Their vision is to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Mexico. The Center will further promote cultural and artistic development.

The opening ceremony was for an audience of 200 and began with native music and dance illustrating the birth of local culture.

In addition to local dignitaries that show up to christen anything from mall openings to new roads, Governor Kiko Vega was on hand for a speech. For the most part it was all about everybody thanking everybody else for doing their part to make this day possible, yada, yada, yada. Mayor Silvano Abarca got all choked up when he said that historically, Rosarito has always been an artistic area, and every generation must foster the study of the arts, yada yada yada.

Even though the ceremony started late and ran long, every speaker voiced a common thread: the intense pride of sharing local culture with the world, yada yada yada.

  Performances by too many musicians and too many dancers came next, while we all strolled through the buildings and admired the grounds.

In one of the small galleries a trio of expressionist modern dancers entertained Governor Vega and the invited guests with a ten minute song and dance. Here there were more examples of local art.

The project is the result of a partnership between the federal, state, and municipal governments, as well as trained professionals. (Don’t try this at home).

Located in the La Cascada neighborhood in south Rosarito, (turn left at the Bada Bing and follow the signs), the three-building complex includes facilities for specialists to educate people in the fine arts including dance, drama, music, literature, graphic and visual arts. Included in the complex is a fully operational indoor stage.

The primary gallery opened with a show featuring graphic and physical art.

In addition to the galleries, there is library space, a conference salon, meeting rooms, and offices, along with a countless number of music and dance classrooms, set up with mirrors and barres. Beautifully stained concrete floors run through all of the gallery space, with the exception of the smooth buffed wooden floors of the music/dance rehearsal halls. This beautiful center of culture did not come cheap. The Mexican government invested $8.5 million dollars and the state of Baja ponied up another $1.6 million.

Nearly 200 events are slated to take place here in the next year. In addition to facilitating the arts, the Ceart center will be host to many academic, civic, and social activities, which are expected to generate 50,000-100,000 visitors annually.

The parking lot is a little difficult to enter, as it’s necessary to hang a tight U turn into the parking lot, which only accommodates 104 cars. Unlike the accessibility nightmare that is Rosarito’s new tennis facility, Ceart has ramps, handrails, and an elevator in the main building. But there are only four, (count ‘em, four), dedicated handicap parking slots.

No final word on the days and hours of operation. For more information and beautiful photos of the grand opening, see www.Facebook.com/ CEART Playas de Rosarito.