It’s party time in Quito, Ecuador, as the nation’s capital prepares for its annual Summer of the Arts program in August – something the Quito Visitor’s Bureau deems the country’s “most important cultural program of the year.”
Some of the events highlights include: Sal Quiteña; the Festival of Lights; and the showcasing of other arts, culture and theatre and dance segments.
This year is the first edition of Sal Quiteña, a gastronomic festival putting spotlight on the capital’s exotic flavors. Restaurants that are participants in this event include gourmet restaurants, traditional cafes, bistros and markets. Each participant will prepare a three-course menu including a starter, main course and dessert, as well as a “special” menu just for this festival.
The Festival of Lights
This the Festival of Lights’ second year partaking in the Summer of the Arts program, as this event also commemorates Quito’s First Proclamation of Independence, taking place of August 10. This event, however, will be going on from August 9 until August 13, co-produced by the Alianza Francesa and the Mayor’s Office of Lyon, France. It will take place at the Historic Center where local buildings and churches will be illuminated by lights, animations and multi-media creations. Some of the displays to check out will be “Basilicolor and Altar de Luza” at the Basilica del Voto Nacional, “Estratos” at La Merced, “Vitrales” at Calle Sucre – Façade of La Compañía de Jesús Church, “A Poetic Universe” at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito, “Platonium” at Carlos Andrade Marín Plaza, “Voyages” at the Sucre Theater Plaza, “Mitad del Mundo” at San Blas Plaza and “Natura” at Santo Domingo Plaza.
This year, four Ecuadorian artists will join the festivities, including Fidel Eljuri, Pablo Mora, Isabel Páez and Miguel Vélez, who will all be melding their works with the French lighting artists at the festival. These artists include Leslie Epztein, Laurent Langlojs, Eric Miche, Patrice Warrener and Daniel Knipper.
Villa de las Artes
Though these two events are some of the biggest events this year, the heart of the program lies at the Itchimbía Park & Cultural Center. Sitting on the hill by the same name, the center will be surrounded by art and culture while also extending views of the whole city from its location. At the Villa de las Artes there will be music and theater performances taking place during the last two weekends of August. At the Musicas del Mundo stage, the public is invited to enjoy traditional and contemporary music played by a different special guest each day. Some of the international Latin American artists will include Chico César of Brazil, Soledad Pastorutti “La Sole” of Argentina, Totó la Momposina of Colombia and Juan Fernando Velasco from Ecuador.
There will be more entertainment for people of all tastes and ages presented by the Quito Tiene Teatro at a third stage as well. As the performing arts are an important aspect of the culture in Quito, there will be 34 theater and dance performances between August 17 to 20 and August 24 to 27 in 16 different theaters throughout the city. Quito Tiene Teatro will also perform three daily shows at the main stage in the Villa de las Artes Itchimbía.