Quito, the capital of Ecuador, has been named the 2011 American Capital of Culture and has scheduled a full slate of concerts, festivals, fairs and events through December to celebrate its distinction.
The city was chosen by the International Cultural Capitals Bureau (IBOCC), an organization accredited by the Organization of Americans States, the European Parliament and the Latin American Parliament.
Throughout 2011, its historic theatres, cultural centers, plazas and patios will host exhibitions, plays, musical performances and festivals showcasing Ecuadorian folklore, the city’s rich culture, jazz, sacred music and much more.
Events include the Festival of Sacred Music, taking place through April 24; the International Biennale of Guitars from May 19-21; the International Festival of Singers from June 20-26; the Song of the Festival Exhibition from June 1-15; the production of “Frankenstein, The Musical” from July 20-26; an exhibition of Manuel Cholango on Aug. 4; the Fair of Quito’s Sweets and Traditions from August 17-20; Ecuador’s Jazz Festival from Sept. 12-18; the International Music of the World Festival from Oct. 17-23 and more.
Additionally, other exhibitions will take place at the Museo de la Ciudad, the Casa de las Artes, the Community Development Center of San Jose de Conocoto, the Humboldt Association, the Interactive Museum of Science and other cultural institutions around the city.
“Over the last 10 years, more than $250 million has been invested in restoring the city’s architectural heritage,” explained Luz Elena Coloma, general manager of the Quito Visitors’ Bureau. “As this year’s American Culture Capital, Quito wants to show our visitors many more aspects of our rich artistic traditions.”
Quito has a 320-acre historic center full of 130 monuments and 5,000 heritage properties. Founded in the 16th century and built on the ruins of an ancient Inca city, Quito sits at more than 9,000 feet surrounded by towering Andean volcanoes. Quito was named UNESCO’s first World Heritage Site in 1978.