The idea of the Aspinall-Murray Cultural Theater was born from the restlessness and hunger for culture that have many locations outside the central area, which have no state aid for cultural development projects. That is why a group of citizens in Monteverde, with the help, passion and leadership of Gloria Waissbluth, came together, first to create a choral movement, ranging from children to adults. Then, thanks to a Costa Rican-American businessman, they built what is now called the Aspinall-Murray Cultural Theater. It was once a big storage to recycle trash, but today besides having lights, curtain and good acoustics, it also has an old beautiful grand piano, borrowed without a time limit from the Monteverde Institute.
The high quality of it’s presentations has led to forays into various forms of cultural activities. Thus, thanks to the guidance of professionals in various culture areas, today there is a children’s theater group, another for adults, an instrumental ensemble, reading and writing classes for seniors, music workshops, theater, motivation to reading and body expression.
Of course, this would not be possible without the help of the three organizers who work for free, the economic contribution of the National Bank, which funds activities that require payment of fees, and the El Establo Hotel that provides accommodation and food for all artists and teachers who go to Monteverde to enrich activities. The University of Costa Rica and the National University have joined this program, sending groups to provide presentations and teachers from various disciplines. Concerts have included the participation of Big-Band Orchestra, Editus, Miravalles Quintet, Ana Coralia stimulation and storytelling, theater plays like “El Nica” and “La Hoja de Aire” (air sheet) by Alfredo Catania.
This whole program has become a true example of community cooperation, which could be emulated by other towns, bearing in mind the little consideration that our governments have always given to culture. For them, the Ministry of Culture and Youth has been the adrift orphaned and abandoned children. To worsen the situation, culture has not been decentralized from the Central Valley, especially with the establishment of Houses of Culture in various communities.
Just like Monteverde is recycling culture, the question before us is how does our Government can help other communities emulate this wonderful program started by the enterprising violinist Gloria Waissbluth.
Address: Cerro Plano, district: Monteverde, canton: Puntarenas, province: Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Zone postal code: 60109.
GPS Coordinates to Santa Elena: 10.317242,-84.824453 (10°19’2.07″N, 84°49’28.03″W)
Phone: +(506) 2245-5003