Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Embraced by Sister City's Counterpart
By Angela Mora, MCAD Cultural and Heritage Tourism Consultant

Ties between the City of El Paso's Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) and Mexican governmental arts and culture entities continue to grow fast and strong. On February 15, a special visit, organized by the Consulate General of México's Vice-Consul Elsa Borja and Cultural Promotion Coordinator Brenda Muñoz, took place in Ciudad Juárez between the City's Museums and Cultural Affairs Departmnet (MCAD) and its counterpart in Ciudad Juárez's Dirección General de Educación y Cultura Del Municipio (Municipal Office for Education and Culture).

Yolanda Alameda, MCAD Director; Amy Paoli, El Paso Museum of Art Interim Director; Angela Mora, MCAD Cultural and Heritage Tourism Consultant; and Elsa Borja and Brenda Muñoz, Consulate General's Vice Cónsul were warmly hosted by Lic. Antonio Pinedo, Director de Educación y Arte del Municipio de Ciudad Juárez; Adrian Farias, Sub-Director de Educación y Arte; Daniel Miranda, Coordinador de Eventos Culturales, and Lic. Isabel Mora. The Honorable Cónsul General de México, Juan Carlos Foncerrada, briefly joined the group to speak about his commitment to maintain a strong working relationship between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.

Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Embraced by Sister City's CounterpartThe group received a comprehensive tour of Juárez's cultural and educational municipal facilities, including the Municipal Center for the Arts, Misión Paso del Norte, Benito Juárez monument restoration project, the National Institute of Anthropology and History's Ex-Customs Building Museum, Municipal Public Library, Benito Juárez Auditorium, Chamizal Museum, as well as other important cultural sites.

Government officials on both sides of the border have launched projects that will improve/enhance the quality of life their citizens have through art and culture. There is a remarkable similarity between the cultural and educational initiatives currently taking place between the cities. The historic Plaza Theatre has been restored and will open this spring and Teatro Paso del Norte, will open in Ciudad Juárez this October. In addition, both cities are engaged in promoting arts and culture through a series of high quality artistic performances and exhibitions, which are free to both communities. Both, MCAD and the Dirección General de Educación y Cultura Del Municipio shared their enthusiasm and desire to join forces to make of this region a cultural Mecca.

The groups have scheduled a meeting to brainstorm ideas for short and long-term plans for a solid international cultural exchange furthering arts and culture in our communities. MCAD hosted the Dirección General de Educación y Cultura Del Municipio in early March. The group visited the City's Museums and Galleries, Plaza Theatre, McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater, The Missions, Concordia Cemetery and other El Paso landmarks.