National Endowment for the Arts and City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Partner for Guadalajara International Book Fair
Los Angeles invited to be 2009 Guest of Honor
September 9, 2008
Los Angeles, CA-The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) announced today that Los Angeles, California has been invited to be the Guest of Honor at the 2009 International Book Fair (Feria Internacional del Libro or FIL) in Guadalajara, Mexico. The announcement and signing ceremony with FIL officials took place this afternoon at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument. Present at the announcement were Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio R. Villaraigosa, NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, President of the FIL Raúl Padilla, Director of the FIL Nubia Macías Navarro, and Executive Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs Olga Garay.
Each year since 1993, the FIL selects a Guest of Honor, either a country or region, to showcase its performing, visual, and literary artists for the more than a half a million people who attend the festival during its nine days of activities. The selection of Los Angeles represents the first time the FIL has invited a city to be the Guest of Honor. Artists from Los Angeles will be featured in more than 100 exhibitions, performances, films, readings, lectures, and symposia. The NEA has awarded $1.6 million to DCA to support artists' fees, travel, and creation of the Guest of Honor exhibition space at the Expo Guadalajara, Expo Center where the majority of the Book Fair events take place. NEA will work closely with the Department to best manage the city's presence at the festival which runs from November 28 to December 6, 2009.
Chairman Dana Gioia noted, "I congratulate Los Angeles for its invitation to be the honored city in 2009 at the prestigious Guadalajara International Book Fair. As a native Angeleno of Mexican descent, I am particularly proud of this extraordinary opportunity to strengthen the cultural ties between Mexico and the United States. In addition to its financial support, the NEA will leverage its experience in international cultural exchange to assist Los Angeles in showcasing its artists before a large international audience."
"In naming a City as Guest of Honor for the first time, the Guadalajara International Book Fair honors and recognizes Los Angeles as a vibrant creative center for the arts," Mayor Villaraigosa said. "For nine days in 2009, Los Angeles literature, film, dance, and theater will have a privileged place in the largest celebration of reading and learning in Latin America."
Founded in 1987 by the University of Guadalajara, the Guadalajara International Book Fair is the largest market in the world for Spanish language publications. It features three main areas of activity: publishing, academic presentations, and cultural presentations. The publishing component is focused on the exhibit area where more than 1,600 publishing houses from 40 countries are represented. In addition, literary presentations, where attendees discuss issues such as translation, libraries, or children's books, and approximately 300 book and author events will be part of the publishing component.
The academic presentations of the festival are developed by the University of Guadalajara working with that year's Guest of Honor. Scholars gather to discuss important issues around education, literature, and society. The cultural component features music, theater, and dance performances each evening on the festival grounds and in venues around the city.
FIL President, Raul Padilla, remarked, "FIL Guadalajara is honored to host Los Angeles as the first city featured as the Guest of Honor. The diversity and astonishing force of the Angeleno culture will be, without any doubt, an extraordinary discovery for most visitors to the Book Fair. It will also be a chance to revisit and renew the cultural ties we share, and to establish a common ground for better understanding between our countries."
The 2008 Guest of Honor will be Italy. Past guests of honor have included Brazil (2001), Peru (2005), Andalusia (2006), and most recently, Colombia (2007).
On September 23, DCA will announce guidelines for the application and the review process for artists and arts organizations interested in presenting their work at specific FIL exhibition and performing arts venues. With funding from the NEA, DCA is seeking to support 12 to 25 visual and performing arts projects with grants ranging from $15,000 to $200,000. Selected projects will be emblematic of Los Angeles' rich, multicultural communities and may consist of contemporary and/or traditional work. Additionally, a film program will be presented and up to 60 authors will participate in literary discussions and readings.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Arts Endowment is the largest annual national funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.
About the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA)
The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) generates and supports high quality arts and cultural experiences for Los Angeles residents and visitors. DCA advances the social and economic impact of the arts and assures access to arts and cultural experiences through grant making, marketing, public and community arts programming, arts education, and creating partnerships with artists and arts and cultural organizations in every community in the City of Los Angeles.
DCA grants $3.4 million annually to over 300 artists and nonprofit arts organizations and awards the Artist-in-Residence (A.I.R.) and City of Los Angeles (C.O.L.A.) Individual Artist Fellowships. The Department provides arts and cultural programming in its numerous Neighborhood Arts and Cultural Centers, theaters, and historic sites, and manages several arts and education programs for young people. It directs public art projects and manages the City's Arts Development Fee and Percent for Arts Programs, and the Art Collection and Murals Programs. DCA markets the City's cultural events through development and collaboration with strategic partners, design and production of creative promotional materials, and management of the culturela.org website.
About the International Book Fair of Guadalajara
Founded 21 years ago by the University of Guadalajara, the Guadalajara International Book Fair is the largest Spanish publishing market in the world. Each year more than 17,000 book professionals, including publishers, literary agents, translators, librarians, reading advocates and distributors travel to Guadalajara for commercial and professional exchanges. With them half a million visitors from within Guadalajara and other Mexican cities come every year.
The 35,000 square meters of the exhibit hall contain more than 1,600 publishing houses from 40 countries. There are more than 90 activities per day; more than 300 book presentations take place during the Book Fair. In the cultural arena, the Book Fair has become an international reference, with a program offering a broad range of cultural expressions centered every year on the featured Guest of Honor.
The Book Fair has a $50 million dollar economic impact in the city and is visited every year by more than 100,000 young people. It hosts more than 1,600 journalists from 20 countries, being one of the more prominent cultural encounters on the continent.
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency