La Cultura Chilena

By Tyler L. York

With business cards and Emerson Stage collateral in hand, I’ve landed in Chile where I will spend time in the cities of Concepción, Viña del Mar/Valparaíso, and Santiago.

In Chile, I will be working alongside an Emerson College professor and two fellow graduate students in the Department of Communication Studies to lead workshops and discussions on crisis communication, place branding, and public diplomacy. I will include some of my own work in arts advocacy in all of these activities, as advocacy work regularly involves all three subjects.

In addition to the workshops, which will involve Chilean university students and faculty as well as regional authorities, I should have some time to expand my knowledge of world arts and cultural. I hope to share some of what I experience with you here!

Ahead of my trip, I did some research about theater and the arts in the places in which I will be spending time. Chile has a rich cultural history that is very much alive today. Here are just a few of the places I found:


Teatro Universidad de Concepción (note: link may lead to blank page) – the primary theater in the city, operated by the University of Concepción. Founded in 1890 by a grassroots movement to replace the city’s previous theater after it was destroyed in a fire in 1982.

Pinacoteca or Art Museum of Concepción – also a part of the University of Concepción, this museum houses artwork from many Chilean painters. It’s most famous piece is the mural, “The Presence of Latin America”. It measures 23′ tall by 50′ wide, and was painted between 1964 and 1965 by Mexican artist Jorge Gonzales Camarena.

Museo Hualpén – an eclectic private collection of art and artifacts acquired during the world travels of a Chilean aristocrat who sought to fill the void resulting from the death of his wife and two children from disease in 1880.

Viña del Mar/Valparaíso

Teatro Mauri – founded in 1951 as a film and theater space, Mauri has experienced periods of dormancy and vitality throughout its first two decades, but has been a significant cultural center in the community since the 70s. Presently, it also presents concerts in addition to screening films and producing live theater.

La Sebastiana – former home-turned-museum of Nobel Prize winning poet, Pablo Neruda.

Museo a Cielo Abierto – an collection of twenty murals by Chilean artists such as Nemesto Antūnez, Matilda Pérez, and Roberto Matta that takes you through the streets of the city.


Teatro Municipal – Chile’s leading cultural institution. Managed by the Cultural Corporation of Santiago, the Teatro Municipal is home to the Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ballet de Santiago, and the Choir of the Teatro Municipal.

Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes – founded in 1880, it is the oldest art museum in South America and is regarded as the preeminent museum in Chile and the entire continent. Collections include Chilean, Spanish, Dutch, and Italian paintings as well as Chilean and African sculpture.

Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino – This museum showcases, studies, and protects the artistic heritage of all people’s in the Pre-Columbian age (literally meaning prior to Columbus arrival in the Americas, but often extended for centuries afterward depending on the level of European influence upon individual cultures).

Tyler L. York is the Assistant General Manager of Emerson Stage.

Follow @tylerlyrok, @emstage, #EmStageTravels on Twitter for live updates from Chile!

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