Politics, identity, and art education : an ethnographic case study of MARTE and cultural revitalization in El Salvador
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This thesis examines the Museum of Art of El Salvador (MARTE) and its art education programming to understand its role in community building and cultural revitalization efforts in post-war El Salvador. MARTE emerges onto El Salvador’s landscape showcasing the country’s artistic heritage while organizing art education opportunities for the capital city, San Salvador. After six weeks of onsite observations and interviews with museum staff and community members, this investigation explores how MARTE’s art education programming contributes to the development of a refashioned collective cultural identity and, as a result, reinfuses the value of art, cultural awareness, and solidarity back into the community. MARTE provides a beneficial model for understanding the complex relationship between Western-influenced cultural institutions and non-Western communities, and the challenges of placing value on arts education when greater social concerns (e.g., economic insecurity) prevail.