Bolívar Hall: A Window to the Rich Cultural of Venezuela

Since 1986 Bolívar Hall has been supporting and hosting various Venezuelan events in London, but today it has evolved and with the new director of cultural events, Maria Alejandra Rivas Briceño brought in last year, in an effort to revitalize the venue.  We had the opportunity to sit down with Mariale and hear her insights about the hall and upcoming events.

The building today called the Miranda House, which hosts the Cultural centre for the Venezuelan embassy has been in existence for a while and has seen many important inhabitants.  The Georgian building was built in the 1790s and in 1803 Francisco de Miranda and his family moved in the house. Francisco de Miranda stayed in London until 1810 while he gained funding for the independence movement in Latin America.  After his departure Andres Bello, another Venezuelan diplomat moved into house. In the 1900s the building was turned into flats and was then scheduled to be demolished in the 1970s.  Luckily in 1978 the Venezuelan Government purchased the buildings for the embassy, one of which being Miranda House.  Then in 1983 the Bolívar Hall was added to give a space for larger events at the Miranda House.  

Bolívar Hall’s acoustics were designed particularly for non-electric traditional roots and classical instruments, which tie in with the sounds that they are striving to showcase. “Bolivar Hall’s focus is on the organic and distinct Venezuelan sounds and we strive to highlight the differences with other Latin American countries,” Says Mariale.  However the hall also aims to support other Latin American artists and has worked with other countries including Honduras, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua.  Since the hall is linked to the embassy the events must be diplomatic, but does also showcase artists with different political opinions.  Recently the hall has hosted musicians from Venezuela as well as Europe and other parts of Latin America.  They also support Venezuelan artists performing non-traditional music for example, various MCs and a harpist named Carlos Orozco. They have supported Venezuelan artists playing off site at festivals like Glastonbury, and Festival #6, as well as at numerous live music venues throughout London. 

There is currently a plethora of events planned.  A monthly series called “Venezuela in Town” showcases Venezuelan artists that live in London and the UK. In July they have dancers performing as part of that series, and next month it is a theatre performance.  Every three months the hall is hosting a film screening along with a Q&A session with the director of the film.  Each month they have four events, which often fill the capacity of 150 people.  “The cultural centre likes to think of Bolívar Hall as a small, personal showcase for artists before they perform at larger venues,” Mariale shares.  All the events at Bolívar Hall are free, and feel the cultural centre feels they are successful after each event by just spreading the culture of Venezuela to the people of London. 

 Movimientos is looking forward to a collaboration with the Venezuelan cultural centre and embassy in the near future with the ‘New Sounds of Venezuela’ event as three of the finest new bands from the Venezuelan tropical underground scene La Gallera Social Club, Monsalve y Los Forajidos and Bituaya, will be playing at Rich Mix in East London on September 3rd.

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For More Information on Events: https://www.facebook.com/bolivar.hall/events

For More Information on the building: http://reinounido.embajada.gob.ve/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=162&Itemid=12&lang=en

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