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International Book Fair, Santo Domingo

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Leer te reinventa- Reading reinvents you (2015 slogan)

April 23 – May 4, 2015brings a Bohemian, free-spirited, and open-minded event, where any type of artist can bare his or her soul among thousands of people. The 18th Int’l Book Fair, XVIII Feria Internacional del Libro (FILRD15), is a great place for poets, playwrights, pianists, essayists, painters, anyone and everyone inspired by artistry.

Sosua & Cabarete Schools Particpate

Here on the North Coast, our schools organize field trips every year to visit this dynamic cultural fair.

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It’s a wonderful experience for students to learn, be creative in an international venue, and most of all have fun. “Creativity is contagious, pass it on,” Albert Einstein once said. Not only students get excited, but also adults like our office admin. She visited as a volunteer with a busload from Garden Kids School and had the time of her life at the Book Fair, the National Aquarium, and in the spirit of the moment, thoroughly enjoyed lunch at McDonald’s. Enthusiasm is contagious, too.

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Schools on the North Coast aren’t large, students are close friends, and enjoy going together. The International School of Sosua usually makes it a two day trip. From morning to afternoon the students attend the fair and participate in all kinds of artistic activities; later, they’re excited about visiting malls, movies, and fast food shops.

Street Fair Atmosphere in La Plaza de la Cultura 

Have you been to a street fair in your country? If so, you know the atmosphere of the Book Fair. It takes place in the Plaza de la Cultura, Juan Pablo Duarte, a sizable park with indoor and outdoor displays, stone walkways, lots of greenery, and private benches, each situated close to a statue or antique.

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You’ll see more than 220 blue colored booths with paper flags hung and more decorations. Look up and there is string decoration with patterned colored triangles connecting the booths. Volunteers and artists are in various colorful costumes.  There will be plays acted out, dances shown/taught, art work displayed or made, people reading, smiles, laughs, and knowledge shared. Plenty for students, teachers, and parents to see, and the street fair feel keeps everyone entertained.

Dominicans Love & Enjoy the Arts 

And Dominican artists believe in the quote: “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see” – Edgar Degas. They are fearless showing their art, energetic works created with a ton of imagination. In keeping with this spirit, 2015 Book Fair brings a few more themes:

Young poets have been invited from the group ‘Accion Poetica’.

A Pavilion of Communication, organized by the Ministry of Culture to show the progress of communication, will be taught by two journalists, Marivell Contreras and Jose Gomez Tejada.

An area called Boulevard of the Dominican Song, with lectures on the history of Dominican music and live music, is an exhibit run by the artist, Nofret Alfonseca. This is sure to be special, because Nofret is a member of the family 'Alfonseca', inventors of the Dominican Republic’s own distinctive folk music: Merengue.

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 History of the Book Fair & Reading Month

Other book fair participants enthusiastically display their work: book presentations, handmade crafts visual arts, creative writing.There are conferences, lectures, workshops on cultural aspects, music, dance, theater, and much more. Some categories offer prizes consisting of: a trophy, 25,000 RD, and a diploma. Even students with a passion for the arts can participate, so if your child is creative this is an incredible opportunity.

The Ministry of Culture has run the fair since 1950, when it was known as Book Fair of Sto Dgo, and long before it became the international event it is now, the flagship event of what students around the country refer to as ‘Reading Month’. Book discounts are offered at the Librerias (book stores), and the week of Cinematoloy and Literature takes place the preceding week.

Book Fair 2015 is dedicated to a great pianist, poet and playwright called Manuel Rueda, who has won the annual trophy for literature six times. Each year an honored guest is invited, this year Peru was chosen. Sixteen other countries have been invited as honored guests, such as: Spain, France, Mexico, Italy, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Valentin Amaro (CEO of Books and Reading) and Pedro Antonio Valdez (executive director of FILRD15) lead the organization and are proud and honored to have participation from Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Spain, Argentina, and Mexico.

The Plaza de Cultura Park is located on the street Pedro Henriquez Ureña, in central Santo Domingo.

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President Opening Ceremony 2014

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