Lonely Planet Writer

Panama City celebrates art and culture with Via Plural Festival this weekend

This weekend, Panama City, Panama will be abuzz with art; the second annual festival Via Plural, will kick off Saturday, 21 May at 9 am. The event will take place along Avenida Central in Calidonia and in Casco Antiguo, and more than 600 Panamanian and international artists will be participating in this year’s program. 

Casco Viejo, The Old Quarter
Casco Antiguo The Old Quarter where the festival will take place. Image by Getty

The festival explores different genres of art in public space, featuring a variety of activities that support artists and educate the community about cultural services. These events include circus performances, poetry readings, film exhibitions, music, dance and theatre performances, stand-up comedy, street and urban art exhibitions and a singer-songwriter showcase. Several artists will also be giving workshops about their chosen crafts. The festivities will close with a concert and artist market at Parque V Centenario, from 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm.

Via Plural was organized to develop a sustainable cultural market that not only supports local artists financially, but also brings attention to the importance of public space when building culture and community. The festival is located along Avenida Central, one of the city’s first pedestrian walks, that today connects the Old Town with the rest of the city; in 2006, this area was declared an historic monument.

The festival explores different expressions of art and performance in public space
The festival explores different expressions of art and performance in public space Image by Vía Plural

Visit the event website at viaplural.com  to download the festival program, which includes a schedule of all performances, workshops and exhibitions, and a map that details their locations along Avenida Central. All activities are free to the public.