Anna Weldon discovers a world of opportunities for young artists at the centre’s cultural venue, A Seis Manos
Six years ago, the capital gained a new and unique venue, offering locals and artists of various disciplines a space for cultural and entertainment events.
A Seis Manos was the brainchild of Christophe Vanderkerckhove and his two colleagues and he is quick to point out that it was “the first and only place of its kind”. This point could perhaps be debated, although the venue clearly answered a need among Bogotanos.
Ranging from live music, art and design fairs, and language exchanges to gastronomy events, book exchanges, vinyl fairs and cinema nights, A Seis Manos has an event for most tastes.
For Christophe offering a variety of events was a way to appeal to the preferences of a wider range of people in the city, creating what he calls a “multicultural centre in Bogotá”.
Much of this includes showcasing new local and international artists who are still working to find their footing in the city. Christophe attributes some of A Seis Manos’ success to the support they offer to artists, which has helped keep the venue growing throughout the years. There seems to be very little bias as to what genre is represented, and you’re likely to hear anything from salsa, tropical music and jazz to rock, soul and electronic music.
Sarah Quarmby, a British singer, songwriter and cellist, has an upcoming show at A Seis Manos, at which she will promote her latest EP.
She explains: “When I walked in I was just really taken by the space and when I chatted to the staff they seemed on the ball.”
Quarmby sought out Colombia so as to gain new perceptions and sounds for her music: “Living in a different country and immersing yourself in that musical culture is one of the best ways to access new ideas.”
As a newcomer, Quarmby found that the Bogotá music scene is warm and welcoming, but still recognises the challenges of trying to achieve success in another country.
“It’s always difficult trying to start from scratch in a different culture, especially when you are coming from a music scene that you feel you fit into, like in London,” she says.
And it is situations like Sarah’s that the people at A Seis Manos aim to support, by constantly providing a space for new and young artists to gain important exposure that they might otherwise not have access to.
“It is very important to have a space for the many new artists in a culture,” Christophe explains.
“For young artists, it is very difficult to find venues where they can play,” he continues. “A lot of new talent are restricted in their performance options.”
“It has a different environment and spirit to other places,” he concludes.
Christophe stresses that their goal is to keep providing opportunities in various sectors, including art and theatre, so as to reach even more people in Bogotá. In a city bursting with undiscovered talent, this is surely something that more venues should be looking to do.
Calle 22 #8-60. Keep your eyes on our listings section to find out what events are planned for each month.
By Anna Weldon