CATCH THE 55th CULTURAL SEASON OPENER!
The University of the Philippines Singing Ambassadors, under founder/conductor Ed L. Manguiat, comes to Dumaguete City for a series of concerts at the Luce Auditorium titled Lakbay-Musika on JUNE 16 and 17! This is part of the group’s 37th anniversary concert tour.For inquiries and ticket reservations, you may call the Silliman University Culture and Arts Council office at (035) 422-4365 or 09173235953.
Welcome to the 55th Cultural Season of Silliman University and Dumaguete City!
The Culture and Arts Council begins another chapter in its storied history by showcasing the best in music, theatre, dance, film, the visual arts, literature, and many others for the new school year, going on with its mandate to shape culture and the arts not just for the Silliman University community but also Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental.
There have been many turning points in the more than fifty-year history of the Culture and Arts Council in Silliman University: the group's founding as the Cultural Affairs Committee in 1962 by a ragtag bunch of culture lovers led by the buxom wife of an American missionary; the building of the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium in 1974, which became the primary venue for the group's cultural shows; the institution of a cultural fee in 1989, which led to the formalization of culture as a mandatory component in every Sillimanian student's education...
It has been a history marked by countless dynamic turns, enlivened by people of passion. Because art, first and foremost, traffics in passion – it is the currency of the business, and the CAC would not have been anything without that sense of risky resolve to bring to life artistic expression.
Something of that dynamic turn came quietly in 2006, in the waning days of summer before the official start of the school year in Silliman University. Dr. Ben S. Malayang III has just been newly-installed as the eleventh President, and much of the campus was in ferment – there were feelings that things were moving along, that much of the future for Silliman University was there for the shaping.
In May of that year, Elizabeth Susan Vista-Suarez became the Chair of the CAC, a position she once held in 1989-2001, and she quickly assembled a membership to the committee that seemed to defy, or at least 'redefine,' the mechanisms with which things were usually done in the business of culture in the university.
The CAC had traditionally been a small group of like-minded people with membership culled from the various colleges and departments in campus, complete with token representations from the community, the alumni, and the student body. And traditionally, its chairperson was the present Director of what was then the School of Music and Fine Arts, which would soon become the College of Performing Arts in 2001, and later the College of Performing and Visual Arts in 2006.
But the CAC that began to work in 2006 was a group that had ballooned to accommodate many fresh faces, culled not just from the university's rank and file, but also from the larger Dumaguete community – and along with that came an injection of fresh ideas, many of which proved revolutionary: a more compact marketing effort, a balance in cultural programming, and a reach towards the institutionalization of a calendar marking off distinct cultural seasons, each one fully-formed before the start of any school year. It was, in other words, the CAC growing into sophistication, and in the years since then, its efforts would accumulate to elevate the group and Silliman University to a higher national profile, which would eventually lead to Dumaguete becoming a main cultural hub in the country, a mandatory stop for many of the Philippines' top cultural performers and groups. Dumaguete, of course, had always been like that – but after 2006, it became even more so.
By 2007, upon the urging of President Malayang, the CAC also began to lay the groundwork for a system of cultural work – clarifying functions, setting parameters, and defining goals – in line with the mission and the vision of Silliman University, and guided by the university's new thrusts centering around Faith, Instruction, Research, and Extension – or FIRE. The ultimate goal was to efficiently and effectively spread culture, not only to the constituents of Silliman University, but to the whole region as well, and with Faith in mind, the CAC tasked itself to pursue this goal by strengthening its foundation, by ‘building bridges,’ and by ‘expanding territory.’ It was outreach with a cultural blend, Silliman-style.
In 2016, to recognize the important cultural work of the CAC and its impact on the community, it underwent a name-change, graduating from a Cultural Affairs Committee to a Culture and Arts Council, under the guidance of Diomar C. Abrio as Chair.
The CAC’s experimentations with packaging culture have always been an exercise of gleeful risk-taking. It has proved one thing: Dumaguete can carry culture like the best of them. It has earned its reputation as being arguably the only group moving for the furtherance of art and culture on this side of Negros Island.
Welcome to a further celebration of culture.
All tickets and season passes for main events at the Luce Auditorium shows are available for sale at the CAC office at the College of Performing and Visual Arts Building. For ticket reservations and other inquiries, call (035) 422-4365 or 09173235953.