The number of proposals for events that people have been bringing to La Colmena is by far larger than I expected it to be. We have had people asking about book readings, concerts, dance premiers, theatre shows, and even a fundraiser for an independent film production. And just as many or perhaps more proposals we keep receiving for other activities to host at the space: from theatre rehearsals to free medical and psychological orientation sessions.
Despite often feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work that putting all these ideas into practice would mean, talking to people who are looking for a home for the projects make me feel like the space is in fact fulfilling (or trying to fulfill) an important role in the community. There are many creative projects incubating in the a city as big as Mexico City, but it seems like the opportunities they have to grow and make themselves known are more rare, or at least made difficult to access by fees not all can pay, links with the government not everyone wants to accept, or even bureaucracy traps no one wants to deal with.
We don’t have as much time and space to support as many of these proposals as we would like to, but we have had a fair number of them come true in these past couple months. The last weekend of July we had three different events–a colloquium on the Cuban revolution, a puppet show, and the first performance of a theatre group that has been rehearsing at La Colmena. Plus we had the workshops we have every week, including the “Talks for sustainable lifestyles” which this time was about water rockets!
But the weekend before was particularly moving. Many of our friends from Mexico who are part of La Colmena are very active in the slam poetry community of the city, and Fiesco, a good friend of this community, had been in the hospital until around the time we opened the space. Although he was much better when he got out of the hospital, the treatment he had to follow was very expensive, creating a big struggle for his family. The slam poetry community then decided to organize an event to help his raise money for the treatment. The performances of that night were particularly inspiring, and the entire evening we share a very positive atmosphere. But we were all extremely surprised and shocked when Fiesco himself showed up. Only the friend who drove him here knew he was coming, because he couldn’t leave his house very often. With tears in his eyes, Fiesco told us how grateful he felt for being there with us, for having us be there with him, and for being able to walk again, read again, speak again.