Located in southern Chile in the Los Lagos Region, Frutillar (pop. 11,500) bears witness to a 150-year vibrant musical history. Referred to as the Chilean Bavaria, the city retains deep influence from German settlers from the 1850s that strengthened music as a fundamental motor of social life. As a result of a strong community commitment, the city is home to one of the oldest music festival in Latin America, Semanas Musicales de Frutillar (Frutillar Musical Weeks) held in the Teatro del Lago (Theatre of the Lake).
Every summer for the past 50 years, the Semanas Musicales de Frutillar attracts an annual audience of 50,000, or four times the local population, and offers an extensive programme of 40 concerts showcasing 400 artists. Local community is highly supportive and mobilised for the event. The Teatro del Lago also hosts year-round national and international events as well as raising cultural awareness and organising training programmes for young people, most of which are free. This includes the Escuela de las Artes, which is the most important local initiative in the field of music education. In 5 years, more than 4,400 young people benefitted from this programme.
With 21% poverty rate, Frutillar ranks among most vulnerable areas within the Province of Llanquihue and finds in cultural-led development a lever to provide better welfare system. The implementation of the Sustainable Development Plan PLADES has further pursued this vision by placing culture and the arts within social, economic and environmental strategies. This plan was a result of a participatory approach of citizen consultation and aimed to build a more inclusive and responsive development initiative. The Municipality, together with the private sector, academia and civil society, have consolidated this plan in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As a Creative City of Music, Frutillar envisages:
- strengthening quality education in the field of culture, as well as raising awareness about the contribution of culture to sustainable development;
- implementing the Frutillar Produces Music programme, aimed at generating incentives for the music industry, through the creation of the Casa de Ia Musica (the House of Music) and engaging national and international artists;
- establishing the Pueblo de Oficios Creativos (Creative Crafts Village) in the new Civic Centre, showcasing cross-cutting approaches between local crafts and music;
- implementing the Strengthening Social Integration programme, aimed at generating resources to support creative initiatives highlighting social inclusion, identity-building and cultural diversity; and
- creating an Observatory of Creativity, aimed at monitoring the impact of cultural investments on social well-being as well as providing information to the Network on effective tools and methodologies for measuring and observing the benefits of living in a Creative City.