July is a great time to visit Buenos Aires, the “Paris of the South.” The weather might be chilly, but the city heats up with a myriad of concerts, festivals, and exhibitions. Throughout the month of July, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture will be offering free tours to historical and cultural sites around Buenos Aires, a perfect addition to an Argentina travel itinerary.
One of these tours takes visitors to Usina del Arte (Art Factory), the city’s newest cultural space in La Boca. This former power plant turned modern art museum was recently inaugurated with a tribute concert to Astor Piazzola, Argentina’s premier tango composer, and features a symphony hall, dance stage, and rooms for visual art exhibits.
It is said that in the early 20th century, cartoonists flocked to Buenos Aires in the same way writers did to Paris. Museo de Humor (MUHU) is another new museum that pays homage to the long tradition of graphic humor in Argentina, with works by more than 150 Argentine and international artists. MUHU was recently inaugurated in June 2012, with a 10 meter statue of Mafalda, Argentina’s most recognizable cartoon figure, standing by the entrance.
The museum is housed in the Edificio de la Cerveceria Munich, a historic building that was once a brewery, restaurant, and gathering place where notable figures such as Pablo Neruda would go to socialize. On weekends, visitors can partake in “Afternoons of music, tea, and beer” at La Munich, featuring musicians playing classical music as well as traditional tangos and milongas. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, the guided tour “De la Mujer al Humor” takes visitors on a walk through the trendy, revitalized Puerto Madero neighborhood, ending at MUHU.
The city’s many other museums and cultural events will similarly be offering guided visits, workshops, and cultural programs. For example, in addition to their regular exhibits, the Museo Casa Carlos Gardel will be offering tango classes, and the Museo de Arte Hispanoamericano will be hosting performances of baroque music.
For a full schedule of cultural events in July 2012 and beyond, see the Buenos Aires Agenda Cultural (English and Spanish): http://agendacultural.buenosaires.gob.ar/.