The Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City. Photo: Christian Uziel via Twitter

Mexico’s Arts Organizations Assess Damages as Death Toll from Major Earthquake Passes 250

Following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico early Tuesday afternoon, leaving at least 250 people dead and countless others missing, arts venues are banding together to assess their damages and help those in need.

According to the New York Times, the natural disaster occurred around 1 PM and caused prolonged shaking in the capital. Its epicenter was located about one hundred miles from Mexico City, where around forty buildings collapsed, trapping people under rubble and creating chaos for emergency workers. It hit only two weeks after a more powerful quake, which registered at a magnitude of 8.1, killing at least ninety people and destroying homes in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

Terremoto, the free bilingual quarterly print and digital publication based in Mexico City, announced that its office and staff survived the quake. It also sent out an open letter informing people where they can donate to help those impacted by the disaster. The New York Times also compiled a list of international organizations providing aid to the country, which can be found here. Among the organizations accepting financial support is Topos México, a nonprofit created in response to the 1985 earthquake, which killed around ten thousand individuals.

Preliminary reports from the country’s arts community have also been rolling in. The Exhibition and Convention Center in Puebla is one among many venues that have been converted into temporary shelters. The Museo Nacional de Arte confirmed that rubble has fallen from the exterior of its building. While it has no structural damage, it will remain closed until further notice. Other institutions that will remain closed include the Museo Tamayo and the National Anthropology and History Museum, as well as many archaeological and historic sites. Museo Frida Kahlo has reported that it will reopen Friday, September 22.

According to Artnews, several Mexico City galleries, including ProyectosMonclova, Lodos, and Joségarcía, are urging people to donate to those affected. While many galleries have been spared by the disaster, many exhibition openings will be delayed and Gallery Week, which was slated to start today, has been canceled as a result. Cristina O. Nava of Gallery Week Mexico told Artnet that it will be “postponed until further notice,” and stressed that the situation is still developing.