López León proposes fine arts school & creative/tech industries center for former Luchetti School
By John McPhaul
Sen. Rossana López León, the Popular Democratic Party candidate for mayor of San Juan, proposed Thursday to create a municipal school of fine arts and a center for creative and technological industries on the premises of what was formerly Madame Luchetti High School in Condado.
López León pointed out that if elected mayor, as soon as January 2021 she will officially request that the central government transfer the facilities to the Municipality of San Juan to carry out the proposal.
“As has happened with so many other closed schools in Puerto Rico, in San Juan we have a magnificent opportunity for development,” López León said in a written statement. “This school, founded in 1906 on land donated by Luisa Monsanto, known as Madame Luchetti, should always have had a master of fine arts school, as was her intention.”
“Despite calls from the school community, the administration of [former Gov.] Ricardo Rosselló and [former Education Secretary] Julia Keleher closed it and the agency that currently owns the land, be it the Department of Education or the Department of Transportation and Public Works, has allowed the deterioration [of the property],” the candidate said. “My commitment is to reverse that and promote creative industries and job creation.”
“There are countless things we can do there. From the creation of architectural models, industrial crafts, performing, culinary and visual arts, the development of advanced software, graphic design, fashion, music and publications, among others,” López León added. “According to data from the Census Bureau and United Nations …, there are already 2,355 creative industries in Puerto Rico. As a candidate for mayor of San Juan, I am ready to lead this transformation of Luchetti, in alliance with the community, volunteers, private companies interested in investing, and agencies of the state and federal governments.”
In 2014, Puerto Rico formally defined the creative industries sector with Law 173, the Law to Promote Creative Industries.
“As a senator, I know that law in detail; I voted in favor of it and it is a tool with great potential,” López León said. “Some people still have the impression that the creative industries are limited to the arts and [yet] there is much more that can be done, such as the development of technology. It is a matter of having the interest, adequate planning, generating ideas and carrying them to their successful execution.”