25 June 2018
Gustavo awarded Chile's Pablo Neruda Order of Artistic and Cultural Merit
In recognition of Gustavo’s commitment to sustaining Maestro Abreu's legacy and El Sistema-inspired model throughout Latin America and around the world, The National Council of Culture and the Arts (CNCA) of Chile has selected Gustavo to receive the Pablo Neruda Order of Artistic and Cultural Merit, named after one of the artistic giants of Latin America, who was a champion of culture, education, and social justice. In many ways, Pablo Neruda’s values echoes those of Maestro Abreu and the spirit of El Sistema.
A message from Gustavo about the honor:
Today I had the extraordinary, humbling honor of being inducted into the Pablo Neruda Order of Artistic and Cultural Merit. I would like to dedicate this distinction to Maestro José Antonio Abreu, and his legacy of providing access to art and beauty, as a universal right for all people. To quote Neruda: "You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep the spring from coming.”Art is the education of the soul.
Art unlocks the imagination, encourages creative risk and exploratory self-expression. Without Art, the human spirit dulls and we lose touch with the powers of creativity and imagination, that will unlock the discoveries and innovations of tomorrow.
We are here today among friends, remembering Pablo Neruda and José Antonio Abreu, to look beyond what divides us and unite in bringing beauty, joy, peace and learning to our children’s future.
And if many of us seek to sustain this vision and consciously, boldly, generously act in a manner that promotes it, we can and will transform this world - country by country, orchestra by orchestra and child by child. Any other path is unimaginable.
Thank you all.