Venezuelan National Guard Smashes Protester’s Violin

Last month, we learned about Wuilly Arteaga, a 23 year old protester in Caracas, Venezuela, who was plays his violin during demonstrations against government crackdowns. On May 31, 2017, the young musician had his violin smashed by a Venezuelan National Guardsman.

BBC, CNN, and FoxNews have published reports about the incident and it appears that during a protest, a guardsman approached Arteaga on motorcycle, wrestled his violin away from him and smashed it. There is a heartbreaking video on Twitter recorded immediately after the incident showing Arteaga in distress, holding the damaged, and now unplayable, violin.

The BBC article includes some extraordinary photos of Arteaga playing his violin during protests, one of which shows him alone, in front of a phalanx of government troops clad in riot gear.

Attempts to raise funds for Arteaga are underway but it is unclear if he is able to access those funds or locate a replacement violin.

You can learn more about Arteaga via a pair of articles published on 6/4/2017 by 2001.com.ve and LaRazon.com.mx.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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