Martinsville, Virginia


Piedmont Arts presents The Last Ice Merchant and Andes Manta at Rives Theatre

Piedmont Arts presents The Last Ice Merchant and Andes Manta at Rives Theatre
Celebración de las Artes events highlight Ecuadorian culture

As part of the museum’s celebration of Latin American arts and culture,                                                                                     Celebración de las Artes, Piedmont Arts will hold a screening of Piedmont Artsthe short film, The Last Ice Merchant, along with a demonstration of traditional Andean instruments by Ecuadorian band, Andes Manta, at the Rives Theatre on Thursday, November 19.

The Last Ice Merchant tells a story of cultural change and indigenous lifestyle through the perspectives of three brothers who have dealt with change in different ways.

Twice a week for over half a century, Baltazar Ushca has hiked up the slopes of Mount Chimborazo, the tallest mountain in Ecuador, to harvest glacial ice that covers the highest altitudes of this dormant volcano. In the past, up to forty ice merchants made the journey up the mountain to mine ice; today, however, Baltazar works alone. Even his brothers, Gregorio and Juan, both raised as ice merchants, have retired from the mountain to find more steady work.

After the film screening, the Lopez brothers of Ecuadorian band Andes Manta—who composed the music heard in The Last Ice Merchant—will demonstrate the vibrant music of the Andes on traditional instruments, from the lyrical quena, or Andean Flute, to the haunting, six-foot-long pan-pipes.

Born into the cultural tradition of Andean music, Fernando, Luis, Bolivar and Jorge Lopez have been making music their entire lives. The brothers play over 35 traditional instruments, carrying on an authentic folk music tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation and can truly be called the voice of the Ecuadorian people.

Guests are also invited to enjoy a sampling of Ecuadorian foods and a cash bar with beer and wine.

The film screening will begin at 6 pm. The food sampling and music demonstration by Andes Manta will begin at 6:30 pm.

Tickets are $15 and are on sale at Piedmont Arts (215 Starling Avenue), by calling 276.632.3221 or online at

Andes Manta In-School Programs

As part of Piedmont Arts’ educational outreach program, Andes Manta will bring the vibrant music of the Andes to local schools November 17 – 19. Students from five schools in Martinsville-Henry County will participate in music workshops, including a pan-pipe making workshop for Martinsville Middle School students, which will take place at Piedmont Arts.

In-School Schedule

Tuesday, November 17
1:30 pm — TBA
3:30 pm — Pan-pipe workshop for Martinsville Middle School students at Piedmont Arts

Wednesday, November 18
9:00 am — Drewry Mason Elementary
1:30 pm — Patrick Henry Elementary

Thursday, November 19
9:00 am — TBA