MERCOSUR will Discuss Cultural Agenda in Paraguay

Asuncion, Jun 6 (Prensa Latina) Ministers and authorities of Culture of the countries of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) will meet from today in this capital to discuss and exchange ideas and projects in favor of cultural development in the region.

The organizers have scheduled for today and tomorrow the 46th Meeting of the Regional Coordinating Committee (RCC), while the main conclave of the meeting, the 43rd Meeting of Ministers and Authorities of Culture, will take place on Friday 8.

This MERCOSUR entity promotes the cultural rights of citizens, generating policies that promote social inclusion through actions which allow cultural enrichment.

It also promotes cooperation at the regional level, carrying out joint projects and programs in the different sectors, promoting the spread of knowledge of the values and traditions of the States Parties, as well as the dissemination of the artistic and cultural expressions of the bloc.

Paraguay received the Pro Tempore Presidency (PPT) of Mercosur Cultural during the 42nd Meeting of Ministers of Culture of the regional bloc, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the end of 2017.

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Symphonic Concert Opens Arts Festival in Cuba

A concert by the Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of the Arts of Cuba will inaugurate the 9th Arts Festival, an event by the high studies house to take place from June 11 to 17, according to the organizers.

The performance will be held at 21:00 local time and will be hosted by the capital's Mella Theater, where the Brazilian singer Fabiana Cozza will appear on stage as a special guest.

The festival, considered one of the most important events organized by this artistic school, will gather more than 600 local and foreign participants, said in a press conference the rector of the center, Alexis Seijo.

Aimed at establishing a permanent dialogue between the artistic expressions and promoting the work of young creators, the festival proposes an intense program for this edition that includes all art expressions placed in different parts of the city.

Students from universities in Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina and the United States will be present at the event, which includes stage presentations, exhibitions, audiovisual projections, competitions, lectures, master classes, work demonstrations and workshops.

The Bertolt Brecht Cultural Center, the Hubert de Blanck Theater, the Villena Hall of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, Plaza 31 and 2, and the Cuba Pavilion are among the main venues of the festival.

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Cuban President Recognizes Art as a Means to Forge Respect

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel highlighted the power of art and culture to forge relationships of respect when exchanging with artists who participated in recent events in Peru and the United States.

According to the president, during the People's Summit held last April in Peru it was demonstrated that there is a force capable of uniting Cubans: the identity; and it is time to defend it because in the world some try to fracture it in order to manipulate the history.

Artistic directors such as Elito Revé and Pepe Ordaz told how they performed in Lima, in the context of the celebration of the Summit, to defend their people there through music.

The Cuban president said that the presentations in Peru and the Festival Artes de Cuba that takes place since May 8 at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, prove that art is an irreplaceable space for communication between peoples. In the meeting with artists, held on Wednesday at the cultural center La Plaza, Diaz-Canel considered that the events put to the test the effectiveness of the Cuban system of artistic education and valued the role of art as a bridge builder, his contribution to mutual respect and peace, despite the differences.

The dancer, director, and choreographer Irene Rodríguez celebrated the excellent reception of the American public that awarded the artists with extensive standing ovations, while the singer and composer Zule Guerra highlighted the shared spirituality, good energy and great joy around the festival.

To her surprise, many people sang with them Feeling themes and Latin American Boleros.

The best way for the American people to know who Cubans are is to enjoy our art, said Lele Rosales, singer of the iconic orchestra Los Van Van.

The prejudices fell to the floor, the musicians believed that they were going to play in a very serious event, and when they saw people standing ready to move to the beat of the rhythm, the show overflowed with joy, because Cubans are like that, the artist said.

The members of the Miguel Faílde Orchestra assured that at the Kennedy Center Danzón was danced and they praised a group of casineros (dancers of the casino-style) existing in Washington and composed of people from different countries.

The event combines the different arts and visual arts was represented by works of Roberto Diago, Manuel Mendive, and Roberto Fabelo, contemporary dance by the company Malpaso, the theater by plays directed by Carlos Díaz and Carlos Celdrán, among other artists and events.

Artes of Cuba festival in the US capital will conclude on June 3 with presentations from the National Ballet of the Caribbean country, led by the legendary Alicia Alonso.

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Annie Garcés and the gift unsolved for everyone

Almost a year ago Annie Garcés sang in the National Theater of Cuba. That Sunday afternoon she did a travel by some ballad’s songs: she invited young singers and others very experienced ones, defenders of her same musical cause.

“She did it well, but she could do it better”, some people expressed while going out of the hot Avellaneda hall. “She is a very gifted girl and with a good future in the music”, the analysis of the concert, which was recorded in DVD format, concluded like that.

Some Saturdays ago, Annie Garcés sang in honor to women in the hall of the Building of Cuban Art Museum. That concert demonstrated, unlike what happened in the National Theater of Cuba, that the Annie Garcés’ confidence in her talent will make her to go forward in the Cuban music, and whenever it would be like that, the audience would be able to follow her wherever she sings.

Annie Garcés and the gift unsolved for everyone

People who attended to Annie’s concert in Bellas Artes enjoyed of a young woman with a control of the scene, with more confidence in what she said singing, with no stiffness in the wardrobe, whichmade her freer and less preoccupied of the poses at this time.

Annie Garcés danced a little in the Bellas Artes’ concert. She extended the hands, put them up, captured the sensitivities themselves and transmited them to the audience; she was seen enjoying more, she felt more motivated, less nervous, with no a lot of ornaments that maybe in the National Theater made her more beautiful and less expressive.

Annie will have the sincere applause of her audience while her shows have the sensibility and the simplicity of the paper butterflies placed in the walls as it happened in the Bellas Artes Museum’s concert and while her live repertoire has some song that moves her of her comfort zone and the audience realizes that.
If we make an analysis of the audience who attended to Annie’s concert in Bellas Artes we could have as a possible result that more than the half people which were there were older than thirty five or forty years of age. This conclusion, a priori, guesses that the artist has the support of a population group which according to the age, they have consumed music of artists from different epochs, and they can compare and determinate the best and the not so good things; however they follow the artist and fill the chairs of the theaters.

Annie Garcés and the gift unsolved for everyone

Then, the musical repertoire of Annie has to be analyzed, and probably could exist the possibility of her songs being singing also by the youngest which maybe recognize her talent, but they have lack of motivation for consuming her work.

We need a disc that compiles Annie Garcés’ music, a disc which the artist’s followers can have, and the directors of radio and television programs, in charge of spreading the work of our musicians, could use it for promoting the voice of this girl who sings so nice like the sound of a flute.

When that disc be finished, and we want it could be soon, surely there will be another concert in some theater of Cuba, and that achievement will be a gift for all.

By: Yoel Almaguer de Armas

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Preparations in full swing for Cuban Art Festival at Kennedy Center

Washington, April 6 (RHC) The John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts in the U.S capital is looking forward to opening its doors to those who want to embrace the Cuban culture, says Gilda Almeida, director of International Programming of that prestigious institution

In an interview with Prensa Latina news agency, Almeida said that preparations for the “Artes de Cuba” Festival the center will host from May 8 through June 8 are well underway.

“It is a lot of work, but there are many people making great efforts to make sure the festival is a success, and preparations are perfect”, Almeida said.

The artistic delegation, of some 200 members, will include some of the greatest ambassadors of Cuban Culture, including popular and classic musicians, dancers, painters, sculptors and theaters companies

Omara Portuondo, Pablo Milanes, Los Van Van, and the Cuban National Ballet are expected to participate in the Festival.

The Kennedy Center official said that the event is very important for her institution.

Almeida added that the Cuban culture is extraordinary, and that several trips were made to the island to select the participants in the Festival, and she expressed confidence in the excellence of the announced program.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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Cuban Culture Minister Highlights Recovery of the Sector after Irma

Havana, Dec 27 (Prensa Latina) Cuban Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto, stressed today that despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma, the country managed to reopen damaged art schools and save patrimonial objects.

In statements to Prensa Latina, Prieto recalled that the atmospheric phenomenon, the most powerful one formed in the Atlantic Ocean basin, caused damages to some 300 institutions of the sector located in provinces of the north coast.

It caused a lot of damage, in Havana the House of the Americas suffered the effects of the penetrations of the sea, luckily the training that people have in preserving the patrimonial objects, the equipment, allowed that the losses in that field were minimal; however, it was a hard blow to the institutional system, he lamented.

When making a balance of the recovery labors Prieto assured that in addition to restoring the schools, Cuba reactivated the cultural life in the damaged areas.

This meteor, which hit the archipelago in September, left 10 dead and caused havoc in homes, educational centers, hotel facilities, roads, among other sequels.

The response of the artists was very important, as in other occasions they created brigades to travel to the ravaged sites where there were affected people in shelters, people who had lost everything; they carried a message of solidarity, of spirituality and affection that is contained in art, the culture minister emphasized.

Despite Irma's lashes, he said, 2017 was full of successful events such as the Havana Film Festival, the International Handicraft Fair, Cubadisco, the Caribbean Festival, the Book Fair (celebrated at the beginning of the year) and the Romerías de Mayo.

About the prospects for 2018, the minister said that one of the challenges will be to guarantee the cultural life with rationality in the use of resources.

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A "Showcase" for the Guayabera

A traditional ranch of Sancti Spíritus city treasures a collection of Guayaberas that includes pieces of outstanding personalities of politics, art and sports… we paid a visit.

Santa Elena Ranch seats by the banks of Yayabo River, very close to the famous bridge. Everybody knows the bridge and river are Sancti Spíritus’s main symbols, one of the first Cuban villages. In this place welcomes for some years now one of the most popular and visited cultural centers of the city: the Guayabera House, dedicated to the promotion of a garment that identifies Cuba around the world, some even assure it was born in this area.

We won't enter the debate. The "paternity" has been granted to a few, here and abroad. But the truth is that so far the guayabera is already an unquestionable part of our cultural identity. It is the "going out" clothes of "peasants" (some of them anyway, since it’s difficult to find many differences between the ways of the city and those of the countryside) and the piece of clothes by excellence of protocol.

The House treasures the most important guayabera collection in Cuba… and probably of the world. Not only for the variety of designs and quality of the pieces exhibited, but by the relevance of the personalities the guayaberas belonged to. Just to mention a few names: there are guayaberas of Fidel and Raúl Castro, Gabriel García Márquez, Hugo Chávez, Alicia Alonso, Vilma Espín, Juan Almeida, Danny Glover, Miguel Barnet…

Some are exhibited at the center of the exhibition room. But the most representative pieces (which are also the most popular) already have permanent showcases.

All guayaberas are different: the "spectrum" of the fabrics, the colors, the designs, the tucks… is really wide. But the greatest distinction is the history they "tell". The guayabera worn by Fidel, for example, he wore it at the Ibero-American Summit of Cartagena de Indias, in Colombia, 1994.

The Guayaberas of Raúl, Fidel, and Juan Almeida.

It was a surprise for the world. Everyone expected the Cuban president appear with his traditional army uniform, but responding to a request of organizers, Fidel agreed to use a guayabera. No president was so photographed at that summit. That was the garment he used to go in a car ride with his great friend Gabriel García Márquez.

On display there is the guayabera worn by Alicia Alonso, Cuba’s prima ballerina in the celebrations for the 30th anniversary of the Cuban National Ballet, in 1978. Raul Castro’s guayabera a gift from Vilma, for his birthday…

Visitors have the chance to listen these and other stories. They can observe every piece. The collection is large, the exhibition is renewed every so often. On top of all that, they can appreciate the making process, because a tailor works in one of the rooms.

The largest Guayabera and some of the tiniest.

Carlo Figueroa the director (a known media man who have dedicated many years to the Guayabera House), he doesn't believe this House is a museum. “It’s a cultural center, with a patrimonial exhibition. Our intentions have always been to welcome a varied programme: exhibitions, concerts, fairs, presentations… Taking advantage of the excellent location, the beautiful view. Here we have options for everyone."

The Guayabera House is today a reference of the culture of Sancti Spíritus. One of the must-see places for those who arrive to this beautiful city of the island center.

Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff

Santiago de Cuba Prepares 37 International Festival of the Caribbean

Santiago de Cuba, Jun 29 (Prensa Latina) The House of the Caribbean prepares the 37th Fire Festival (Fiesta del Fuego), which will attract crowds with colors, taste and sounds from July 3rd to 9th.

The opening of the International Festival of the Caribbean will take place next Monday with an artistic performance at the Heredia theater, which will hold theoretical sessions, as well as music, theater and dance performances, along with plastic arts exhibitions.

In the whole city, dozens of indoor and outdoor areas have been arranged to host groups that work with traditional culture from Cuba and other countries from the Caribbean and Latin America.

The International Award of the House of the Caribbean will be granted to outstanding musician Marcel Mercera, from Bonaire, a Caribbean island to which the festival is dedicated.

Argentina, Germany, Bahamas, Brazil, Curacao, Spain, Guadalupe, Chile, Virgin Islands, Panama, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica, United States, Uruguay, Trinidad-Tobago and Venezuela are among the 21 countries that will participate in the festival, which will have the highest amount of participants from Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

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