A Message from the Director:
Come spend a magical week with the creators of La Semana Cubana as we celebrate our 5th Anniversary with Cuba: Una Ventana Abierta al Caribe/ Cuba: A Window Open to the Caribbean! This year’s project reflects the work of five years of travel to Cuba and meetings and interviews with artists, poets, writers, dancers, photographers, musicians and community members. Many aspects of this year’s celebration display elements of Cuban community and culture including the days and nights of carnaval and the well-known Fiesta del Fuego. The organizers of La Semana Cubana are extremely pleased to have visiting artists Eira Arrate, Grettel Arrate, Estela Estevez and curator and culture expert Saily Rivas Hung from Santiago de Cuba and Havana as distinguished guests this year. In addition, we are very excited to showcase new artwork from graduates of La Academia de Artes Plásticas José Joaquín Tejada in Santiago de Cuba as well as paintings by students in Jesús Carrete’s art therapy program, Amor y Esperanza (Love and Hope), a program he started ten years ago for children and young adults with Down Syndrom in Pinar del Río, Cuba. The incredible amount of talent that La Semana Cubana is able to bring to our community this year is the result of the continued support of local Bay Area Cuban performers as well as trips to Cuba during which time we have forged friendships and interpersonal relations with a diverse group of experts in different aspects of art, culture and tradition. This year’s program is dedicated to the Orisha Elegguá, he who opens and closes the paths that we follow. Elegguá has danced before us for the last five years, forging the way for La Semana Cubana with his trusty garabato de guayaba (branch from the Guava tree). This project is completely supported through grants and private donations from businesses and individuals. We hope to continue to receive support from grant opportunities and our generous donors. Our program grows each year as our vision grows. What started as a way to bring the Cuban culture and traditions to the Tri-Valley five years ago is blooming into a year-round project. Thank you for sharing in the celebration with us this year.
General Director, La Semana Cubana