The New Cuba Arts Connections is a program of The Foundation for a Civil Society (FCS) (a US 501 ©3) that is seeking partners to promote arts exchanges and connections with Cuba. It encourages exchanges of artists, invites Cuban arts administrators and professionals, curators, photographers, conservationists, administrators to major US institutions and sends arts professionals and artists from the US to Cuba. It is funded by private individuals and foundations. It works within the regulations of the US and Cuban governments.
DIPLOMACY THROUGH CULTURE
The Foundation for a Civil Society (FCS), doing business as the Foundation for Culture and Society (FCS) and its President Wendy W Luers and her husband Ambassador William Luers recognize that, during this period of normalization with Cuba and the US, Culture provides the space where common ground is found easily and has a real impact on official and civil society. Ambassador Luers negotiated the opening of the Cuban and US Interest Sections in 1977 when he was Acting Assistant Secretary for Latin America.
We are conducting a three part program with Cuba which commenced in 2015 with our trip to visit Ambassador Jeffrey de Laurentis in Havana.
- Bringing major Arts Figures to Cuba
- From March 8-12, Frank and Harriet Stella were in Havana speaking at the Museo de Bellas Artes, our partner the Ludwig Foundation and visiting art schools and artists. His visit.As a direct result of this visit, a major retrospective of Frank Stella’s work is planned for April 2018 at the Museo de Bellas Artes at their request: The first in over 50 years.
- November 16-20 hosted esteemed sculptor Joel Shapiro in Havana and another group of collectors. He, too, spoke at the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Ludwig Foundation. And visited San Alejandro and ISA art schools and graduate programs.
- April 1-6, acclaimed artist and photographer Carrie Mae Weems will do programs and visit with artists and photographers in Matanzas and Havana. Again we will bring a group of collectors and people of influence.
- FotoFest 2016 and FotoFest/FCS/Cuba
- In March, FCS provided scholarships for two Cuban women photographers Cirenaica Moreira and Leysis Quesada as well as Ricardo Viera, professor and Director of the Lehigh University Art Gallery to Houston for FotoFest Meeting Place and Portfolio Review. There were 500 photographers and 150 reviewers from 34 countries participating in 4 sessions.FCS sponsored FotoFest co founders Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin trip in April with Wendy Luers to Havana to plan future programs. They presented FotoFest Intenational at the Ludwig Foundation April 2 to a large group of artists and photographers. They also reviewed portfolios.
- FotoFest/FCS Workshops in Cuba – July 2016—organized with UNEAC – the Union of Artists and Writers with Professor Ricardo Viera in Matanzas, Santa Clara and Havana. Approximately a hundred photographers, curators and arts professionals participated. Professor Viera has been invited to return in Summer 2017.
- FCS/FotoFest Program for FotoNoviembre with Fototeca, Havana, November 16-20, 2016. FCS sponsored Wendy Watriss & Fred Baldwin, Ricardo Viera, and Luis Delgado, a successful and multi-faceted Mexican American artist based San Francisco to do workshops, fora and roundtables.
- Cuban Arts Professionals to US
We will bring directors, curators, collection managers, archivists, conservators, registrars and other arts professionals for professional exchange at major US institutions. Most all we have spoken with have agreed to invite someone if we will facilitate the vetting and arrangements.
Culture is civil society.