Arts, Music, and Culture

Faculty-led or custom academic program

A jazz concert on a Havana rooftop, a salsa lesson in a notorious studio hidden down an obscure alleyway, a tour of altars venerating the deities that exhibit the hybrid of Cuba’s cultural heritage, or a private tour of a renown painter’s seaside gallery-farm-home, these are all essential elements of an Arts, Music, and Culture academic program with Son Dos Alas.

Cuba is a unique country in the Caribbean known for its history, culture, gastronomy, music, and arts. Cuban society is a rich tapestry of African, Spanish, and Native American cultural influences and its multidisciplinary arts reflect this historical and cultural syncretism. The capital of Cuba, Havana, is a bustling metropolitan Caribbean city full of opportunities to explicate artistic and cultural concepts. Entrepreneurship, design, architecture, musical composition, paintings, literature, and lively entertainment all make Havana an excellent destination for an academic study of Music, Arts, and Culture in the Caribbean.

Our Arts, Music, and Culture in Cuba study program includes visas, lodging in Cuban homes with local families, two meals per day (breakfast and dinner with host family), one laundry washing per week, boiled water, and local transportation to all programmed events.

Arts, Music, and Culture in Cuba programs designed and operated by Son Dos Alas have included academic lectures with national scholars on the following topics (all programs are customizable; some conferences may be subject to change based on availability):

- "Being a Cuban artist", the social individualism of an artist, our historical context, culture and the process of transculturation
- Criollos. New World dynamics of Cuban identity, the implications of national arts on economies and responsibilities.
- Cuban cinema, the Cuban Institute for Cinematographic Art and Industry, the Foundation for New Latin American Cinema, and the School for International Film and Television and their influence on Cuba’s international collaborations.
- Painters of Cuba: Lam, Pelaéz, Portocarrero, Mendive, Fabelo, Choco, KCHO, and many more.
- El Son, la salsa, el mambo, la rumba, and the influences of the U.S. music in contemporary Cuban music
- Modern sculptors of Cuba: ceramic, marble, wood, bronze
- “El Paquete”, offline digital media arts and distribution

Arts, Music, and Culture in Cuba programs designed and operated by Son Dos Alas have included the following cocurricular visits (all programs are customizable; some locations may be subject to change based on seasons or accessibility):

- Visit to the Superior Arts Institute (ISA)
- Visit to the National Union of Authors and Writers (UNEAC)
- Showcase and workshop with National Folkloric Dance Company
- Visit Alicia Alonso Theatre and Ballet Nacional de Cuba
- Callejon de Hamel, live outdoor music, tour of religious altars, and dance
- Private, secluded, or reserved seating at a local Jazz concert
- Visit home musical recording studioVisit Areito/EGREM national state recording studio
- Visit to the Cuban Institute for Cinematographic Arts and Industries (ICAIC)Visit to Fundación de Cine Latinoamericano
- Visit to private artist’s studio (KCHO, Choco, Aguilera, Mirabal, amongst others)
- Salsa, casino or Afro-Cuban folkloric dance lessons at Casa del son
- Visit to Habana Compas dance studio (with showcase)
- Private curatorial tour of the Fabrica de Arte Cubano
- Rum tasting with bartender from Association of Cuban Bartenders
- Cooking class (held at El Ajiaco in Cojimar or Arte Chef in Vedado)
- Art gallery tour of Havana
- Visit to the editorial house Casa de las Américas
- Arte -Corte, Barbershop Arts Cooperative in Old Havana
- Old Havana’s San Jose Art Fair to meet and interview vendors
- Visit to Cuban Institute for Radio and Television, media arts
- Visit to a VISTAR Magazine photo shoot to learn about the digital magazine and marketing/branding industry
- Dinner and discussion at painter Michel Mirabal’s seaside Finca Calunga art gallery
- Seaside Educational Excursion

All custom academic programs also include visits to museums (all programs are customizable; museums may be substituted):

- Museum of the Revolution
- Fine Arts Museum
- Havana’s El Morro Fortress System
- Museum of Cuban Religions
- Denouncement Memorial
- Finca Vigía, Ernest Hemingway’s home
- National Music Museum
- House of Africa
- Literacy Museum with tour of Liberty City pedagogical complex

Delegations may also include a day trip or overnight excursion outside of Havana.


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