Every year the Cuba Pavilion in Havana is filled with the greatest cultural manifestations. Located in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana, on La Rampa, the Pavilion is host to varied events throughout the year, and is only steps away from the Hotel Nacional. This year the Cuban Arts Fair opened on July 1st, and ended on September 18th. The event featured music and dance, paintings and sculptures, with a few conferences and other activities mixed in. This was the events 17th year, and was hosted by the Cuban Foundation of Culture, the Hermanos Saiz Association, and various institutions from the Cuban Ministry of Culture. Open to the public Tuesday to Friday from 2;00pm to 8:00pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 8:00pm. This is event has always been a great way to escape the boredom of daily life during Havana’s long, hot summer.

The programming this summer was varied, and the opening act this year was a presentation by the La Colmenita Children’s Theatre Group. Directed by Tin Cremata, the sister of movie director Juan Carlos Cremata, of Viva Cuba fame. The festival was extended this year, so that its closing days could merge with the opening of the Habanaarte 2016 exposition, currently in its third year. Havana locals look forward to the opening of Cuban Arts Fair because of the great art presented, and also because of the many items for sale, ranging from texiles, wax, clay, shoes, furniture and books. The Fair featured musical presentations by several musicians and musical groups, including David Blanco, Ray Fernandez, Alain Perez, Ivett Cepeda, Andy Rubal, and one of my favorites, Interactivo. Alongside the music there were presentations by authors, and workshops for children.

Ove the course of this summer the fair became a scheduled activity for me, and I was even required to go for job related matter on several occasions. I was not only entertained there, I was able to escape the drudgery of Havana’s summer months.

By Clao York

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