Fundación Amistad
2000 Annual Report

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Table of Contents

President's Letter

Academic Exchanges and Programs:

Environmental Exchanges and Programs:

Medical Exchanges and Programs:

Casa de las Americas:

Community Outreach and Capacity Building Programs:

Arts and Cultural Exchanges and Programs:


Detailed information for the above projects is available upon request.

President's Letter

Dear Friends:

As Fundación Amistad enters its fourth year, our work with Cuba and the United States continues to flourish. Fundación Amistad has experienced tremendous growth within the past year and will continue undertake diverse projects all dedicated to fostering understanding and awareness between Cuba and the United States.

There are many reasons why we as Americans can benefit from bridging relations between our countries. Eventual trade relations and medical research, particularly cancer research, are two examples from which both countries can mutually benefit and learn from each other.

Fundación Amistad is Spanish for the "Friendship Foundation", and friendship is one of the most rewarding fruits of the programs and projects that we have implemented over the last three and a half years. Within that time, we have seen friendships between our American participants and their Cuban counterparts, which were made during some of our original projects, blossom into productive working relationships. This signals to us that we are on target with our mission, and in the coming years we hope to see the same positive growth continue.

The Annual Report for 2000 provides a glimpse at our current work and upcoming projects. I believe that many of our projects will have a positive impact on the lives of thousands of Cubans, particularly children. As these projects are being planned, ongoing efforts are underway to seek support for foundations and concerned individuals.

At this time, Fundación Amistad would also like to welcome its new Executive Director, Nicholas Robins, Ph.D. Dr. Robins brings years of Cuban academic experience to Fundación, as well as a sincere commitment to realizing our mission and vision.

I would like to thank the many friends, foundations, and other organizations that have contributed and supported Fundación Amistad. The need for our work is great, and I hope that we will continue to receive the support of old friends as well as new.

Luly Duke

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Academic Exchanges and Programs

One of Fundación Amistad's fundamental goals has been the dissemination of knowledge about Cuban history, culture and society. Fundación Amistad's academic projects stem from a belief that the promotion of interest and scholarship in Cuban Studies fosters understanding and awareness between the U.S. and Cuba.

Academic exchanges and programs are central to Fundación Amistad's mission of promoting awareness and knowledge of Cuban history, culture and society among the American citizenry. With this aim, Fundación took a leading role in organizing the Duke University Summer in Cuba Program in 1998, and was pleased to see it take root as a second group spent six intensive weeks in Cuba in May 2000. Students at Southampton College, Long Island University, also had an opportunity to learn about Cuba during a visit and lecture of Mr. Helmo Hernandez of the Ludwig Foundation. Academic exchanges will be the focus of the recently formed Cuban Studies Consortium as Fundación continues its commitment to promoting knowledge of Cuba among Americans.

The Ludwig Foundation at Southampton College, LIU

In November 1999, Fundación Amistad invited Mr. Helmo Hernandez, President of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, to give a lecture to students and the local community on the status of Cuban art and artists in Cuba. Mr. Hernandez's lecture included a history of Cuban art, with a focus on the period of the 1980's and 1990's.

The Ludwig Foundation of Cuba is a Havana based not for profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) that is dedicated to preserving and promoting Cuban art and artists within Cuba and abroad. The Foundation not only promotes traditional visual arts, but also works with artists in filmmaking and theatre. Since its inception the foundation has sponsored various series of shows and exhibits.

Duke University Study Abroad in Cuba Program

In May 2000, The Duke University Summer Study Abroad program returned to Cuba to study at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba. The group was lead by Professor Orin Starn of the Duke University Department of Anthropology. At Casa de las Americas, the group completed Spanish language courses as well as courses in Cuban and Caribbean history, culture, and literature.

This program was first organized by Fundación Amistad in 1998.

Projects Under Development

Cuban Studies Consortium

One of Fundación Amistad's most exciting new projects is the Cuban Studies Consortium (CSC). The CSC will strengthen Fundación's mission of promoting sustainable academic and cultural exchanges, collaborations and dialogues between Cuba, the United States and Canada.

By working together, members will be able to significantly leverage their resources by co-sponsoring events, speakers and programs, as well as sharing the most up to date information on Cuban academic and cultural issues. The Consortium will also offer consultation services to members on individual program development.

The Consortium will foster and coordinate a number of programs including:

Organizations eligible for membership will include accredited colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, corporations, and professional and cultural associations in North America and Cuba.  [ top ]

Environmental Exchanges and Programs

An important part of Fundación Amistad's mission is to enhance environmental programs which have a profound impact on communities within Cuba, as well as the global community. Fundación hopes to continue its community-based work in environmental protection/conservation, as its past projects have proven to mutually benefit both the natural and human elements within Cuba.

The environment is something that transcends borders and affects us all. By increasing people's awareness of, and fostering efforts to preserve, the environment, Fundación has advanced its educational mission. Last year, this was done by leading a delegation of environmental educators to Cuba, through youth exchanges and workshops, and through provisioning eco-classrooms in Cuba. Future projects include organizing environmental lectures and workshops and the development of "green schools" in Cuba.

Delegation of Environmental Educators

Fundación Amistad organized a delegation of outstanding professionals in the field of environmental education, including: Dr. Norman L. Christensen, Dean and Professor of Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment; Ms. Cynthia Thomashow, Co-Director of the Center for Environmental Education and Professor at Antioch College; and Dr. Robert James Wallace, Director of The Harbor Academy for Environmental Studies and the Arts at Boys Harbor in East Harlem, New York. Our Cuban hosts were Enrique Dalmau and Dolores Rico of the Cuban Environmental Information Management and Education Center.

In February 2000, the delegation met with professionals from government agencies in Cuba that set environmental policies and toured several facilities, such as Cuba's Metropolitan Park, the National Zoo, the National Aquarium, the Museum of Natural History, and the Sierra de Rosario Biosphere Reserve. These organizations educate the community about the environment and advocate preservation, conservation, and the study of the land and atmosphere.

As a result of the delegation's consultations with Cuban professionals and educators at these institutions, a detailed report was generated, with several recommendations for improvements and future collaborations. This exchange was made possible through a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

The "V Jornada Cientifica Infantil: Los Niños de Hoy por el Mar del Futuro"
(Children of Today for the Ocean of the Future)

In an exchange developed from the February 2000 Environmental Educators Delegation's trip to Cuba, a student delegation of inner-city children from Boys Harbor, Inc., Harbor Academy for Environmental Studies and the Environment, attended the "V Jornada Cientifica Infantil: Los Niños de Hoy por el Mar del Futuro" in conjunction with the Acuario Naciónal de Cuba. The group, composed of 5th and 6th graders, had been studying fresh water pond and salt water coastal and bay ecology through their work at the Harbor Academy in Central Park and at the Boys Harbor Camp located on Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton, NY. The students presented their class work and the methodologies they use at their respective grade levels to children, teachers, and professionals at the conference.

While in Havana, the student group also gave a workshop at the Parque Metropolitano for students, teachers, and school administrators on their studies in Central Park. The goal of this workshop was to demonstrate to the Cuban educators and children the Harbor's use of an urban park as a powerful setting and tool for environmental education. The goal of the exchange was to promote this type of community project Parque Metropolitano and in other urban parks throughout Cuba. This exchange was made possible through a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Cuban Environmental Educators Summer Environmental Studies Exchange

Fundación Amistad invited three Cuban educators and staff members from the Parque Metropolitano de la Habana and other institutions, who are either directors or specialists in the educational programs of their institutions, to visit the United States to attend the Wildlife Conservation Society's "Habitat Ecology Workshop for Teachers" at the Bronx Zoo and at the Boys Harbor Camp Program in East Hampton, NY.

At the Wildlife Conservation Society's week-long workshop, the Cuban educators explored various methods for teaching "hands-on" environmental education. The Cuban visitors were impressed by the choices and independence children are given in choosing the topics they want to study.

The Boys Harbor Summer Science camp focuses on the marine ecosystem that surrounds the camp and teaches children to observe, measure and quantify different properties of the ecosystem, and emphasizes environmental awareness and values. While at the camp the educators collected rock samples and educational materials to bring back to their students in Cuba.

The knowledge that these educators acquired will hopefully impact the future summer experiences of Cuban children thereafter. The Cuban educators were also able to meet with other organizations that emphasize environmental education such as the Bronx Zoo and The Museum of Natural History in New York City. This exchange was made possible through a grant from the General Services Foundation.

Eco-Classroom at the Parque Metropolitano de la Habana Initiative

The Parque Metropolitano (Metropolitan Park) is the most important project of the three most major public-works projects being currently undertaken in Havana. The main objectives of the Park are to: (1) increase environmental awareness, (2) promote environmental education, (3) create environmental responsibility within the community, (4) promote the reforestation of indigenous tree species, (5) and promote sustainable agriculture. The Park itself crosses four of the municipalities of the City of Havana.

During Fundación's February Delegation's visit to the park, they observed a small "eco-classroom" lacking many of the education tools found in standard classrooms. The spartan classroom contained only informational posters and a single slide projector.

Fundación Amistad is assisting the "eco-classroom" obtain scientific and educational materials and equipment that will allow them to undertake a more modern and comprehensive approach to environmental studies and education for children and the community. Technological equipment will include computers, printers, microscopes, a digital camera, and other high-tech accessories.

The ultimate goal of this initiative is to help the "eco-classroom" become a comprehensive learning center for environmental education and awareness. Fundación Amistad believes that this equipment will enable the staff members of the Park to successfully implement the knowledge and skills they learned during their visit to the Boys Harbor Summer Camp and Bronx Zoo.

During August 2000, Fundación Amistad was able to begin obtaining these supplies. This exchange was made possible through a grant from the General Services Foundation.

Future Projects

Environmental Lecture and Workshop Series in Havana

Fundación Amistad is proposing to address Cuba's environmental issues by conducting a series of lecture and workshops open to all students, educators, policymakers, and professionals in the environmental field. Each lecture will focus on a topic of environmental significance and will address methodologies and planning for the future conservation and sustainable use of Cuba's natural resources.

Within Cuba, there are 11 national nature biosphere preserves, each one a distinct ecosystem with unique flora and fauna found only in Cuba. Within the majority of these biosphere preserves are human settlements. This situation poses a difficult situation for those who want to preserve biodiversity and yet still offer sustainable economic develop for the rural people living there, who are often land-dependent and impoverished. With its rapidly growing tourism industry, Cuba is struggling to find the balance between its most important economic sector and its environmental conservation and preservation needs.

This initiative is poised to have a positive impact on the future on environmentalism in Cuba. It is significant that this series will be open to undergraduate and postgraduate students in Cuba, as they are the future teachers and policymakers. The current university student body in Cuba is very concerned with the environment and the development of eco-friendly, socio-economic opportunities for their country's future and growth.

Topics for this series will include:

The budget for this project is $132,000.

Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra del Rosario

Fundación Amistad would like to develop capacity building programs for the various community and educational sustainable development projects currently in place at the Sierra del Rosario Biosphere Reserve in Pinar del Río.

Fundación Antonio Nuñez Jiménez de la Naturaleza y el Hombre ("FANJNH")

Fundación Amistad would like to work with Roberto Pérez of the FANJNH to implement the development of five "green schools" over the course of five years. A "green school" incorporates environmental education into the curriculum and physical school setting. The goal of this project is to emphasize to the future generations of Cubans, the importance of the global environment, as well as the uniqueness of their own ecosystems. This project would be a joint collaboration between Fundación Amistad, FANJNH, the Center for Environmental Education, and Boys Harbor's Harbor Academy for Environmental Studies and the Arts.  [ top ]

Medical Exchanges

Assisting the disadvantaged has long been a focus of Fundación's efforts in Cuba. Last year, Fundación continued to expand its efforts in this area through sponsoring a training program for professionals to work in schools on topics concerned with the mental health of youth, and through sponsoring visits of health professionals to the United States to develop exchanges in this area. Future initiatives include the visit to Cuba by a delegation from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"Towards a Happy Adolescence in the Year 2000" Program Implementation

In 1999, the Christopher Reynolds Foundation made a generous grant to Fundación Amistad in the amount of $25,000 to implement a new program titled, "Towards a Happy Adolescence in the Year 2000", at the Clínica del Adolescente in Havana, Cuba. Fundación Amistad has worked with UNICEF to coordinate the project with the Clínica. Since its inception, the program has been a success throughout the schools and the communities it services.

The program, which is headed by Drs. Elcida Alvarez and Elsa Gutierrez, has trained more than 20 professionals to work in schools on the various issues surrounding child and adolescent mental health. The grant also allowed the Clínica to purchase much needed equipment and also implement an after-school program for children.

Fundación Amistad received official recognition from UNICEF for this project and its commitment to adolescent mental health. As a result of Fundación's accomplishments in this field, UNICEF now includes adolescent needs in their program agenda, achievement for the benefit of children around the world.

Adolescent Mental Health Exchange: Dr. Cristóbal Martínez

As part of Fundación Amistad's long standing commitment to child and adolescent mental health, Fundación invited Dr. Cristóbal Martínez, the head of the Cuban National Child Psychiatry Group to conduct a professional exchange of information between various child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other child mental health workers in February 2000.

Dr. Martinez visited The Harbor for Boys and Girls, a community-based social services agency, and its Mental Health Services Division, and the Child Study Center at New York University Medical Center in New York City. Meetings were also held with the Adolescent Health Center at Mount Sinai Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, and with Dr. Clarice Kestenbaum of Columbia University a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Dr. Martinez learned, gained from these consultations, an in-depth understanding of your social services in the U.S.

Dr. Calixto Machado's Visit to Duke University Medical Center

As part on an on-going collaborative effort between Dr. Carmelo Graffagnino of the Duke University Department of Neurology and Dr. Calixto Machado of the Cuban Institute of Neurology and Neuro-surgery, Dr. Machado was invited to be a scientific guest at the Duke University Medical Center for several weeks during June 2000. Both doctors share a number of common professional interests, including the intensive care treatment of patients who have suffered a stroke. During his stay the doctors were able to initiate a research project utilizing 3 dimensional topographical EEG to map cerebral ischemia in patients with vasospasm following subarachnoid hemorrhage.

In May of 1999 Dr. Graffagnino visited Dr. Machado in Cuba to explore the utility of hypothermia therapy for acute stroke which is a promising field of research. The two doctors successfully exchanged valuable information and experience, as well as explored ways to implement their knowledge of Cuban realities.

Cuban Congress of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Havana, Cuba

In June 2000, Fundación Amistad sent Dr. Elsa Morse and Dr. Elissa Zelman to participate as part of the North-American delegation to the first Cuban Congress fully devoted to child and adolescent psychiatry. The conference included lectures, workshops and visits to community-based mental health clinics. Many of the American lecturers were members of Fundación's January 1999 delegation of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry that visited Cuba. Fundación is pleased to note the development of such subsequent, independent projects from one of our past projects.

"Towards a Happy Adolescence" Six-month Program Evaluation

In addition to attending the "Towards a Happy Adolescence" Congress, in June, Drs. Elsa Morse and Elissa Zelman conducted an reviewuation of the Clínica del Adolescente's program, "Towards a Happy Adolescence in the Year 2000". Both doctors are staff members of the Boys Harbor's Mental Health Clinic and familiar with community and school based mental health programs. They concluded that the program is being well managed and is a valuable asset to the communities they service. Their findings were published in a report given to Fundación Amistad and will serve as a guide to continue to achieve program excellence.

This exchange was made possible by an anonymous donor.

Radiology Exchange: Dr. Fernando García Yip

In July, 2000, Fundación Amistad invited Dr. Fernando de la Concepción García Yip of the Radiotherapy Department at the Instituto Naciónal de Oncología y Radiobiología de Cuba to attend the World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, known as Chicago 2000, held in Chicago, Illinois from July 23 - July 28, 2000. Dr. García Yip also participated in the pre-Congress Summer School, "Nuevas Técnicas en Radioterapia" at the University of Chicago. As a result, Dr. García Yip was able to learn important up-to-date information in the field of radiology to share with other Cuban doctors.

This exchange was made possible by John D. Knox.

"Towards a Happy Adolescence" Program Expansion

In July 2000, Fundación Amistad received a grant to further expand the program into more schools and to help train teachers and other child mental health workers. To date, over 150 children have been helped through the transition from childhood to adolescence. Many more are in line to be helped by this program.

By expanding the program into more schools, the Clínica can reach even more children and teenagers. The Clínica would like to expand the program into another five schools over the year and train another 20 professionals.

Based on the success of this first phase of the program, the Clínica staff is developing a formal curriculum for the schools of child and adolescent mental health issues. Dr. Gutierrez is authoring a book titled, "Adolescence: Life Phase 13 -19". The book will include topics that both teachers and children have chosen as being relevant and meaningful to this crucial period of human development.

This project was made possible by a grant from The Christopher Reynolds Foundation

Future Projects

American Academy of Pediatricians Cuban Initiative

This project is a collaboration between Fundación Amistad and the American Academy of Pediatrics ("AAP"), Committee on Policy for School and Health Issues ("COSH"). Fundación would like to bring a delegation from COSH to Cuba from November 6 - 13, 2000. The delegation will meet with health officials from the Ministry of Public Health, the Ministry of Education, educators, administrators, pediatricians, and family medicine doctors. The group will visit schools and clinics, such as the Clínica del Adolescente in Havana, and other Cuban entities.

COSH is composed of six pediatricians and representatives from Organizations such as the American Medical Association, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Association of School Nurses, the American School Health Association, and the American Association of School Administrators.

Fundación Amistad believes the delegation's emphasis on school health policy will impact the school health system in Cuba and directly complement the work of the Clínica del Adolescente, which has been working with Havana area schools on the subject of mental health for children and adolescents.

Fundación Amistad is seeking Foundation underwriting for this project. The budget for this project is $15,000.  [ top ]

Casa de las Americas Projects

The Casa de las Americas and Fundación share a long relationship, one that continues to grow with a focus on building and sharing an awareness of Cuba internationally. Emerging from the relationships developed during the Duke in Cuba program, Fundación and Casa have expanded their collaboration. Last year, Fundación organized and sponsored a Needs Assessment Study and developed a Resource Development Training Program, which will be critical in the preservation and development of Casa's bibliographic holdings. In addition, Fundación sponsored the visit of two officials of the Casa library to the US to attend the REFORMA conference and visit several libraries. Future projects include a series of capacity building workshops and a competition for the design of a new library for Casa.

Casa de las Americas Overview

In early January 2000, Fundación Amistad received a one-year grant from the Ford Foundation to implement the following projects at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba.

Casa de las Americas was founded in 1959 to serve as a repository for the works of Cuban and Latin American intellectuals. For many years, Cuban writers, artists, philosophers, and historians have contributed to Cuba's social, educational, and cultural development and/or to the development of other Latin American cultures. Casa provides a venue for the Cuban and Latin American public to exchange ideas about different cultures, research cultural issues, and participate in educational and cultural programs and activities.

Casa currently houses the works of the following intellectuals: writers Mario Benedetti, Alejo Carpentier, Ezequiel Martínez Estrada, and Camila Henriquez Urena; playwright Manuel Galich; and contemporary artists Carlos Cruz Diez, Mariano Rodríguez and Alfonse Soteno. Several writers who have been associated with Casa have received the prestigious internationally recognized book prize "El Premio". Others such as Camilo José Cela have received the Nobel Prize. Finally, writer Gabriel García Marquez has been intimately involved in activities at Casa de la Americas and portions of his work have been preserved there.

Currently, Casa de la Americas comprises the following programs, serving thousands of constituents:

Visual Arts Program, "Artes Plastiques": Operates three galleries, one of which houses a permanent collection donated by Latin American artists. The other galleries feature contemporary art.

Theater Division: Features some of the best theatrical material in Latin America. The Theater Division holds at least one major event each year by a Latin American playwright. Recently, both Chilean and Colombian works were presented. The Theater Division also publishes a magazine entitled "Conjunto."

Music Division: Produces a major concert each year. The Music Division also periodically publishes a magazine entitled "Bulletin."

Library: Contains more than l60,000 volumes of books, 50,000 periodicals and over l5,000 files with information about creative personalities and their works and the history of Latin American and Caribbean culture. The library also houses a vast array of microfiche, microfilm, slides, records, cassettes, videos and compact discs, maps, photographs, posters, other archival collections. The archival department also actively contains an extensive collection of personal letters, manuscripts, and visual art from many writers and artists that have been associated with Casa de la Americas since its inception. Internationally, the library is considered the most complete in its profile of Latin American and Caribbean information concerning the second half of the 20th century. The Library also has a rare book collection from the 17th and 18th centuries. Many of the books are first editions and signed by the authors.

Publishing Division: The Casa book publishing arm has been sponsored by the government of Colombia in a project titled ProCultura. Casa serves as a repository for manuscripts from Latin American and Caribbean writers.

Casa de las Americas Library Needs Assessment Study
January 31 - February7, 2000

The Library at Casa de las Americas is a treasure for Latin America and the Caribbean, but many of its resources are inaccessible, under-utilized and in need of conservation at this time. Casa de las Americas has run out of space in its current library due to design constraints and has been forced to place many of its valuable and irreplaceable collections and materials in a storage warehouse, where these materials are inaccessible. Fundación Amistad proposed that a Library Needs Assessment Study be conducted to determine the future needs of the Library.

Fundación Amistad selected Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates (HHPA), a U.S. architecture, interior design, and planning firm located in New York and Los Angeles, to conduct the study.

The team from HHPA consisted of Ms. Jean Marie Gath, Senior Associate, Director of Planning and Programming and Mr. Stephen Johnson, AIA, MRAIC, Associate Partner, Director of HHPA Library Group, Project Advisor.

During the assessment, the team gathered information on the building and the various collections. They also held meetings with the library staff to determine needs and goals for the future.

Afterwards, HHPA produced a report for both Fundación Amistad and Casa de las Americas with their recommendations for Casa's space need and suggestions for next steps. The report also outlined suggestions for Casa to construct a new library building to better accommodate their future needs.

The information learned from the assessment is vital for the future of the library as it will allow Casa de las Americas to make its diverse resources more readily available to scholars, researchers, and the public. As a result, Casa has gained direction and set goals for the future development an modernization of the library.

Casa de las Americas: Resource Development Training Program
April 10 - 15, 2000

In 1999, Fundación Amistad President Luly Duke and an exploratory delegation from the Ford Foundation met with the executive and operational management of Casa de las Americas to discuss the need and viability of a resource development training program. As a result, a program was designed to help Casa de las Americas achieve its most pressing goal, which is to develop and modernize the library at Casa de las Americas.

The resource development training program was designed to help teach Casa the means to secure funding not only the future of the library, but also the future of the organization as a whole through prudent and effective policies and fundraising.

Fundación implemented a week long comprehensive training program led by Michael Seltzer, former Acting Chair of the Nonprofit Management at the New School University and a team of professional consultants and educators in the fields of non-profit management, resource development and fund raising.

The team worked directly with approximately 20 of Casa de las Americas' staff members. The program consisted of workshops, seminars, and presentations on the following topics:

Librarian Conference and Exchange

In August 2000, Fundación Amistad organized an exchange for two members of the Library at Casa de las Americas to travel to the United States and attend a conference on library services and to meet with important libraries, museums, and universities throughout the U.S.

The participants of this exchange were Ernesto Sierra Delgado, Director of the Library at Casa de las Americas and Orlando Oliva Iglesias, Technical Services director for the Library.

They participated in the REFORMA (National Association to promote Library Services for the Spanish Speaking Population) Second National Congress on The Power of Language: Planning for the 21st Century in Arizona. Mr. Sierra Delgado gave a presentation at the Congress about the library at Casa de las Americas.

After the Congress, Fundación arranged for visits with museum, library, and conservation specialists at the Metropolitan Museum of Art - Paper Conservation Department, the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the New York Public Library, the Schomberg Center, the Leo Baeck Institute, the Hispanic Institute, the Duke University Perkins Library, and the Library at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

As a result of this exchange, the two librarians were exposed to new information and techniques that will help the Library at Casa de las Americas address their urgent needs for conservation and modernization. This exchange was made possible by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

Future Projects

Library Science Workshops Series

Based on Fundación Amistad's prior work with the Casa de las Americas Library, Fundación Amistad is proposing to organize and hold a series of lectures on various topics pertaining to library science at Casa de las Americas in Havana, Cuba. The workshops will be open not only to Casa's library staff but also to other librarians in the Havana area.

Fundación Amistad has proposed workshops in the following topics:

Among the other organizations Fundación Amistad proposes to work with are the Northeast Document Conservation Center, Duke University Library, the University of North Carolina Library, REFORMA (The Society for Promoting Library Services to the Spanish Speaking Population), and Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates.

The commencement of this lecture series is being planned for February 2001. Fundación Amistad is seeking Foundation underwriting for this project.

Library Design Competition For the New Library at Casa de las Americas

Fundación Amistad together with Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates is proposing to arrange and coordinate an open, national competition to enable Cuban architecture students and architects to design a new building that will hold the new library and other facilities at Casa de las Americas. The purpose of the competition is to encourage all students and architects from each of the Cuban provinces to participate in the rebuilding of Cuba. Casa represents one small part of Cuba; however, the competition will encourage participants to become involved in preserving Casa and its treasures.

Fundación proposes to arrange prizes for the winning design and the two runners up. The prizes will consist of travel to other libraries and internships at various prominent national or international architectural firms.

Fundación Amistad is currently awaiting approval from Office of Foreign Assets Control, U.S. Department of the Treasury. The budget for this project is $185,000.  [ top ]

Community Outreach & Capacity Building Programs

In its efforts to promote community outreach, Fundación Amistad launched two new projects in 2000 aimed at capacity-building in both the Cuban-American and Cuban communities. Fundación believes that progressive change can be achieved through positive community organization and activism.

Increasing American's awareness of Cuba involves giving voice to those who have until now lacked it. The Voices of Change Program is a pioneering effort in this regard, a forum for giving voice to Cuban-Americans who seek more open relations with Cuba and better relations with the Cuban people. Another community outreach program is providing baseball equipment for primary schools in La Guinera community, located outside of Havana.

"Voices of Change: Looking Towards the Future" Lecture Series

From August 2000 - April 2000 Fundación Amistad will be holding a discussion series in cities throughout the United States for Cuban-Americans titled, "Voices of Change: Looking Towards the Future". The purpose of this series is to give Cuban-Americans who are interested in promoting more open relations with Cuba a forum to express their individual perspectives to other moderate and conservative sectors of their community in a friendly and professional environment. The long-term goal of this program is to connect and integrate Cuban-Americans into a comprehensive and organized network with the purpose of fostering a positive rapport between the Cuban people and Cuban-Americans.

Fundación Amistad wants to contribute to the empowerment of politically marginalized Cuban-Americans whose independent views on relations with Cuba have not been heard in the policy-making community.

It is important to note that the opinions expressed at the Voices of Change meetings represent a diversity of beliefs and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Fundación Amistad, or any one organization.

The first Voices of Change meeting took place on August 14th, 2000 in New York City at the River Club. Father José Conrado Rodríguez, a Catholic priest from the Iglesia Santa Teresita in Santiago de Cuba was the guest speaker. Father Conrado's talk focused on the importance of mutual understanding between Cubans of the island and Cubans in the United States.

La Güinera Community Baseball Initiative

In June 1999, Fundación Amistad sent a delegation to the community of La Güinera, an indigent community of 24,000 residents located on the outskirts of Havana. Fundación's delegation studied the community center's various programs designed to address the special needs of its young people. At that time, the community leaders expressed the desire to begin organizing baseball teams as a healthy recreational activity for its youth, but they noted the lack of equipment as a serious obstacle. As a result, Fundación Amistad has been collecting baseball and other sports equipment for La Güinera's six primary schools and two secondary schools.

In August 2000, Fundación Amistad launched a collection campaign in the East Hampton community of Long Island, New York. The enthusiastic response of the local community was reflected in both volunteers, equipment, and monetary donations. 

Fundación Amistad is still accepting new and used baseball/softball equipment as well as any other sports equipment. The transportation of the equipment for this project has been made possible by the generous support of Marazul Charters, Inc.  [ top ]

Arts & Cultural Exchanges and Programs

Cultural outreach has been a priority in Fundación Amistad's work in 2000. Both Cubans and Americans have been able to work together for the promotion of artistic statement and appreciation. While policy may continue to divide the two countries, artistic statement in music, visual art, and architecture, has served to unite the two countries.

Culture and the arts not only represent societies, but also build bridges through education about those societies. Projects in this area include a production of the Hunchback of Notre Dame, to be held at the García Lorca Theatre, a translation project of architectural books, and participation in the 7th Havana Art Biennial. Future projects include a visiting artists exchange program.

Hunchback of Notre Dame Production

This timeless story is the subject of a new opera, the premier of which is being developed as a joint American-Cuban artistic event. Koerner Kronenfeld Partners is the American producers of this work and the Consejo Naciónal de Artes Escenicas is their Cuban counterpart. Byron Janis, universally regarded as one of the world's greatest pianists, has composed the music, and Hal Hackady, a prolific writer for television, film, and Broadway, has written the lyrics.

An American delegation traveled to Havana for a week in October 1999 to meet with officials and with performers, musicians, designers, and choreographers from all over the country. Fundación Amistad President, Luly Duke, traveled with the group as a consultant for this unique and meaningful exchange between American and Cuban performing artists. The premiere of this production is slated to take stage at the García Lorca Theatre. The production of this event is still in need of underwriting.

Architecture Book Project

Fundación Amistad has become involved in a project to print two very important architecture books in Spanish for use by Cuban architects and architecture students. These books will provide information to architects, students, and other professionals, who have had few new books to read on architecture, planning, and Cuban architecture itself in the last decade.

Selección o Destino, by Leon Krier, will serve as the principal textbook on traditional town planning. The second book, Principios Para Diseñar Pueblos y Ciudades by Andrés M. Duany of Duany, Plater-Zyberk and Company, is directly relevant to the traditional architecture of Cuba. Both authors have donated their rights, and also paid for the translation and graphics.

The book will be made available for architects, scholars, students, planners, and other interested persons in Cuba. It is planned that the book will be sold through UNEAC (Unión Naciónal de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba) at a price of $2 USD per book. The proposed publication of 4,000 books is planned for early 2001.

Seventh Havana Art Biennial

The 7th Havana Art Biennial has been arranged by the Wilfredo Lam Art Center in Cuba through UNESCO and will take place in November 2000. This year's event has been titled, "Closer to the Other", and over 170 artists, designers, and architects from more than 40 countries are expected to participate.

Fundación Amistad has invited various professionals and members of the art community to attend the Biennial and participate in moderated working sessions, which will be open to individual participation and round-table discussions. In additional to the official Biennial events, Fundación Amistad in conjunction with the Ludwig Foundation has arranged an organized visit for the group to Cuban galleries, studios, and cultural events throughout Havana.

Future Projects

Visiting Artists Program

Fundación Amistad in conjunction with the Ludwig Foundation would like to begin a "visiting artist" exchange program for both Cuban and American artists. The visiting artists will lecture and participate at a university or arts institution for a period of several weeks for the purpose of promoting both Cuban and American art in both countries, as well as an information and cultural exchange.  [ top ]

Donors for the fiscal Year 1999 & 2000

June 1, 1999 to August 2000

Fundación Amistad is very grateful for the support of individual donors as well as the following foundations and corporations.

The Arca Foundation
Arthur Ross Foundation
The Christopher Reynolds Foundation
Church of St. Paul the Apostle
Joseph F. Cullman 3rd
Kathleen M. Doyle
Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.
Olga C. Duke
The Ford Foundation
Helena Fraser
General Services Foundation
The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc.
Katz Family Foundation
Mr. Jack D. Knox
The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
The Daniel M. Neidich and Brooke Garber Neidich Foundation
Joseph Perella
Pfizer, Inc.
Mary Anne Schwalbe
W.P. Carey & Co, Inc.


Luly Duke, President and Founder
Nicholas A. Robins, Ph.D., Executive Director
Martha Reichert, Executive Assistant
Marcela Salazar, Research Fellow

Board of Directors

Luly Duke, President and Chair
Anthony Drexel Duke, Vice President
Peter Honerkamp, Secretary
Thomas LaGrassa
Nicholas A. Robins, Ph.D.
Hortensia Calvo
Olga Cabrer Duke
James Early
Manuel Gonzalez

Advisory Board

Marlene Hess
Elena Pisa
Raquel Suarez
Silvia Fernandez
Micho Spring

How You Can Help

Additional Information and Individual Contributions

For information about Fundación Amistad or any of our projects or to inquire about making individual donations, including stock gifts, please contact Luly Duke, President, at (631) 324.1596 or [email protected]. You can also visit our website at www.fundació

Please send your tax-deductible contributions to:

Fundación Amistad, Inc.
Post Office Box 177
East Hampton, NY 11937
Tel: (631) 324.1596 Fax: (631) 324.6345

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Fundación Amistad (The Friendship Foundation) is a 501(c)(3), not for profit organization created in 1997.