Casa de Las Americas

Casa de Las Americas, a prominent cultural and educational institution located in Havana, serves as a repository for the work of Cuban and Latin American writers, artists, philosophers and historians. Since 1998, Casa de las Americas has hosted a summer study abroad program co-sponsored by FA and Duke University, which this year included a six-week, two-course program immersing undergraduates from Duke and other colleges in Cuban society and culture. This initiative inspired the Joint Cuba Program at Duke, an institutional agreement between the University and FA that will incorporate the summer abroad programs with campus-based programs for faculty, students and staff that include cultural and artistic events, academic exchanges and conferences on other topics relevant to Cuba.

Parallel to its educational program, FA has implemented a series of workshops and seminars designed to help Casa de Las Americas and its world renowned library -- considered to be the most complete profile of Latin American and Caribbean books, periodicals and information about the last half of the 20th century – develop the organizational and conservation skills needed to support its mission and goals. As a result of these workshops and seminars on collection management, collection preservation, preservation disaster responses and techniques, institutional resource development and conservation techniques, Casa is becoming increasingly self-sustaining. FA is currently working to bring Casa staff to the U.S. to participate in internships at The New York Public Library and libraries at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The Smithsonian Institute.

Fundación Amistad will use the “Casa Template” to serve other vital, non-governmental organizations that comprise Cuba’s rich matrix of cultural institutions. Havana is home to over 50 museums and cultural centers who face many of the same issues that were addressed by FA at Casa de las Americas. Organizations who will be invited to participate in future workshops include Office of the Historian of Havana; National Museum of Music; Institute of History; Ruben Martinez Public Library; Jose Marti Public Library; National Archives of Cuba; Institute of Literature and Language; Center for the Development of Cuban Music; Museum of Natural History; and the Fernando Ortiz Museum.




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