HAVANA TIMES — Cuba’s National Council for the Performing Arts, an institution under the Ministry of Culture, gave its support to the cultural project “Opera in the Street,” which was recently questioned and punished by some political and administrative bodies on the island.
The communiqué*, dated July 28, says that “the office of the president of the National Council for the Arts informs that the Lyrical Theatre Company and the Opera in the Street Performances will maintain their activities such as a funded community cultural project.”
That office recognized that since 2006 at the Arenal Cinema and since early 2011 at its current location, this artistic company has staged “performances, workshops for children, activities with educational institutions and social organizations, and activities for children lacking parental protection.”
The statement concluded by saying: “This work has contributed to increased recreational options for the community and for the education of the public” and that “on August 25th the Opera in the Street Company will perform at the Karl Marx Theater.”
Such recognition of the cultural work of Opera in the Street puts into question the accusations of “enrichment” that were used to shut down the premises where they performed and ran a restaurant that allowed for the program’s self-funding.
The National Council of Performing Arts considers the company so important to the community that it intends to continue subsidizing it. The problem is that government assistance is so limited these days that only part of the company’s expenses can be covered.
In any case, Aquino received the news as positive because it “demonstrates that they believe in us as a cultural project and as people.” However the decision doesn’t resolve the basic problem: the funding of the Opera in the Street Company (which before came mostly from their restaurant).
(*) Information from the National Council for the Performing Arts
July 28, 2012
The Office of the President of the National Council for the Performing Arts reports that the Lyrical Theatre Company and the Opera in the Street Performances will continue their activities as funded community cultural projects at their usual site (on 4th Street, between 7th and 9th) in the Miramar neighborhood in the Playa Municipality.
On that site since April 2011 (and since April 2006 at the Arenal Cinema in that same municipality), this company has carried out artistic performances, workshops for children, activities with educational institutions and social organizations, and activities for children lacking parental protection, as well as having coordinated presentations of other artistic companies. This work has contributed to increasing the recreational opportunities for the community and for educating the public.
As previously announced, on August 25 the Opera in the Street Company will perform at the Karl Marx Theater.