CubaPLUS Magazine

The ISA, a University for the Arts

By: Amanda Bedia
Feb 07, 2024
The ISA, a University for the Arts

It is not a contradiction, when we say ISA we refer to the acronym of the Higher Institute of the Arts of Cuba, founded on the first of September 1976, and also called by the feminine form University of the Arts, a center that radiates culture dedicated to professional training of workers in the sector full of beauty and inspiration that is the artistic, so much redundancy is worth it.

Initially it operated with three faculties, but in ordinary days It has four and was installed in original constructions whose beautiful architecture was designed in the early 60's of last century, built from 1960 to 1965, based on the proximity from an old recreation center.

The three initial faculties of course were Music, Plastic Arts and Performing Arts, becoming three basic pillars during a very fruitful, enriching career and why not, challenging. Although starting in areas near the Quibú River, near the exclusive neighborhood of Cubanacán, in Havana, used the installation of the old Country Club of the local bourgeoisie, five were soon built very specific and different structures harmonized with the specialty to which they were dedicated.

It is worth recognizing the talent and technical level of architects Ricardo Porro, Vittorio Garatti and Roberto Gottardi, whose projects today are admired as finished. There the greenery of the tropical flora contrasts with buildings with rasilla roofs of a warm red, while interior patios and Galleries become links between the most advanced and the traditional.

For example, the Faculty of Plastic Arts with its Catalan domes shows voluptuous elements reminiscent of female breasts, Fallopian tubes, vaginas, the overflowing sensuality of the Tropics... Although there were times when the magnificent facilities of the institution suffered the passage of time and use, today there is a serious effort trying to reverse such wear and tear. The place continues to impress with its beauty, the climates of creation that they create, the knowledge that they make available, in the most creative work of hundreds of young people from all over the country. And that is ultimately the most important thing: the content and not the continent, although no one ever underestimates the role of the environment, and especially when it comes to the art world.

Since 2018, the ISA has the services of the Juan Formell Honorary Chair, in tribute to the exceptional Cuban musician and author, founder of the great Van Van orchestra. Of the enormous prestige and convening power achieved by the ISA during its existence, the experienced cloisters speak professionals that he has been able to count on, made up of what is most valuable and shines in the firmament of all the artistic disciplines of the Island.

And also, its many results say, the plethora of new talents and trained professionals, all with the undeniable seal of having received quality training at the highest level, no matter what difficult times and material limitations have been surrounding them. That the University of the Arts of Cuba is a place of growth and encouragement to the gifts of the human being, no one should doubt it.

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