National Festival of Amateur Artists

The National Festival of Amateur Artists, held in Havana on 12 and 13 August, became an opportunity for new talents to grow, after two decades without being held at this level.

Young singer Alfredo Torres Cruz, a representtive of the Las Tunas Amateur Artists MovementLas Tunas, Cuba.- The four participants from Las Tunas (Alfredo Torres Cruz, Antonio Reyes Borges, Emily Gutiérrez López, and this reporter) exchanged in different spaces as representatives of the territory in the expressions of music and literature. The El Curita Park, the El Fanguito community, the Joseíto Fernández cultural center, the Alejo Carpentier Library, and the Lázaro Peña Theatre hosted the performances of our fellow countrymen.

Although the event was not competitive, the quality of the presentations was appreciated, and among the joys with which the delegation returned to the Balcón de Oriente was the awarding of the National Category to singers Alfredo and Antonio, the highest evaluation given by the Consejo Nacional de Casas de Cultura (CNCC by its acronym in Spanish).

Talk Poetry and Experimentation, included in the Festival programThe talk Poetry and Experimentation, given by Rito Ramón Aroche, with the accompaniment of Julio Mitjant and Yosvel Hernández, was attended by the Minister of Culture, Alpidio Alonso, who urged that the Debate Meeting of Literary Workshops be resumed in all the provinces, at the municipal and provincial levels, as from this moment onwards the competition will return on a national scale.

"The workshops are the continuity of the literary movement in this country. We have to give them life and get established writers to join in. We must get to know the tradition of our language, the Cuban tradition, and, in particular, the Cuban poetic tradition. We should be proud of that," he said.

Other equally useful spaces made up the agenda; among them, the panel How to Identify a Good Translation, led by Israel Domínguez, which brought us closer to the complexity of a profession that is often undervalued, because - as this poet and translator said: "It is not enough to know two languages. Translation is an art and, like any art, it requires skill."

The Lázaro Peña Theatre hosted the closing gala, with the presence of Cuba's deputy prime minister Inés María Chapman, Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, secretary-general of the Cuban Workers' Central Union(CTC in Spanish), and other authorities. The workers' leader presented the 80th Anniversary Seal of the CTC to the dance group Nuestra América (Villa Clara), the art instructor Mario Pelegrín (Pinar del Río), and the National Council of Cultural Centers.

Thus ended the event dedicated to the 97th birthday of Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro and the 45th anniversary of the System of Cultural Centers; with the satisfaction - in addition - that it will be repeated in alternate years. As announced to the press by Diango González Guerra, president of the CNCC, it is foreseen that by 2025 it will have a competitive character and will be - equally - an expression of the best creations of our Movement of Amateur Artists.

National Festival of Amateur Artists