Six Decades Teaching Art

Six Decades Teaching Art
Fecha de publicación: 
8 June 2022
Imagen principal: 

Artistic education is an achievement, pilar, and guarantee of the application of the nation's cultural policy. And Cuba, a country that (it should not even be repeated) endures the rigors of an economic crisis, exacerbated by a blockade, a country where resources are scarce, owns a consolidated system for this education.

Artistic education is perfectly articulated, from one end of the country to the other, assuming the peculiarities of each territory, meeting the needs of each manifestation, and completing the comprehensive educational scheme: from elementary to higher levels.

Undeniably, it can be said: few, very few countries in this region can show these credentials. To the point that many are amazed that there are so many art schools here. For many it’s like a dream.

It’s that Fidel Castro, who was the main architect of this authentic movement (just read his famous Words to Intellectuals), was a visionary. And a visionary is always a dreamer.

Sixty years since the founding of art schools: it will be understood that there’s expertise, sustained work, systematization... It’s perfectly possible to recognize the stages of this development. And of course, take on the challenges of contemporaneity.

We are talking about perfectible processes, as are all educational systems. It’s the dialectic. A study plan cannot be a museum piece. Renewal and updating are essential, taking into account the permanent evolution of art. That is a challenge.

There are others: the teaching staff. The ambition, which to some extent is real, is that the best Cuban artists (those who, of course, have the capacity) join the creative processes, become teachers themselves.

The smooth integration of all specialties, leaving behind many times capricious staleness is another permanent challenge. It’s necessary to insist on the social projection of teaching, emphasizing community work: there’s a lot of talent in communities, channeling it is another of the tasks of art schools. And for that it’s necessary to strengthen alliances with the culture houses, with the art instructors.

There is awareness of these challenges, which ultimately are opportunities. We insist: artistic education is a guarantee of the application of cultural policy. Without the schools it would be impossible to have this network. The natural creativity of a people also needs the drive of education.

A version of this comment was broadcast on the Cuban Television Cultural Newsreel.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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