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Three CUNY Colleges Celebrate The 500th Anniversary Of Havana

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Three CUNY Colleges Celebrate The 500th Anniversary Of Havana

Three colleges from The City University of New York - Hostos Community College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The City College of New York - in collaboration with the School of Visual Arts (SVA) will celebrate the 500th anniversary of the founding of the city of Havana.

Scheduled for Nov. 12 through Nov. 15, 2019, the program will consist of a series of seminars, walking tours, a film screening and a concert. "La Habana 500: A New York Salute to a Timeless City" explores the arc and trajectory of the city's fascinating story, identifying and exploring points where Cuban and United States history intersect.

The program will focus on four major themes: the founding and early history of La Habana; the rise of Cuban nationalism and the relationship between La Habana and New York City; the efforts to restore La Habana and establish a trajectory for future development; and the role of New York City, especially the Bronx, as an incubator of Cuban music.

"The role New York City has played in the history of the Caribbean cannot be understated, and our city remains a fundamental cornerstone of that ongoing shared story," said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. "It gives me great pride to know that CUNY is marking this milestone for the magnificent and resilient Havana. The programming of La Habana 500 is another example of CUNY's vital role in our city's rich cultural life."

"Like New York City, Havana is a cultural epicenter, and it has finally received the renaissance it so deserves," said School of Visual Arts Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes. "SVA is proud to partner with CUNY on this exciting slate of programming for La Habana 500 that will no doubt introduce the city's fascinating history and promising future to the next generation."

La Habana 500 hosts prominent figures of academia like Alejandro de la Fuente, professor of Latin American history and economics at Harvard University, and author of Havana and the Atlantic in the Sixteenth Century; Jerry Carlson, chairperson and professor at the Department of Media Communication Arts, The City College of New York, and a specialist in narrative theory, global independent film and the cinemas of the Americas. At the CUNY Graduate Center he is a member of the doctoral faculties of French, Film Studies and Comparative Literature and a Senior Fellow at the Bildner Center for Western Hemispheric Studies; Lisandro Pérez, professor of Latin American and Latinx Studies at John Jay College, and author of the acclaimed Sugar, Cigars and Revolution: The Making of Cuban New York; Nancy Raquel Mirabal, director of the U.S. Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Maryland and author of Suspect Freedoms: The Racial and Sexual Politics of Cubanidad in New York, 1823-1957; Marta Gutman, professor at the Spitzer School of Architecture of City College of New York, architect and architectural and urban historian; Dick Cluster, co-author with Rafael Hernández of History of Havana; and folklorist Elena Martínez (City Lore, Bronx Music Heritage Center). The closing night HAVANA JAM, features bassist/violinist/ composer Yunior Terry, a member of one of Cuba's most gifted musical families, directing an all-star salute to honor the 500th anniversary of the founding of La Habana and its musical heritage. Yunior Terry leads his band, Son de Altura, featuring vocalist David Oquendo, with special guests, flutist extraordinaire Eddy Zervigon, the acclaimed song stylist Gema and piano virtuoso Adonis González.

To access the full program, click here and for more information and to register for the walking tours, call: 718-518-4410, or Email:

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