CubaCon

Cuban Art and Culture Conference

in Provincetown Massachusetts

 

Thank you

I sincerely wish to thank the everyone who helped make CubaCon 2010 a great success.

CubaCon Staff and Support

1. My wife Stephanie deserves a lot of credit and "mil gracias" for helping out in so many ways and for her tolerance as she deals with my Cuba addiction :-) Also, my daughters Cassidy and Olivia who helped out in many ways before, during and after the conference.

2. Attendee/assistants Diane Stradling and Linda Simon for their help with some of the logistics tasks that helped make this a great conference for everyone.

3. The Provincetown Tourism Office, Provincetown Business Guild and Provincetown Chamber of Commerce were very gracious representatives of Provincetown and all welcomed me and CubaCon to town as far back as January when most of this conference was still just an idea.

4. Lastly, I’d like to mention the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in South Yarmouth. We had our first Learn About Cuba seminar there in September 2008. I knew I needed easels at the conference in order to display art for sale and for the merchandise for the Cuban art and memorabilia auction. The Center lent us all the easels I needed so I could exhibit the great Cuban works of art.

CubaCon Presenters

There were plenty of reasons to come to this Cuban art and culture conference like the art for sale, art auction, food, dance party, location, attendees etc but I think the Presenters deserve the most credit. Roughly, in order of appearance:

  • Mavis Anderson - Latin America Working Group
  • Rick Schwag - Caribbean Medical Transport
  • Dick Cluster - author of History of Havana
  • Peter Swanson - CubaCruising.net
  • Jeanne Lemkau - author of Lost and Found in Cuba
  • Jerry Guidera - Cross Cultural Studies
  • Maria Lopez - Cuban Artists Fund
  • DJ Saoko - Cuban dance music
  • Susan Wrynn - Ernest Hemingway Collection
  • Mary-Jo Adams - Finca Vigía Foundation
  • Jauretsi Saizarbitoria - Director of East of Havana
  • Tracey Eaton - Journalist who lived and worked in Cuba
  • John H. Pilling - Havana Urban Design Charette
  • Cathryn Griffith - author of Havana Revisited
  • Michelle Wojcik - Galería Cubana
  • Sandra Levinson - Cuban Art Space

CubaCon Attendees

We would all be talking to ourselves if we didn’t have anyone in the audience. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the people in the audience. Since our second session was audience introductions I was able to "meet" everyone and learn about their experiences and interests. Every conference organizer would love to have such a high level of quality people in attendance. Thank you to everyone who attended. I hope you enjoyed the conference as much as I did and I look forward to meeting you again soon in the Cuba “arena”.

CubaCon Sponsors and Vendors

Provincetown Magazine was our largest sponsor and the company provided the food for the opening night reception, was very generous by putting Cuban art on the cover to help promote our conference and worked with us to produce a very creative four page, full color conference program.

Publisher Rick Hines runs a great business and Gerry O’Neil is an account executive that should be the model for sales reps for any business. Thanks also to editor Rebecca Alvin and the rest of the staff that had a hand in putting out yet another great issue. Provincetown is lucky to have Provincetown Magazine. Yes, they are a sponsor but this is not a paid advertisement :-)

Michelle Haynes from Cape Air said she was extremely interested to sponsor CubaCon from our first phone call together. I thank her and Kim Corkran for all their commitment to our success.

Stephen Mindich from Phoenix newspaper and La Planeta newspaper was very generous by providing advertising space in both newspapers while asking for little in return. I was happy to see Stephen come to the conference (and the dance party!) and I enjoyed his company and colorful demeanor.

Mike Lawrence from Frozen Beauty drove all the way up from Pennsylvania to display just some of his Cuban art collection which took up about five tables.

Burning of Bayamo by Manuel Mendive and Nike Girl by Tamayo

Untitled pieces by Fidelio Ponce

Mike’s personality is as unique and colorful as the original Cuban art that he displayed! What a great addition to the conference. I thank Mike for his time and contribution to the conference.

Luis Prendes is an artist from North Attleboro who brought three of his Cuba themed paintings for display. Luis is getting in touch with his Cuban roots. We thank him for using our conference to promote his art and we hope he learned a thing or two about Cuban heritage.

I also have to thank the many people who sent me some sample books and items to give away as door prizes along with several consignors who put their merchandise for sale in the Cuban art and memorabilia auction.

Provincetown Venues

What can I say about the venues? By far the most important was the host venue Crown and Anchor. They allowed us to set up early on Thursday and had everything a multi-day, multi-venue conference needs from the digital projectors and sound system to the table set up, breakfast and lunch on Friday and of course the outrageous dance party on Saturday night.

I’m not sure if business manager Rick Reynolds has a twin brother or not but I would certainly think so because Rick was always there for questions and solutions from morning to night and his assistance helped make this a much better conference for all involved. Thanks also to Chris for his help with all things electronic and to security and maintenance for their help with access and logistics. I see no reason why I would ever consider another host venue for CubaCon other than the Crown and Anchor.

Michelle from the Art House cinema was extremely gracious with her time and expertise and I look forward to working with her again soon.

Susana and Veronica from the Caribbean Corner put out a great Cuban lunch for all of us on Saturday and many attendees told me how much they enjoyed the lunch.

Michelle from Galería Cubana, who hosted the opening night reception, was a supporter of CubaCon from its genesis and I thank her many many times for her contributions to my… our, Cuban art and culture conference.

Judy Jalbert from IONA Print deserves similar praise. She loved the idea from the day I met her and her energy was always a motivating force moving the conference forward.

Provincetown Lodging

The Crown and Anchor is not just the best conference facility AND nightclub in Provincetown, it also features 18 hotel rooms, many of which were booked by conference attendees.

I know people also stayed at the Moffett House, Prince Albert Guest House, the Norse Wall house and others. Thank you to these lodging establishments for making our guests your guests.

CubaCon Press and Comments

Cathryn Griffith, author/photographer of Havana Revisited has some kind words for the conference "Congratulations on doing such a great job of organizing CubaCon. The high quality of the presenters and the range of topics appealed to people who know the island well and also to people who hope to visit Cuba for the first time. Cuban food, music, art and films made the weekend a tremendously rich experience."

CubaCon 2011

We are planning CubaCon 2011 for Thursday June 9 through Sunday June 12 in Provincetown. CubaCon 2010 was a Cuban art and culture conference. From the feedback I recieved, people want to know about traveling to, in and around Cuba so I'm leaning towards CubaCon 2011 being a Cuban art and travel conference.

If you are interested to be a Sponsor, Vendor or Presenter, please let me know.

 

 Page 2 -- Cuban Art Day and Cuba Movie Day                  Page 1 -- Opening Night and  Cuba Culture Day