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Many of us are the ones who once dreamed of studying at ISA, the Instituto Superior de Arte. From children and after youngsters we imagined ourselves graduates of this center. From these classrooms arose giants of art such as visual artists Roberto Fabelo and Zaida del Río and actors Corina Mestre, Luis Alberto García, Alina Rodríguez and Patricio Wood. For some the dream came true, for others we took other directions in life, dedicated to other areas of knowledge.
The ISA officially opened its doors in the 1976 school year. Prior to its foundation, the National School of Art (ENA) was in charge of graduating the artists. Until it became necessary to raise the level of ENA graduates. Since then, the Instituto Superior del Arte has taken on the third level of artistic education, graduating more than five thousand Cubans and hundreds of foreign artists.
One of the distinguishing features of the ISA are its buildings with arches and domes in red brick. The bare clay brick even covers the inner courtyards. The galleries connect the modern with the traditional of Creole architecture. It is a pleasure to stroll along its long curved corridors and vaulted rooms in the shape of a reclining woman. All this contrasts with the abundance of green of the natural vegetation.
Che Guevara, together with prestigious architects, conceived the whole project. His motivation was to create an art school that would train artists of all social classes without distinction of race or country. Five buildings were built in total, one for each artistic career, which is why the great variety of styles of the set. Although some buildings were not completed, this did not prevent the school from starting with three faculties: Music, Plastic Arts and Performing Arts.
Currently, the Instituto Superior de Arte has a fourth faculty: Art of Audiovisual Media. the ISA is considered the most important school for the arts on the island. It was nicknamed “Jewel of Cuban Culture” and the building has been declared a National Monument.
For many young people, it remains and will continue to be the place where an artist’s dreams come true.
For visit: 120 street Number 1110, b/ 9 and 13, Cubanacán, Playa (23.089684; -82.44755)
by: Leunam Rodríguez