The Friendship Association has been cultivating relationships with Cuba’s artists and artisans for over 20 years. From our associations with specialists in art, history, and culture, and through discussions on the issue of the uniqueness of the cross-fertilization that created Cuban culture we published several unique and informative books: Baracoa: The Painters’ Magic, the first documentation of the thriving local artists’ colony and the Tibaracón movement; Baracoa a través de su historia urbana y arquitectura, a necessary document on Baracoa’s crumbling architecture; Sabor de Baracoa: Su Cocina Tradicional, the definitive book on the exquisite culinary traditions of the area, as well as numerous other educational books.

The Friendship Association supports cultural activities that provide a unique opportunity for local artists, students, and art historians to learn about influences that have nurtured Cuban art forms; to have access to the necessary tools for expression of their art; and for opportunities to exhibit in other cities of Cuba as well as abroad.

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Limelight Theatre:

Music in the Box

September 27, 2015
Saint Augustine

A fundraiser for the Musicians Across the Straits initiative: a project that took local musical talent to Havana to perform in support of a local Cuban project that promotes awareness of the importance of the inclusion of intellectually challenged youth into society.

See Across the Straits

Cuban Sojourn – An East-West Fusion

Art exhibition and artists’ reception, The Studio at Gulf & Pine, Anna Maria Island (Sarasota), FL (February 1 – March 1, 2015)

Artwork that was on exhibit (PDF)

Cuban Imagination

An art exhibit of contemporary Cuban art from Oriente and beyond, New College of Florida, Sarasota (October 6-31, 2014)

A Summer of Cuban Art

Pink to Pink

October, 2015
In solidarity with cancer victims . . .

Visits to healthcare facilities and meeting with survivors in Havana, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad which will give us an opportunity to learn how the Cuban healthcare system works and is able to serve its people with limited resources.

We can bond, share experiences, and mitigate the suffering.

Cuba Sojourn

Open House  to meet with Dr. Ron Dixon and George Paidas who have just returned from a fact-finding mission to Cuba, and who will share their understanding about the recent developments in Cuba – US relations.

Cuba Sojourn provides an opportunity to view selections from our recent exhibit of original Cuban art held on Anna Maria Island.

Classicism and Preservation

Sunday, May 18, 2013
The Flagler Room, Flagler College

In partnership with the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, Florida Chapter

More . . .


Cuba Views – through Art, Graphics, and Photography

(April 28, 2013)

José Tovar House (on the grounds of the Oldest House
National Historic Landmark and The St. Augustine Historical Society)
St. Augustine, Florida

  • 4:00 pm:  Demonstration by Master artist Luis Eliades of his outstanding ink drawing technique. Artists are welcome to join him in sketching or drawing; others can watch and ask him questions.
  • 5:00 pm:  A Guided Walk through the Friendship Association Cuban art collection on exhibit.
  • 5:30 pm: The Rise of a Successful Cuban Graphic Artist. Pepe Nieto, leading young graphic artist, will share the story of his artistic career with visuals.
  • 6:00 pm: Art and Culture in Modern Day Guantánamo, a presentation by Jorge Nuñez Moto, President of the Union of Cuban Artists and Writers for Guantánamo province.

Meet Gloria Rolando

African American Film-maker – African-American Cultural Society, Palm Coast.

Cuban food!!

The Baracoa Archaeological Museum Project

Until the opening of the Cave Museum, the public had access to only a few of the many pre-colombian relics found around history-rich Baracoa – those housed in the Municipal Museum of Baracoa (Matachín). Now, with the help of the Friendship Association, more than 1,000 artifacts collected over the past 20 years by the Baracoa Archaeological Society (a non-governmental organization) are on exhibit.

More . . .

“1912 Breaking the Silence”

(March 15, 2013)

presented in Saint Augustine at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 7 p.m. March 15, 2013.

This is a documentary made by an Afro-Cuban Gloria Rolando, that resurrects the history of racism in Cuba and in particular the 1912 massacre of some 3,000 to 6,000 blacks in Santiago.

What political significance does race have in contemporary Cuba? What challenges does it pose for the Cuban government?

Neoclassical Havana

A lecture by Dr. Madeline Maenedez – and architect by profession who works in the field of historic preservation and the study of historic structures and urban centers for the National Center for Conservation, Restoration and Museology (CENCREM) in Havana, and for the Master Plan Office of the Historian of the City of Havana.

Lecture on neoclassical architecture in the 19th and 20th centuries in Cuba  – and our shared cultural patrimony . . .

Flight to Freedom – a North American saga

(January 8, 2013)

Presented by Professor Ralph Johnson.

Old Havana

October 6, 2012
Markland House

From the beginning of the Cuban colonial period and well into this 19th-century, wooden bitch ceilings, covered with locally made ceramic roof tiles, Where a characteristic feature of the architecture of colonial Cuba that protected exquisitely beautiful interiors . . .

Felicia Francisca Chateloin Santiesteban is a Doctor of Technical Sciences, Master of Historic Preservation, but first and foremost, she is an architect and professor . . .

Classical Cuba

November 5-7, 2011

Prof. Rafael Fornes from the University of Miami will talk on Classical to Vernacular: American Architectural Heritage in Havana.

Dr. Alicia Garcia Santana, from Havana, will speak on La Casa Cubana: The Traditional Colonial Cuban House.

Panel discussion on Why Cuba? Our Shared Cultural Heritage.

Reception and art exhibit by Cuban photographer Julio Larramendi.

Visiting Cuban experts speak on the renewal of old Havana

Monday December 6, 2010

Ana Lourdes Soto and Magda Resik,  offer a pictorial presentation and discussion on the rehabilitation and renewal of Havana’s historic center.

Shared Vision

The concept of a Photographers’ Exchange came from James Quine after his last visit to Cuba. He was struck by both the artistic quality and adverse conditions of the Cuban photographers and he fell in love with the coastal town of Baracoa – crying out to be captured in time through a photographer’s lens.

Read more (+ pictures)  . . .

Cuba – A Forbidden Friendship

Sunday, February 28, 2010
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Soledad Pagliuca and Len Weeks  tell the story of the St. Augustine Friendship Association’s humanitarian work with the municipality of Baracoa, Cuba, over the last 10 years.

Beautiful Baracoa

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Photographs by Georgia Garrett.

Georgia Garret is a professional photographer you recently spent time in Cuba with a Friendship Association delegation.

Her photographs will be on exhibit at the Art Association from January 30 – February 9, 2009.

2007 Environment poster

Conservation Campaign 2007

The Friendship Association sponsored a art competition in Baracia to develop a poster for World Environment Day . . .

Yoeldris won the competition.

Sabanas Blancas

Exciting new concept of art that involves the entire community. Local artists join with artists from neighboring communities to paint white bedsheets which are then exhibited in public spaces.

WEB site (in Spanish)


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The Binding of Two Cultures

June 6 – September 28, 2003

Art Exhibit Public Forum
Film “Portrait of an all woman orchestra”
Art workshops with Baracoan artist Roel Caboverde

These events were co-sponsored by:

  • The St. Augustine-Baracoa Friendship Association
  • The Florida Humanities Council
  • The National Endowment for Humanities


“This project, more than two years in the making. feature paintings and sculpture by artists of Baracoa, Cuba and St. Augustine, Florida. It also featured a Public Forum (June 7) at which specialists in art, history and culture spoke to the issue of the connectivenss and cross-fertilization of Hispanic (Cuban) and American (St. Augustine) culture. The art workshops (September 8-12 and 15-19), was led by Roel Caboverde, provided a unique opportunity for local artists, students and art lovers to learn about influences that have nurtured the Baracoan art forms. This was a rare opportunity to view contemporary art from Baracoa, Cuba’s first Hispanic settlement on the extreme eastern tip of Cuba.”       Prof. Ivan Schulman, Director.

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