Cultural Exchange Program Connecting Youth in Chicago and Cuba
Hello! I am Zulema Dorado--a student, artist, and visionary living in Chicago. While I grew up in the Midwest, my family and my roots are in Cuba.
I have been honored with an invitation to train with five highly esteemed dance companies in Cuba as part of a cultural immersion trip. This campaign is to fund an in-depth cross country overview and regional style analysis of Cuba’s rich and diverse cultural art traditions. Through first hand experiences - I will travel, connect, create with and learn from Cuba’s top cultural informants and treasures, interview local experts and artists, and lay the groundwork for a long-term exchange. The trip will include meetings with leaders in the visual and literary arts, television, and community organizations, as well as 40 hours of intensive training in Cuban Folkloric song, drum and dance. This preliminary fieldwork will serve as the foundation for the curriculum of an exchange program I am currently designing: Cubanizando La Vida.
Cubanizando La Vida stems from my lived experience as a first-generation Cuban in Chicago. My background exposed me to the powerful and profound impacts of cross-cultural exchange. I wish to provide Chicago youth access to the rich cultural traditions of Cuba, and in turn pave an avenue for Cuban artists and youth to celebrate and embolden their cultural treasures through horizontal partnerships. I have had the privilege of participating in international exchange in my training as a visual artist. My dream is to provide this empowering experience to youth in Cuba and Chicago, enabling them to discover shared values, aspirations, and ambitions while also expanding and deepening their world views.
What began as an idea to organize an art exhibition in Chicago exhibiting young Cuban artists, has expanded to to include literary art and dance. With it also expanded my network and deepened my commitment to empower the new generation living on the island and in Chicago.
The trip I am about to embark upon is a unique opportunity to connect directly with professionals and communities on site, thus allowing me to build relationships of trust that will be vital to the success and integrity of Cubanizando La Vida.
I am raising $5000 for this trip, which will cover travel expenses and fees for the courses and THIS JUST IN- I have been granted an extension to complete the registration payment for the course!!! I appreciate every bit of support in getting this pilot project off the ground. When I return there will be a reception for all my donors to share the experience and give you a flavor of what's to come.
Your donation gives you access to a limited number of linoleum prints composed by George Dorado Blanco, alum of San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts in Cuba.
Thank you! Muchas gracias!