The weeklong celebratory series “LA HABANA at 500: A New York Salute to a Timeless City,” came to a close Friday, November 15, with a smashing concert led by gifted multi-instrumentalist, Yunior Terry, at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture. Hostos Community College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and The City College of New York, in collaboration with the School of Visual Arts, presented a rich thematic historical offering of film screenings, panel discussion, and walking tours. 

Renowned scholars Jerry Carlson, Dick Cluster, Miguel Coyula, Belmont Freedman, Sonja E. Gandert, Guadalupe García, John Gutiérrez, Marta Gutman, Orlando Hernández, Hal Klepak, Elena Martínez, Nancy Mirabal, Lisandro Pérez, and Herman Portocarero convened to speak on the fascinating trajectory of La Habana’s history and its connection to New York City.

Hostos emeritus staff and faculty Wallace Edgecombe, Orlando Hernández, and Lourdes Torres conceived the program after years of organizing and guiding educational and cultural group tours to La Habana, Cuba. 

Many thanks to Hostos Community College President David Gómez, The City College of New York President Vincent Boudreau, John Jay College of Criminal Justice President Karol V. Mason, Executive Vice President of School of Visual Arts Anthony P. Rhodes, and CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.

“La Habana at 500” was made possible thanks to the coordinating committee members: Gail Anderson, Creative Director School of Visual Arts; Wallace Edgecombe, Director Emeritus Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture; Orlando J. Hernández, Professor Emeritus Hostos Community College; Soldanela Rivera López, Hostos Community College; John Macelwee, Director, Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture; Elena Martínez, Folklorist and Co-Artistic Director Bronx Music Heritage Center; Peter Mertens, Interim Dean Hostos Continuing Education & Workforce Development; Lourdes Torres, Hostos Community College; and Javier Vega, Executive Director of Admissions and Student Affairs School of Visual Arts.

Additional support and collaborations with Mr. Ken Acquah, Jose García, Melanie García, Diana Kreymer, Professor Nelson Nuñez-Rodríguez; SVP Esther Rodríguez-Chardavoyne, Professor Kim Sanabria, Professor Carlos Sanabria of Hostos Community College were indispensable. 

The School of Visual Arts played a significant role in art direction and production and the hands-on teamwork of Anthony Carhuayo, Senior Designer, Brian E. Smith, Design Director, and Marco Accardo and Bertha de la Torre Ramírez from the School of Visual Arts.

And, Professor Jill Hamberg of Pratt Institute and Professors José Luis Morín and Lisandro Pérez from John Jay College of Criminal Justice supported the production and promotion of the series.