Universities in Havana
Universidad de las Artes
The Universidad de las Artes (ISA), formerly known as the Instituto Superior de Arte, is one of the most unique universities and architectural achievements following the Cuban Revolution. The Universidad de las Artes was once a country club located in the Cubanacán neighborhood. This country club was frequently visited by Communist Party officials, most notably by Fidel Castro and Ernesto (Che) Guevara.
The early years of the Cuban revolution brought on a period of utopian optimism. The Universidad de las Artes was built on this creatively supported foundation. The initial idea was proposed by Ernesto (Che) Guevara, who was inspired by the recent Cuban Literacy Campaign which successfully resulted in a 96% national literacy rate. Cuba continued to push the boundaries on educational initiatives. Guevara believed that a school should be built to nurture the talents of the young who were fueled by the arts. This new tuition-free school would provide their students the opportunity to grow and further develop their talents.
During this critical time of innovation, it was decided that the architectural design should depict this reinvented vision of society. This blank canvas of a project was given to three modernism-inspired architects. Each of them brought their own specializations and aesthetics. Together they agreed that the university should follow three main principles, which encompassed the materials used and the integration of the landscape of the country club. Thus came the creation of the five art schools; the School of Modern Dance, the School of Plastic Arts, the School of Dramatic Arts, the School of Music and the School of Ballet.
Today, The Universidad de las Artes continues to be one of the leading instutions in the arts.
In the early 2000's the Universidad de las Artes was added to the Cultural category of the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Our programs at the Universidad de las Artes