The line begins to form well before the doors open at around 8pm. The more the line grows, the more people begin to socialize with one another, swapping stories of their current experiences in Havana and soaking up any local information they can in order to move around town in search of other sights. Once the line begins to move, anticipation strikes the first timers as well as the veterans to this cultural hotspot. After paying a small fee of about 5 CUC, you enter a space that has could be described as the one true haven for art enthusiasts.
Amongst Havana's stunning nostalgia of an era long past, exists a beacon of light emanating from its center like a lighthouse tower on the coast. The only difference is that this light is attracting socialites, artists, and tourists alike to come and bask in Cuba's erupting art scene!
If you didn't know already, I'm speaking about Fabrica de Arte Cubano.
Translated The Cuban Art Factory, the F.A.C. is located on the edge of the Vedado suburb and hipster Miramar neighborhoods. The structure housing La Fábrica de Arte was built in 1910 as a cooking oil factory. In 2008 a group of Cuban artists and musicians began to look for a centralized location in which art could be shown, leading to the group acquiring the closed factory in 2010. The current location opened in February 2014.
Ever since F.A.C. has opened its doors to the public, its curators have showcased some of the hottest talent in almost art form you can imagine. Dance, Theatre, Fine Art, Music, Sculpting, Live Art! Yes Live Art, where some installations use actual people to convey the artist's message. It's become a go to place for the who's who, not just in Cuba, in the world of Art!
The white walls and grey floors of the main entry area feel clean and unassuming. Past the bar area on your left, you enter a space full of passage ways where art pieces are meticulously hung, making any artist who's lucky enough to be featured here feel exclusive AF! the center holds a small booth area where there's usually a turntable or band equipment set up, along with a decent sized dance floor area that's apart of the walking space. Around the back towards the rear you pass through a doorway as you're thrusted into a dark room with a high ceiling. Every wall is covered with classic vinyl record covers hanging along with pictures of entertainment titans. Here you can find everything from salsa dance lessons to band performances happening.
Through a doorway that would otherwise seem like an exit from the building, is actually the entry way to another space where there's another bar and a food stand where you can enjoy some great eats. Up the staircase you'll find a theatre-sized room with movies showing on the movie screen that you can listen to by picking up one of the many headphones near the screen. Stay in this space long enough and you may get treated to a trumpet solo or a impromptu fashion show.
Yes, there are more spaces, more bars, more period! If you want to know what they are, I suggest that you book your trip to Havana ASAP! Check with the website www.fac.cu for the exhibition dates, because of the need to keep FAC fresh, the curators have to turn it around a few times a year. So make sure you book during the dates it's open. Thursday to Sunday during the advised showcase dates via the website, and it stays open until around 3a. I promise you that you will not be disappointed. It's truly a marvel to experience. I've been twice!