producing art, music, theater, & film
Project Por Amor was born out of our groundbreaking and award-winning theater collaboration between artists from the US and Cuba that started in 2005. We became leading experts in navigating the complexities of producing artistic exchanges between the two countries. Since then we have produced numerous concert tours, film productions, conferences, screenings, and art opening for U.S. artists in Cuba. Our dynamic team is capable of executing almost any kind of production challenge including visas, permits, local talent, crew, equipment, PR, top venues, festival invitations, and more. See a few of our recent projects below.
PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND
This legendary band has rekindled the historic relationship between Cuba and New Orleans through three concert tours we produced in Cuba in 2015, 2017, and 2019. A feature documentary film called A Tuba to Cuba, directed by T.G. Herrington and Danny Clinch, was made about their first trip and became an international hit with wide theatrical release. A large group of Preservation Hall Jazz Band family, friends, fans, and music industry associates travels with the band for a VIP cultural tour to be part of the experience and support the musical exchange.
COMPOSER CHARLES FOX
Composer of the infamous song “Killing Me Softly with this Song” and of hit TV shows including Happy Days, The Loveboat, and Barbarella, traveled with us to Havana in 2018 to perform a concert of Charles Fox‘s music with a Cuban big band at the royal Gran Teatro de la Habana. The three nights of packed house was filmed to make a live concert album and film by Gold Entertainment.
CHICAGO CHILDREN'S CHOIR
The Voice of Chicago, a diverse selection of seventy advanced teenagers from the Chicago Childrens Choir traveled to Havana in 2016 to exchange and give five concerts for the Cuban people at venues of all sizes throughout Havana.
AMERICAN COMPOSERS FORUM
Project Por Amor forged relationships between the American Composers Forum and the Havana Contemporary Music Festival (UNEAC) to curate concerts of American composers in Havana in 2015 and 2017. NYC new music ensemble Third Sound traveled to perform a selection of works by Jennifer Higdon, Spencer Topel, Kati Agocs, Ingrid Arauco, Christopher Wendell Jones, Kai-Young Chan, Jeremy Gill, Amadeus Regucera, Michael Harrison, and Cindy Cox. The short film and album, Heard in Havana, was made about historic exchange.
THE YUVAL RON ENSEMBLE
The Yuval Ron Ensemble performed a concert tour of sacred sites in Havana as well as Fabrica de Arte Cubano to Cuba. As part of Yuval’s international travel program, a group of 25 fans supported the cost of the tour. Their visit to Havana established a musical relationship with the Afro-fusion rock band Síntesis that continues to this day.
Far Away is a choral work performed by the National Children’s Chorus (US) and Coro Diminuto (Cuba). The children performed together live from each other’s shores virtually through video projections of the far away choir superimposed upon the local choir. The work was composed by Sage Lewis and funded by Center Theatre Group’s Sherwood Award.
POR AMOR: the album
The soundtrack to our critically acclaimed multimedia performance The Closest Farthest Away. Composed by Sage Lewis in collaboration with musical artists from Los Angeles and Havana. Locates a meaningful and common language between two societies divided across 90 miles and 50 years of political and economic warfare. Take a listen below on SoundCloud.
THE STREET NETWORK
In the Summer of 2019, we produced a documentary film about the underground intranet in Cuba. The SNET, or Street Network, was a giant DIY mesh network connecting over 50,000 Cubans to play video games online with homemade social networks, news feeds, and the ability to download content taken and redistributed from the world wide web. It was directed by Emile Bokaer of Dogpatch Films, with a music score composed by Sage Lewis and El Negro Wadpro, and Executive Produced by Stripe Publishing. This film has not yet been released.
CHARLES FOX IN CUBA
In the summer of 2018, Project Por Amor produced the film shoot for Gold Entertainment Group of the documentary film about the live concerts at Havana’s Gran Teatro of Composer Charles Fox. In collaboration with Cuban film composer Edesio Alejandro, we secured artist visas and all film permits necessary for a U.S. film crew of 12. We put together a complex list of local equipment including jib cranes, intercom systems, lights, and camera tech along with a dynamic Cuban crew of line producers and technicians to execute the highest level of production value in a short amount of time at an affordable cost. The film was directed by Danny Gold and has not yet been released.
THEATER & DANCE PERFORMANCES
THE CLOSEST FARTHEST AWAY | LA ENTRANABLE LEJANIA
“Project Por Amor’s The Closest Farthest Away (directed by Chi-wang Yang)is a process-intensive collaboration between Cuban and US theatre artists, filmmakers and musicians. It premiered in 2009 in Havana and 2010 in Miami. The project asks what performance and cinema are capable of beyond the import and export narrative–how they might make a practice of embodying the impossible, the blockaded, the ambiguous distances between. U.S. actors share the stage with video projections of Cuba, hyper-linking bodies and geography; behavior is explicitly occupied with absence and presence, with how individuals cultivate intimacy and courage that their own governments can’t or won’t. The project championed process over message, living deeply inside of unlikelihoods–from multichannel performance in a theatre that hasn’t been touched technologically since the early 1950s, to the extraordinary circumstances behind every visa, to operations continuing thousands of miles apart, often without contact. It’s the kind of process that throws the very premise of “design”–prediction, planning, an attempt to anticipate or urge an outcome–into anarchic fury. It’s a fury that is fundamentally true to the distended mutation of the relationship between these two countries, but by no means compromised in its ability to produce something honest. Can design–adaptive, vigilant, ecstatic, led by the irrational–be an act of citizenship? As our Cuban collaborationists know best, radical disruption and then a vigorous re-constitution can be remarkable raw materials”
– American Theatre Magazine
“…the emerging generation of artists will continue the course for the rest of us to follow.” –Huffington Post
“The Closest Farthest Away breaks ground artistically, politically, and technologically.” – Miami Herald
“The single collaborative theatre work between the two countries in decades between 1960 and 2014” – American Theater Magazine
ZENON DANCE COMPANY AND DANZA MALPASO
In January 2016 Project Por Amor produced a run of modern dance performances at the historic Teatro Martí. The two companies in collaboration were Minneapolis’ Zenon Dance Company and Havana’s Danza Malpaso. Zenon premiered a new work choreographed by Danza Malpaso’s Artistic Director Osnel Delgado along with selected works from their repertoire while Malpaso premiered a new work by US choreographer Ron Brown.
Project Por Amor has partnered with Adolfo Nodal & Kadir Lopez’ Habana Light Neon + Signs to call attention to and help preserve vintage outdoor neon signage in Havana. We have specifically developed a “neon tourism” program to support Habana Light’s citywide effort. We have created full itineraries focused on neon and urban signage in the city and included neon activities in all our other Havana itineraries. When Havana Light opened the Rex Duplex Theater in 2019. PPA helped create and manage the tour operations program and booked just over 1000 ticket paying visitors to the Neon Museum in collaboration with other US and Cuban tour operators during the Habana Bienal 13 and Habana 500, the City’s Quincentennial celebration in the last quarter of 2019.