I'm not even back yet but wanted to let you know that the Gage Academy trip to Cuba was an unparalleled success, one of the most enriching, intensive and wonderful ways to discover a country as unusual as Cuba. The itinerary was packed with so many different ways to get an understanding of the culture, history, politics and people of this beautiful island. At first the itinerary seemed overwhelming, but then we started to realize how great it was to use these different lenses, voices and perspectives to get a really deep picture of Cuba in just five days. Your speakers were top flight, and the venues were perfect. The care that you all put into creating this itinerary and then crafting it to fit the Gage needs was so evident and so appreciated. And the art.... it's almost impossible to recount how many wonderful ways we were able to experience the artists and art organizations of Cuba, from studio and gallery to school and alleyway to museum and late night contemporary scene, meeting the faculty, artists and other collectors along the way. Friendships were formed (I've already been in touch with the Flamenco artist, and [our Atelier Instructor] made a special friendship with with the ISA professor), work was purchased, stereotypes were broken down, and we all walked away feeling like we had just scratched the surface. Many of our artists told me that they expected this visit to deeply impact their work. Truly stunning. But most of all, the Cuban culture was brought to life by Duni, and his wonderful associate Lazaro. Without them, I don't think our group would have fallen so deeply in love with the rich history and developed such a passion for the amazing future of Cuba - and I definitely know that we're all a little heavier after sampling the incredible spectrum of paladars. Duni and Lazaro were charming, informed, warm, ready to handle the occasional odd situations that cropped up, and seemed to know virtually everyone wherever we were. I know many people would basically sign up again for a trip just based on having those two as guides. Gage has done many international and domestic trips prior to this, all organized internally. This marked the first time working with a travel agency, and I think it was largely a fear of getting a generic-feeling experience. Nothing could have been farther from the reality of working with CCT. I just want to say thank you from all of us, and I hope that we will work together again very soon.
Sheila Hughes, Executive Director