14ymedio, Nelson García, Havana, October 23, 2023 — The rebellion of the Cuban Art Factory (FAC) against the energy saving measures required by the Ministries of Energy and Mines and of Culture has had an effect. On Saturday, as this newspaper confirmed, the cultural center was operating at one hundred percent or very nearly.
As explained to 14ymedio by an employee who asked to remain anonymous, they did agree to close on Sundays, and reduce their operating hours by two hours, opening one hour later and closing one hour earlier (hours will now be from 8:00 pm to 3 am). “Although that is relative because depending on the clientele, it may be extended,” the same source pointed out.
In addition, he confirms that they keep some air conditioning units off as well as a part of the lights in the exhibition area.
The hallways where the works of art are displayed were perfectly illuminated, as were the different bars that make up the establishment
It was not something that the public, who packed the place on Saturday and moved to the beat of the music, noticed. The hallways where the works of art are displayed were perfectly illuminated, as were the different bars that make up the establishment. Likewise, patrons could enjoy the images projected on a wall. Nor did the live jazz band lack light at any time.
The restaurant area was also providing normal service, despite the fact that during the week, another worker told this newspaper, they had to move all the food from the refrigerator because they did not have power. “Between Monday and Wednesday they took the food to other places and on Thursday they returned it, and today everything is working normally,” he said.
The previous week, the same young man said, “we worked with lamps,” carried by both employees and customers, just as the establishment had requested online. “Bring your light and join us on this adventure to keep the FAC beating!” those responsible for the cultural center had written in a statement on October 14.
Signed by its founder and the rest of the team – the musician X Alfonso and the so-called FacInBand — the text explained that it had re-opened on October 5th, after a month of closure, which reduced the regular power consumption by 80%. The consequences, therefore, would be opening two days a month, instead of the 16 that it had been (from Thursday to Sunday).
“We are aware of the energy situation that Cuba is going through, and consequently we have adopted the savings plans established for the state sector, limiting consumption in offices and other FAC spaces to the maximum extent possible, to contribute to the rational use of the energy resources of the country,” they explained.
The FAC thus rejected the allocation of the National Electrical System, and defended that it would continue to open “with the help of the public, artists and followers from all over who want to contribute
In the statement, the institution claimed its position as a leading cultural center on the Island, with more than 300 concerts, 70 exhibitions, 60 dance presentations, 40 theater performances, 40 fashion shows and a long list of actions. “With an affordable price of 250 CUP, in an environment where access to Cuban art is increasingly expensive and high-value proposals are scarce.”
The FAC thus rejected the allocation of the National Electrical System, and defended that it would continue to open “with the help of the public, artists and followers from all over who want to contribute.” It has not been necessary to repeat the experience of customers bringing “their light.”
The success of the FAC in remaining active contrasts with other points of attraction for the national and foreign public, which have been forced to close at night due to the energy shortage, which shows no sign of easing. Several employees indicate both X Alfonso and his sister, the singer Eme Alfonso, “moved and then the Government allowed them to function as they had been doing.”
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