Join the party to support Frank Angelo Gonzalez today! Belgian pianist at Carlos Cueva theater, Olides but Goodies Dance at Common Grounds

Mar 25, 2019

If you plan your time around what’s happening in Cuenca’s creative community, then this column is for you. Published every Monday, “What’s Happening Under the Domes” highlights the exhibits, concerts, workshops and other not-to-be-missed artistic events scheduled for the coming week. We cannot guarantee a complete listing, but we’ll try our best to keep you informed.

This week:

Soon after my wife and I moved to Ecuador, we met Frank Gonzales. Back then Frank waited tables at California Kitchen, an expat-friendly eatery on Luis Cordero. Members of the expat community in town fell in love with him.

Frank and Frank Angelo

If you were around back then you might remember Frank’s excitement about becoming a father. You might have learned, eventually, that Frank Angelo’s birth had been complicated and that the young family faced huge medical challenges. But it’s unlikely you would have heard those latter facts from Frank himself. If you’ve met Frank more recently at Sunrise Café, his current place of employment, it’s still unlikely you’d have heard about Frank Angelo’s struggle. He rarely talks about it. Instead, he keeps his head down and works hard.

It was only a little over a year ago that expats in town recognized the family’s need and launched a GoFundMe campaign called “Friends of Franks,” raising, to-date, over $35,000.  For more details of the Friends of Franks campaign, please click here.

February 14 was Frank Angelo’s fifth birthday, and today the community will gather at idiomART (PresidenteCórdova1-77) from 5 to 8 p.m., to celebrate his birth and raise additional funds for his care. Everyone is welcome. Please come, meet Frank Angelo, and support a family Cuenca has come to love.

The party itself is free. Money will be raised through direct donation, a cash bar, silent auction, and raffle.

If you’d like to bid on the art that watercolorist Ali Spence donated, you can do so through email, or at the party until 6 pm.  Highest bidder will be announced then.

A stunning book of Cuban photos will also be raffled. Raffle tickets can be purchased only at the party. (Thanks to Elinor Williams for donating the book in memory of her husband Alan Stiles.)

Monday, March 25
Free films in La Guarida!

Monday, 7 p.m.: “Dog Day Afternoon”, directed by Sidney Lumet
Tuesday, 7 p.m.: “The Big Lebowski”, directed by the Coen brothers

Food and drinks served. The first 10 guests receive free popcorn.

Reservations: 099 806 8071, call after 8 a.m. La Guarida is located at Mariscal Lamar y Luis Pauta.

Artists Maité Eusebio and Janda Grove exhibiting at Miguel Illescas Gallery

In commemoration of International Women’s Day this month, two of Cuenca’s most popular artist are having a show entitled “Reflections”. The show presents the works of two women artists living in Cuenca.

Maité Eusebio, originally from Peru, and now many years in Cuenca, paints the still life and landscape in an exuberance of color. In this show, you will see some of her new works of bold and beautiful landscapes, both pastoral and Amazonian.

Janda Grove, originally from the US, works mostly with figures, both real and imagined, using various palettes, sometimes subtle, sometimes strong. Some of the works in the show are representational, and some are images of dreams or ideas. Women and their mysterious, spiritual connection are the subjects of these works.

Come view art created by women, for women, and about women.

This show will continue through April 8. The Miguel Illescas Gallery is open Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Miguel Illescas Gallery is located at Calle Larga 1 -209 y Miguel Ángel Estrells.

Friends of Frank’s: Frank Angelo Birthday Party and Fundraiser

Join us at idiomART for a celebration of the past year’s accomplishments in Frank Angelo’s life, money raised, and innovative new ways forward for 2019.

Bring your party shoes, your party attitude, and your party wallets. It’s a Party!

For more information and to reserve contact Paul Marquis: or 099 291 6457. Call after: 6 a.m.

idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova1-77, between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella, in el Centro.

Tuesday, March 26

Concert from Belgian pianist Olivier de Spiegeleir

8 p.m.

The Belgian pianist Olivier de Spiegeleir, as part of International Francophonie Month, will give a special piano recital, “Paseo Musical Poético”. He will perform from the works of three great Romantic composers: Frederic Chopin, Enrique Granados and César Franck.

Free admission.

Carlos Cueva Theater is located at Av. 12 de Abril y Agustín Cueva, University of Cuenca.

Virtuoso Singer-Guitarist Luis Ullauri performs at Café La Joyapa!

Tuesdays through Saturdays, 7:30.-10p.m. Cover charge $7.

Café La Joyapa is a rustic, candle-lit space on the second floor of of El Doblón restaurant. Food and drink service, provide by El Doblón, includes a wide selection of reasonably priced Ecuadorian, Italian, and North American fare.

Café Joyapa is located at Honorato Vasquez 6-60, between PresidenteBorrero and Hermano Miguel.

Last week of “Smoking Mirror” Exhibit at Museo de los Metales!

Quito artist Eduardo Villacis’ “Smoking Mirror” exhibit at the Museo de losMetales is an amazing show. The exhibit includes painting, illustration, a video, and sculpture, with a big dose of humor. It graphically illustrates how history is written by the victors.


Museo de losMetales is located at Av. Solano 11-83.

Wednesday, March 27

Juana Estrella returns to La Guarida!

“Monologos of the Vagina” by Eve Ensler, 8 p.m.

A beautiful show on the different realities of different women around the world. Spanish translation only. Directed by Viviana Cordero

Cost: $ 10. Reservations: 099 806 8071

The history of the “Monologues of the Vagina” began with 200 interviews with women of different ages, nationalities, education and social class. Its author, Eve Ensler, premiered it at the Here Contemporary Arts Center in New York, winning the Obie prize for the best work. Since then it has been presented in more than 500 scenarios in at least 50 countries around the world. The monologues have been interpreted by prestigious actresses among which are Winona Rider, Melanie Griffith, Kate Winslet and even former first lady Hillary Clinton.

La Guarida is pleased to showcase this play, with theater and film director, Viviana Cordero, and the magnificent actress Cuenca Juana Estrella.

La Guaridais located at Mariscal Lamar y Luis Pauta.

The Oldies But Goodies Dance is now at Common Grounds!

Happy Hour is from 5 to 7p.m. with great food all evening. Music from 7 to 10p.m.

Donation: $5 per person. Exact change is helpful.

Dancing: All styles are welcome to the music provided. Music: A variety of music styles including Oldies Rock ‘n’ Roll supplied by George, played through our own proper sound system.

This is a private party for people who just want to have fun dancing, without complications. No dues. Please do not be shy. Just get up and dance as the mood strikes you. The songs invite different dance styles, so don’t worry, just do your own thing, whether alone, as a couple, or in a group, it doesn’t matter. Feel free to invite your friends and come with the intention of having fun, and you will!!

For more information, contact Rene at

Common Grounds is located at Eduardo Crespo Malo y Grand Columbia

Live Jazz at the Jazz Society Café

Wednesdays through Saturdays

Food and beverage service: 6:30 through 10 p.m. Jazz Concert: 7:30 through 10 p.m.

Reservations:  Theirschedule of events is posted on Facebook page: Jazz Society Café

The Jazz Society Café is located at 5-101 Luis Cordero y Juan Jaramillo, Upstairs (2nd Floor) of La Viña Italian Restaurant.

Artist José Luis Alfaro at CVA Gallery

Jose Luis Alfaro exhibition,“Park of Dreams”, continues through March at the Cuenca Visual Arts gallery. Alfaro is a recognized artist with a great career. His beginnings go back to his years as a cartoonist. Later he entered the Superior School of Fine Arts Macedonio de la Torre, in Trujillo, Peru. After completing his studies there, he visited a variety of countries and exhibited his art, that, in his own words “is something that one carries in one’s blood. It is a passion that grows every day.”

Also showing will be an emerging Cuencano artist, Wilson Cueva M.

Last week of this amazing show.  Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, from 1 to 6 p.m.

CVA is located at Calle Larga 3-82 y Vargas Machuca, in the Santa Canela Building.

Salsa lessons at Santa Canela every Wednesday

Do you want to learn Latin dances?

Every Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Salsa, Merengue, Tango. $7 per person.

Santa Canela Hostal Bar Grill and Lounge is located on Calle Larga 3-82 Y Vargas Machuca, pass Todos Santos.

Thursday, March 28
Art Show and Slide Presentation on Women Artists!

4 to 6 p.m. At the Miguel Illescas Gallery, a special presentation of “Women Artists Then and Now” and to view the art of two local women artists.

The brief slideshow and talk will focus on the works of various women artists, some recognized by art historians, and some contemporary women artists whose work is inspiring and reflective of our modern culture.

The event is free and there will be light refreshments.

Maite Eusebio and Janda Grove will be there to talk about favorite artist and their own art showing at the gallery through April 8.

Miguel Illescas Gallery is located at Calle Larga 1 -209 y Miguel Ángel Estrells.

The Castle present Papa Ron’s Dance Party!

The Castle is proud to present Papa Ron’s Dance Party with all of your 50s, 60s and 70s rock and Motown too. 7 to 9:30 p.m. $5 cover

Come early and enjoy dinner at The Vegetable Bar or EAT.

Full bar available during the show.

The Castle is located on 3 de Noviembre, 200 feet downriver from the Broken Bridge.

Classical guitar concert with Dario Torres, el Mesón Español

The show will start at 7:30 p.m., dinner will be available from 6 p.m..

Cover $8. At El Mesón Español is located on Calle LuisBorrero 7-47.

Friday, March 29
A.C.T.’s “Sylvia”

Azuay Community Theater new production, “Sylvia, directed by Tony Harding has gone into production.  The play is a memorized, staged comedy about an exuberant, lovable dog who changes the lives of a middle-aged couple.  It’s a smart, playful, sophisticated and occasionally gritty comedy about relationships, nature and growing older.  You will laugh your tail off!

Show dates: Friday, March 29 at 7p.m., Saturday, March 30 at 4p.m., Sunday, March 31 at 4p.m., April 6 at 4p.m., and Sunday, April 7 at 4p.m.

Tickets $15.  Cash or PayPal

Tikets sales at the following:

The Castle: Tuesdays, from 5:30– 7p.m. (Trivia Night)
A.C.T. Theater: Wednesdays, from 2– 3p.m.
Sunrise Café: Thursdays, from 10 a.m. – noon
IdiomArt: Every day, Monday through Friday, from 10a.m. – 3p.m.

For help or questions about ticket sales, contact Marilyn at or 099 138 9130.

idiomART’s Friday Salon!

10:30 a.m. to Noon (Doors open at 10 a.m.)

Every Friday a new presentation!  Great way to learn more about Cuenca, Ecuador’s art, history and culture and meet new folks!

This week,we will be beginning a series about local art collectives and the works of two street artists.Art Historian Berenice Cárdenas will be hosting the event.

Cost $10.  Coffee, tea, and snacks available.  Presentation translated in English.

Open to all. No reservation needed. Coffee, tea, and snacks available.

idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77, between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella, in el Centro.

Andrea Cantos with her show at the El Mesón Español

Who does not know Andrea Cantos? If not, this is the opportunity to hear her delightful voice, singing a variety of Latin music.

The show will start at 7:30 p.m., dinner will be available from 6 p.m. Cover $3.

El MesónEspañol is located on Calle Luis Borrero 7-47.

The Windshield Cowboys perform with special guest, Karen Kennedy

7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

A night of rockin’ music with the Windshield Cowboys and their special guest, the amazing Karen Kennedy at The Castle.

Cover $5.

Come to The Castle for pre-show dinner and drinks with the performers. Dine on delicious creative cuisine overlooking the river.

Reservations strongly recommended,email: thecuencacastle@gmail.comor  call: 098 935 8169

The Castle is located on 3 de Noviembre, 70 meters downriver from the Broken Bridge.

Saturday, March 30 and Sunday, March 31
Meditate with Shambhala

Sunday, 10 to 11:30 a.m.  Free, though donations appreciated.

All are welcome! The Cuenca Shambhala Meditation Group invites you to meditate together.

Shambhala International follows the tradition of Pema Chödron and her teachers ChögyamTrungpa Rinpoche and SakyongMipham Rinpoche. Sunday’s practices include group chanting, silent seated meditation, and group walking meditation.

Chairs and cushions are provided. Everyone is invited to join us for brunch/lunch at a restaurant after meditation.

Meditation instructions are available free with advance notice at 9.30 a.m.

Located at 8-81 Calle Larga, east of Benigno Malo, south side, upstairs at Namaste India Restaurant.

Volleyball on Sunday

Have you played regulation international 6-on-6 volleyball in the past and are looking for a fun way to exercise? Good news. Play will be from Noon to 2 p.m.

Location is tournament style outdoor net on the grass just west of the soccer field at the

west end of Parque El Paraiso (not too far from Banos and refreshments!) – at the intersection of Pje. Del Paraiso and Avenida Diez de Agosto.

For more information, email Gary at

Coming soon!

On Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11, 8 p.m., the Cuenca International Chorale will be presenting “Singin’ in the Rain” at the Old Catheral of Cuenca.  Free Admission.

Cellos Prieto, a chamber ensemble of six of the finest cellists in Ecuador, will present a concert entitled Transiciones Etéreas (Ethereal Transitions) on Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. in the Old Cathedral. Amazing soprano Bernarda Holguín will be a special guest performer at this concert. Cellos Prieto will perform music especially arranged for cello ensemble by composers such as J.S. Bach, Samuel Barber, Cesar Franck and will include W.A. Mozart’s extraordinary work Exultate Jubilate featuring Ms. Holguín as soprano soloist. Free Admission.  Be sure to mark this on your calendar!

What’s Happening Under the Domes is a weekly column by Sara Coppler. Sara has lived in Ecuador for over 5 years. She is an architect by training, who has worked for more than two decades in the field of international development and poverty housing. She is a co-founder of idiomART, a creative community center in Cuenca. Having admired the creative process throughout her life,she describes herself as a “Head Cheerleader for the Arts.” It’sthis enthusiasm that she hopes to bring to this weekly column. You may contact her at and feel free to check out her Under The Domes website at

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