Mardi Gras costume ball at Santa Canela, Writing our World Tuesday, Newcomers luncheon, New production at Azuay Community Theater

Mar 4, 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
Carnaval is here!
Monday, March 4

Artist Kelly Harding’s exquisite watercolors at idiomART is extended!

By popular demand – the show has been extended through March 8. Come see the paintings that everyone is talking about!

Exhibition continues through February 28. Gallery hours: Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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

Tuesday, March 5
March meeting of Cuenca: Writing Our World

1 p.m. Please arrive 30-45 minutes early if you plan to order lunch.

The next WOW meeting will be held at Cafe de Ñucallacta.

This month, the topic about Great Beginnings. Whether it’s the start of a novel, a short story, a news article, a book chapter, or a series, Great Beginnings pull the reader in. Bring samples of Great Beginnings, Bad Beginnings, and Your Beginnings, and we’ll have a chance to share and discuss.

Please send reservations to by Monday at midnight, so we can give the restaurant an approximate head count.

Mardi Gras Costume Ball at Santa Canela

Mardi Gas Costume Ball at Santa Canela on Fat Tuesday.

Santa Canela Hostal Bar Grill Lounge is hosting the first Mardi Gras costume ball on Fat Tuesday.

Prize for the best Mardi Gras Costume.  They will serve Shrimp Po’ Boy Sandwich, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo, Jambalaya, etc.

Please order ahead of time with your reservations.

Happy hour from 4-6 p.m. with specials on Margaritas, Frozen Daiquiris, Hurricanes and Jelly shots.

Music starts at 5 p.m. Beads tossing from the balcony from 4-5 p.m. Masks and beads available for purchase.

Let the good times roll with Beads, Food, Drinks, Dancing and Fun.

Admission is only $5. Please make your reservations now by email: or phone: 099 726 9237.

Santa Canela Hostal Bar Grill Lounge is located Calle Larga 3-82 y Vargas Machuca.

“Smoking Mirror” Exhibit at Museo de los Metales extended until April!

Quito artist Eduardo Villacis’ “Smoking Mirror” exhibit at the Museo de los Metales 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 los Metales is located at Av. Solano 11-83.

Wednesday, March 6
Cuenca Newcomers and Old-timers Luncheon at The Castle

Noon to 2 p.m.

Whether you are brand new to Cuenca or have been here for years, this is an excellent opportunity to meet new people and hear information about businesses, services, volunteer opportunities and upcoming events.

If you have mobility issues, please be aware there are stairs in the venue.

Both lunch options are only $6.50 and come with a large glass of homemade limeade. Choose from:

1. Vegetable Bar Homemade French Onion Soup and Large House Salad

2. Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich with Melted Cheese and Coleslaw served with a Side Salad or Roasted Potatoes.

This event will also kick off the sales for Azuay Community Theater’s production of “Sylvia”.

The Castle is located on the Tomebamba River, with two entrances on 3 de Noviembre (200 feet downriver from the Broken Bridge) and on Bajada de Todos los Santos, (500 feet downhill from Todos Santos Church). Parking is available on Calle Larga, just above The Castle.

About “Sylvia”

Azuay Community Theater new production, “Sylvia, directed by Tony

ACT presents Sylvia

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 7 p.m., Saturday, March 30 at 4 p.m., Sunday, March 31 at 4 p.m., April 6 at 4 p.m., and Sunday, April 7 at 4 p.m.

Tickets $15.  Cash or PayPal

Sales beginning on March 12 at the following:

The Castle: Tuesdays, from 5:30– 7p.m. (Trivia Night)

A.C.T. Theater: Wednesdays, from 2 – 3 p.m.

Sunrise Café: Thursdays, from 10 a.m. – noon

IdiomArt: Every day, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

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

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.

Friday, March 8
Luis Ullauri at idiomART’s Friday Salon!

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

Luis Ullauri in concert

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

Cost $10.  Open to all.  No reservation needed. Coffee, tea, and snacks available.  Presentation in English.

This week, Virtuoso Singer-Guitarist Luis Ullauri will be offering, “Songs and Stories of My Youth”.

Luis will share about the music of the 70’s and 80’s in Ecuador, how it reflected the political and financial turmoil experienced in the country. And how the music shaped the culture of the times. If you have ever seen in Luis in concert, he often shares about the background of the Latin music he plays – for the Salon he is offering a more personal and in-depth reflection.

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

International Women’s Day Global Drum Circle

5 to 7 p.m.

Drumming in honor of International Women’s Day!  And you do NOT have to be a woman to attend and drum with us!  If you have your own drum or related noise-maker, please bring it with you. They have a number of loaners for those of you who don’t have your own drums or such.

No drumming experience required!

NOTE: This will NOT be in our normal venue in the park, and space is limited to about the first 20 people who sign up!

The primary contact for this event is Nancy Gregory, 098 296.0659 and

Come early, if you like, and enjoy some tasty Indian food at Namaste!

Namaste Indian Restaurant, Upstairs, Calle Large y Benigno Malo

Saturday, March 9 and Sunday, March 10
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 Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Sakyong Mipham 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!
Pinshi Juchay: A Musical and Art Gala

On Friday March 15, Crea tu Espacio, in collaboration with Tejemujeres, will host a fundraiser event at the Teatro Sucre. There will be a variety of music including the very talented violinist Sulgui Medina, Tabano band, Raices de Guasa (Marimba), the Cuenca’s own Polyphonic Quintet. There will also be a fashion show featuring outstanding creations by the weaving group Tejemujeres.

Tickets are $15 per person with proceeds being donated by Crea tu Espacio. To obtain your tickets, you can drop by the offices of the Foundation Crea tu Espacio, located at the corner of Vaticano and Juan X111 streets (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.; 3 – 6:30 p.m. weekdays or 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Saturday); or at Café San Sebas (Parque San Sebastien) during operating hours.

Doors at the Theatre open at 7:30 p.m.; program will run 8 – 10:30 p.m.

Proceeds from this event will be donated to Crea tu Espacio (a registered Ecuadorian NGO) who provide support and essential services to migrant and immigrant families living in and around Cuenca.

Frank Angelo Birthday Party!

More than a year has gone by since our first Frank Angelo event kicked off to raise funds for the precious boy.  Save the date, learn about new events, an accounting of funds raised, dance, drink and be merry. More info to follow in coming weeks.

Monday, March 25, 5 – 8 p.m., free, at idiomART.

For more information, contactPaul Marquis:  or 099 291 6457. Call after: 6 a.m.

What’s Happening Under the Domes is a weekly column by Sara Coppler. Sara has lived in Ecuador for over five 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’s this 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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