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This week in Cuenca: Acoustic Blues at Lirón Lirón, Spanish movie with English subtitles, Dancing, Meditation, Writing workshop

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:
For Fiction and Non-Fiction Writers!

Creating Characters That Come to Life Before Your Eyes – and Ears! A fantastic workshop presented by Jeanne McCafferty at idiomART on Thursday.

9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The morning session will explore your character’s detailed bio worksheet and backstory and how those details translate into your prose. How do they help build unique and memorable characters? The afternoon session will focus on writing realistic dialogue that captures the way people really talk. Listening, watching, and writing exercises will build the skills needed for you to become your readers’ eye (and ears) in every scene. You’ll leave this class with new skills and new tools that will help bring new life to your writing.

The cost is $49. The workshop is limited to 12 people — reservation confirmation on a first-come-basis with a Cash or PayPal payment. Email at studio@idiomart.netto secure your spot!

Jeanne McCafferty has been a writer and editor for more than 30 years. For the past ten years she has focused on editing and book design. She has been on the creative team for more than 20 books, including a National Indie Excellence Book Award Winner and a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards. She is also the author of the Mackenzie Griffin arts mystery series. Visit her website at www.jeannemccafferty.com

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

Monday, February 18
An Evening of Acoustic Blues and Americana at Lirón Lirón

Bluesman Peter Nolan is coming back to Cuenca. Peter visited Cuenca two years ago and impressed everyone with his great brand of acoustic blues. Now he is coming back for a short visit and teaming up with Matthew Hart and Paco Lightfoot for An Evening of Acoustic Blues and Americana.

There’s really is no better way to spend a Monday evening… sipping a drink and listening to some great live acoustic blues.

Music starts at 6 p.m. Call 099 726 9237 for reservations.

Lirón Lirón is located at Gran Colombia 9-41 y Benigno Malo.
tattleTALES: Critique Group for Writers of Memoir & Personal Essay

This free critique group is for anyone who wants to tell a life story–to write about lived adventure, adversity, trauma, and/or redemption. No writing experience is needed.

Sessions are held at idiomART (Presidente Córdova 1-77, between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella) on the first and third Mondays of each month, 10 a.m. until noon.

Coffee, tea, and chocolate croissants will be served. Facilitated by Carolyn V. Hamilton and Kathryn M. McCullough, for more information, email: studio@idiomart.net

La Guarida presents the film “The Orphanage

7 to 9 p.m. Free

“The Orphanage”(El Orfanato) is directed by J.A. Bayona, in Spanish with English Subtitles

The first 10 guests receive free popcorn. La Guaridaalso serves food and drinks.

Film is about: Laura has happy memories of her childhood in an orphanage. She convinces her husband to buy the place and help her convert it into a home for sick children. One day, her own adopted son, Simón, disappears. Simon is critically ill, and when he is still missing several months later, he is presumed dead. Grief-stricken Laura believes she hears spirits, who may or may not be trying to help her find the boy. Don’t miss this wonderful tale filled with mystery and suspense.

La Guarida is located at Mariscal Lamar 22-23 y Luis Pauta.

Artist Kelly Harding’s exquisite watercolors at idiomART

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, February 19
Presentación del catálogo de la muestra Momento Decisivo

In the auditorium of the Dirección Municipal de Cultura Cuenca will present the catalog of the photographic exhibition “decisive moment, hidden gems of the Andes” by Photographer Brian Monroe Buckner. The publication has been created from the perspective of the inclusion of the new inhabitants of this city and the celebration of Cuenca’s diversity. As part of this event, there will be a conversation with the artist and the members of Fotoclub Cuenca, who were part of the process last year.

7 to 8:30 p.m. Located at Gran Columbia y Benigno Malo.

 “Smoking Mirror” Exhibit at Museo de losMetales 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.

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

Wednesday, February 20
The Oldies but Goodies Dance at Common Grounds!

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

Drink specials and music from 7 to 10 p.m.

Common Grounds is located at Eduardo Crespo Malo y Grand Columbia.

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 CanelaHostal Bar Grill and Lounge is located on Calle Larga 3-82 y Vargas Machuca, just past Todos Santos.

Thursday, February 21
Van Narvaez and Dario Torres Recital

7:30 p.m. Cost $7

Those who consider themselves as guitar and Ecuadorian Music lovers have now the opportunity to indulge in a great concert with the musical talent of Masters Dario Torres and Ivan Narvaez, featured Ecuadorian guitar players, with a great trajectory and an excellent academic formation.

It is with great interpretative maturity and technique, as two skilled experts of the classical guitar, that Dario Torres and Ivan Narvaez will be bringing to the scene a musical propose based on a selected repertory.

During this musical evening, masters will be presenting a vary and amusing program, which includes Ecuadorian, Latin-American and classical music and also some works for two guitars of popular songs by the mythic British band, The Beatles.

During the recital you will be able to enjoy the talent of each one of the two masters as soloists and also in an elaborated work for two guitars.

Located at Sala de Conciertos de la Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, located at Presidente Cordova 7-89 and Luis Cordero.

Dulcinea Liberada (Obra de Teatro y Exposición)

4 p.m.

This work is developed from the museum vision that reveals the lives of women who have been persecuted and killed.

Every Sunday, Dulcinea goes out to sunbathe in her prison and tells us fragments of her life. She traverses the space remembering how they took her freedom and tells us how to acquire true freedom.

As an audience we are invited to visit the corners of the museum and meet the stories of Dulcinea.

Duration: 45 min.

Performance: Sofía López; Lighting: Juan Álvares; Art Direction: Hernán Patiño; Performers: Adrian Ceballos, Jonnathan Alvear, Edtlita Carranco

Presented at the Centro Cultural Chaguarchimbana

Creating Characters That Come to Life Before Your Eyes – and Ears!

A Fiction and Non-Fiction writing workshop presented by Jeanne McCafferty at idiomART.

9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The morning session will explore your character’s detailed bio worksheet and backstory and how those details translate into your prose. How do they help build unique and memorable characters? The afternoon session will focus on writing realistic dialogue that captures the way people really talk. Listening, watching, and writing exercises will build the skills needed for you to become your readers’ eye (and ears) in every scene. You’ll leave this class with new skills and new tools that will help bring new life to your writing.

The cost is $49. The workshop is limited to 12 people — reservation confirmation on a first-come-basis with a Cash or PayPal payment. Email at studio@idiomart.net to secure your spot!

Jeanne McCafferty has been a writer and editor for more than 30 years. For the past ten years she has focused on editing and book design. She has been on the creative team for more than 20 books, including a National Indie Excellence Book Award Winner and a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards. She is also the author of the Mackenzie Griffin arts mystery series. Visit her website at www.jeannemccafferty.com

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

Create your own painting with Vino and Van Gogh

5 to 9 p.m.

This Thursday, at San Sebas Café,the inspiration is from folklore, using a red talisman as the focal point around your subject of choice. The Ribbon Calf will be our example painting. Baby calves, sheep, goats and llamas are adorned with red ribbons around their necks by the indigenous Ecuadorian farmers. A red talisman charged with energies to protect and safe guard the wearer, to ward off misfortunes. The ribbons also express love, good health and wishes of good luck. Paint a red ribbon around something you love, a red heart, a red abstract– whatever inspires you. Artist Amelia Earl will be there to guide you.

Tickets available at San Sebas Café or use this link. www.tickettailor.com/events/vinovangogh

San Sebas Café is located at San Sebastián 1-94 y Mariscal Sucre.

Friday, February 22
Art Salon at idiomART

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

Every Friday a new topic!  Great way to learn more about Cuenca’s 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, Art Historian Berenice Cárdenas will be covering Virgins with Natural Hair at Monasterio de las Conceptas

A curious tradition of decorating a variety of wooden Virgins with natural hair (human hair) will be explored under the Latin American baroque style at the “feminine Monastery of Las Conceptas”.

Optional afternoon field trip: The Museum of Las Conceptas

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

Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24
Paco’s Blues live this Saturday at Santorino’s

Pacos Blues is returning to the Santorino restaurant / Galería de arte Miguel Illescas live music art venue for a great night of music and dancing.

Dinner stars at 6 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m. Come on down and dance. It’s going to be a great time.

Make your reservations at 097 998 1179. $5 cover.

Santorino’s is located at Calle Larga 1-209 and Miguel Ángel Estrella.

Making a fantastical creature, on Saturday!

Victor Escobar of the Lemon Factory of Ambato (you can find the Lemon Factory on Facebook) will present a hands-on workshop entitled “Introducción Modo Fantástico” in Cuenca this February and March at the Musa Takina Gallery in el centro. There will be a morning and an afternoon session. Each session can accommodate up to 8 students.

Class times/dates are as follows: Morning Session: 10am-1pm, Saturdays, February 23, March 9 and March 16; Afternoon Session: 2pm-5pm, Saturdays, February 23, March 9 and March 16.

The cost for each session (3 classes – total 9 hours) is $100, all inclusive of materials. A translator will be provided for Spanish to English translation and a light snack will be served. Reserve your space now!

Visit gallery owner Priscila Velez at Musa Takina on Calle Bolivar directly across from Parque Calderon (Calle Bolivar y Luis Codero, PasajeHotensia Mata, Local Interior) and make a deposit to hold your seat for this exciting workshop. You can reach Priscila by phone at 098 3228936. Priscila has these and many more items for sale as well.

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 gl.e.volleyball@gmail.com

Coming soon!
Pinshi Juchay: a Musical and Art Gala

On Friday March 15, CreatuEspacio, 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 CreatuEspacio. To obtain your tickets, you can drop by the offices of the Foundation CreatuEspacio, 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 CreatuEspacio (a registered Ecuadorian NGO) who provide support and essential services to migrant and immigrant families living in and around Cuenca.

Caro’s Paint & Play, Thursday, February 28, at idiomART!

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Bring your watercolor WIP (work-in-progress), your art journal, your bullet journal to work on.  Acrylics painters are welcome too! Caro (Carolyn Hamilton) will hover and coach as requested. $10 and a bottle of wine (a delicious lunch will be included)

Spaces will be limited so, to save your spot, email at: CaroModernArt@gmail.com

idiomART is located at PresidenteCórdova 1-77, between Manuel Vega and Miguel Angel Estrella, in el Centro.
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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’s this enthusiasm that she hopes to bring to this weekly column. You may contact her at info@underthedomes.org and feel free to check out her Under The Domes website at www.underthedomes.org.