Viernes Culturales: Cultural Fridays Inc, the non-profit that has worked for over 20 years to preserve and celebrate the Latin history and culture of Little Havana, will re-open and unveil its redesigned Welcome Center this Friday thanks to the generous support of Bacardi USA and their Women In Leadership initiative. To celebrate the momentous occasion, they will kick-off the newly created “Spirit of Little Havana” self-guided tour featuring nine locations in Little Havana stretching from 5th Avenue to 22 Avenue on the famed Calle Ocho.
Little Havana (like many parts of the City) was mostly closed for the last year, but it has seen a huge uptick in tourism and traffic to the area since March so this is a big step towards the continued reopening of the entire City and State. The goal of this initiative is to continue to share the unique history of the area and send visitors to explore the entire neighborhood while also helping the many businesses that have been through so much the last year.
“Our Cultural Fridays (Viernes Culturales) festival will finally return in May, and we couldn’t think of a better way to pay tribute to the neighborhood than with the reopening of the much-needed Little Havana Welcome Center, AND this newly created self-guided tour that will bring new traffic and business to the area at this very crucial time,” commented Bill Fuller, President of the Viernes Culturales organization.
The Little Havana Welcome Center was closed for many years due to lack of funding. Bacardi, which was originally founded in 1862 in Santiago de Cuba, stepped up to collaborate on this project and is the reason this is now a reality. The Bacardi collaboration presents an incredible opportunity to share its own story with visitors and to celebrate the world’s most awarded rum. The redesign includes history of Bacardi — from its early days in Cuba to becoming the world’s largest privately held spirits company. The outside mural also features an adaptation of “La Rumbera”, an iconic BACARDÍ ad originally used in the early 1940s in Cuba that was printed on postcards to promote Cuba and BACARDÍ rum to American tourists. The recreation of “La Rumbera” at the Little Havana Welcome Center is by local artist Alejandra Estefania.
“For Bacardi, joining forces with Viernes Culturales is a way to honor our Cuban roots and the Miami community that has always welcomed us,” says Eddie Cutillas, . “With the Bacardi sponsored Welcome Center at the iconic Calle Ocho, we hope to share our story
– which is the story of many – in starting over in a new land, preserving, and protecting your family heritage. As a family-owned business for seven generations, Bacardi is proud of its legacy to give back to local communities.”
Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays, Inc. is a nonprofit organization which coordinates the popular Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays art, music and culture festival. The events are held on the 3rd Friday of every month in the heart of Little Havana, on Calle Ocho between 13th and 17th Avenues, from 4-11 pm. A City of Miami Planning Department 1984 Latin Quarter Study and 1994-96 Little Havana Neighborhood Planning Program
recommended that a series of cultural activities and events including art exhibits, dance, music, poetry, theater, film, and neighborhood historic tours should be promoted all year round in order to preserve and enhance the rich culture of Little Havana. The first Viernes Culturales was held on May 26, 2000 and approximately 2,000 people attended. Since then, internationally known artists have participated and supported Viernes Culturales/Cultural Fridays.
Bacardi USA, Inc.
Bacardi USA, Inc. is the United States import and distribution arm of family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. The company boasts a portfolio of some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the United States including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, PATRÓN® tequila, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch Whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, MARTINI vermouth and sparkling wines, the world’s leading vermouth and the world’s favorite Italian sparkling wines, and other leading and emerging brands. Founded nearly 160 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, family-owned Bacardi Limited currently employs more than 7,000, operates production facilities in 11 countries, including the world’s largest premium rum distillery in Puerto Rico, and sells its brands in more than 170 countries. Visit bacardilimited.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter.