Soak Up The Vitality Of One Of The World’s Most Fascinating Island Countries In “Cuba”
New exhibition opens at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Oct. 26 ~
DENVER — Discover the dynamic culture and abundant biodiversity of the Caribbean’s largest island nation in the new temporary exhibition “¡CUBA!,” opening at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Oct. 26. This lively experience for all ages — presented in English and Spanish — inspires new perspectives and immerses Museum guests in the people, landscapes, unique species and daily life of this intriguing country. The exhibition is free with general admission.
Cuba is a place of stunning contrasts: mysterious caves and bright avenues, sweltering fields and cool forests, hard challenges and high energy. The nation is actually an archipelago of more than 4,000 islands and keys, and home to 11 million people. Cuba is also one of the region’s most ecologically diverse countries, with the Caribbean’s healthiest coral reefs, most significant wetlands and largest rainforest.
The main feature of the exhibition is a “plaza” evoking city life and lined with displays. Tabletops along the streetscape encourage guests to try activities related to Cuban dominoes, Cuban foods and coffee, music you might find on a local radio station and the nation’s obsession with baseball and its 16 teams. A 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air on display reveals the story behind the vintage cars that famously rumble down Cuban streets.
There are also beautiful re-creations of the island’s habitats, with lifelike models representing its distinctive wildlife, both modern and extinct, and live lizards called anoles. About 50 percent of Cuba’s plants and 32 percent of its vertebrate animals are endemic, found only on the island. Highlights include the Zapata wetlands, home to the endangered Cuban crocodile, and a reconstructed cave environment.
The Museum worked with the Cuban community in Denver to enhance the experience, by adding live musical and dance performances at times during the exhibition’s run, and contributing to exhibits with profiles and personal mementos from local Cuban Americans.
- An exhibit about tobacco, telling the story of the legendary Cuban cigar, one of the country’s leading exports, with around 100 million handcrafted and shipped around the world each year.
- Altars or “thrones” created especially for the exhibition, exploring an Afro-Cuban spiritual practice called “orisha,” or Santeria.
- A stunning carnival costume on stilts from one of the country’s most elaborate festivals, the Carnival of Santiago de Cuba, which occurs every summer.
- A bicitaxi, part bicycle, part taxi, which has become an entrepreneurial enterprise in Cuba, providing a primary form of transportation for locals and tourists.
- An interactive art “gallery,” where guests can project on the walls paintings, sculptures or performance art created by Cuban artists.
- An exploration station with artifacts exploring a day in the life of some of Cuba’s indigenous people.
The IMAX film “Cuba” in 2D opens in Phipps IMAX Theater on Oct. 26. Viewers will be transported across breathtaking island landscapes, below the ocean surface to dazzling reefs and into streets invigorated by music and dance in the heart of Havana. The film is the perfect complement to the exhibition. IMAX tickets and schedule are available at dmns.org/imax.
The exhibition will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Jan. 20, except on Dec. 25. For more information, visit dmns.org/cuba.
“¡CUBA!” is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (amnh.org), in collaboration with the Cuban National Museum of Natural History.