There has been much talk about this place through the years, most of it positive. Obviously, those who can afford to visit are instantly enamored by the concept and diversity, there's nothing else like it. Since opening February 13, 2014, a long parade of Cuban Artists have displayed their works here including; Nelson Domínguez, Javier Guerra, Zaida del Río, Eduardo Roca (Choco), Pedro Pablo Oliva & Michel Mirabal just to name a few. All of the Cuban Art Institutes and their Artists (those worthy) contribute to the Fabrica de Arte. The artistic project (F.A.C.) that was conceived and directed by the musician X Alfonso houses all elements of the Arts under one roof; music, cinema, dance, painting, photography, fashion, architecture, design, performance, sculpture, video art & theater.... It's located in the old cooking oil factory in Vedado, 'El Cocinero', near the steel bridge, you can see the smokestack from a distance. Within the building are a series of art galleries, concert halls, theaters, a cafeteria and bar. Through the evening you'll be entertained with live performances by musicians, DJs, maybe a dance troupe or play and on occasion a classic black & white movie, documentary, short film or animation that's shown in the space set up as a theater. And all of this is surrounded by works of art created by three dozen Cuban artists at any given time. In other words F.A.C. is a Cultural Center and Art Gallery.
The place has not been without it's criticisms from various sources. I'm not going to pretend to understand the politics behind what goes on in Cuba but it seems to me that some of it may be of a purely jealous nature. When I read a comment, "why him", meaning X Alfonso, it makes me wonder. It has also been said that his music was getting a bit racy for Cuba and they allowed him this project to silence him. Again, I don't know enough to be able to make a judgement either way. Regardless, although it's inexpensive for the tourist and privileged Cuban, it's unaffordable to the average citizen. I'm sure that now that the place is better known internationally, it's visited by a considerable amount of foreigners. The Cuban presence is formed by sons and daughters of privileged Cuban families as well as Artists and Musicians that can afford it. The $2CUC (50 Cuban Peso) entrance fee may not seem like much to my readers but to a Cuban earning the average salary of $20-25CUC per month, it's a lot of money. Once your there drinks and food are extra and once again not expensive for us but.... The hours of operation have also been criticized, opening at 8pm with the band playing at 11:30pm or later....it limits the people that would attend such an event.
All in all, regardless of politics or criticism, this is a unique place that deserves a visit, especially if you're into the arts. The lineups could be long but it's safe and a great way to people watch. A word of advice, don't lose the card they give upon entering or you'll be paying 30cuc when you exit. No money is exchanged within the venue, you're given a card that is stamped after every purchase and paid for on the way out.
Entrance fee: 2cuc or 50 cuban pesos per person
Fabrica de Arte Cubano F.A.C.
26 esq. Calle 11
tel. +53(5) 2374550 +53(5) 2638266
Smoking Section (outside)
Bar (next to entrance)
14 Errores y un Planeta V.A.E. (2016)
Upstairs Snack & Soft Drink Bar
Pedro Pablo Oliva
Zaida del Rio
Carlos Quintana y Enrique Rottenberg
Eduardo M. Abela
Fernando Rodriguez y Francisco de La Cal
Performance Arts & Theater