2014 – Quebec/Cuba Hand to Hand (Mano a Mano) project: donation of workshop materials for Cuban puppeteers
This project was the brainchild of Mano a Mano, a group which brings together artists and craftspeople from Quebec. In October 2013 Mano a Mano initiated the setting up of a collective workshop in Matanzas, the aim of which was to share resources with their Cuban counterparts. The project, aimed at puppeteers, was launched by UNIMA-CANADA (Quebec and Ontario) and was supported by the UNIMA Commision for Cooperation.
UNIMA CUBA chose ten Cuban companies as follows: Teatro Palalote (Matanzas), Galería-Taller El Retablo (Matanzas), Teatro La Proa (Havana), Guiñol Los Cuenteros (Artemisa), Teatro de Títeres y Sombras (Camagüey), Guiñol de Guantánamo, Grupo Retablos, Christian Medina (Cienfuegos), Frente Infantil del Teatro, Teatro Escambray (Villa Clara), Guiñol Los Zahories, Museum and Puppet Theatre El Arca (Havana).
The official gathering of all project partners took place on 23rd April 2014 in Matanzas, Cuba. Each company received the following materials: acrylic paints, fine paintbrushes, sewing scissors, craft scissors, a cutter, a hot glue gun, thread, needles and leather needles, white glue, varnish, a saw and pliers. Besides these, the companies also received a bundle of wool, leather, lace and fabric sent by craftspeople from the MANO A MANO project.
The company members were all smiles during the presentation of the material. They thanked us warmly for the project, affirming that no one had ever given them a present like this.
The total cost of this project was 2,380 Euros, of which 2,000 was donated by the Commission for Cooperation. The purchase of materials came to 1,850 Euros; the remainder of the costs were for customs charges, pick up of the materials and transportation to Cuba. Air freight was offered by Air Transat. The following organisations were project partners: Mano a Mano, Air Transat, UNIMA CUBA, ACAA (Association of Cuban artists and craftspeople – Matanzas branch), UNIMA Commission for Cooperation.
2012 / Create a workshop to make Sbaek thom (“giant leather puppets”) in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
Planned total budget: 17 000 dollars (US) including 3 000 Euros from UNIMA international and 1 000 dollars from UNIMA Québec (CAN).
The project aims to make more than 70 grands cuirs, to train in different skills for the production of the giants leathers and to create a show.
2012 / Secure the puppeteers’ houses in Niamey (Niger)
Total budget: approximately 1 700 Euros.
The project aimed to secure the houses of several puppeteers during the high flood of Niger river. Ten houses were protected.
2012 / Help for puppeteers affected by starvation in Sahel
Total budget: 300 000 Francs CFA (approx. 460 Euros)
The project aimed to provide a food aid to puppeteers affected by famine in Sahel.
2010 / Chile – support after the Febrary 27 earthquake
Total budget: 15 700 Euros including 2 000 Euros from the Commission, 1 000 Euros from UNIMA Switzerland and 1 000 Euros from UNIMA Québec.
The project permited to fund some shows for children and the Clown and puppet museum of Valparaiso was renovated.
The Cooperation commission worked with the Swiss and Canadian (Québec section) national centres. The Commission For Latin America has provided also its help.