Minnesota arts groups lead a new charge into Cuba to connect

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Artists often use their work to open doors of understanding. Zenon Dance Company of Minneapolis plans to leap right through one when it travels to Cuba next month.

“The arts are such a personal, authentic way to tell stories that promote connection,” said Heidi Zimmer, Zenon’s board chair. “It doesn’t matter how well you know each other’s language. The way art affects understanding goes beyond words.”

Zenon is joining a wave of arts groups from the Twin Cities that is embracing a culture as artistically fertile as Cuba’s soil. The American Composers Forum just returned from its second excursion to the island. Minnesota Youth Symphonies recently announced a 2016 tour there by its student musicians, spurred by the Minnesota Orchestra’s historic trip this past May.

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