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CRI and FIU Libraries Receive Grants for the Díaz-Ayala Music Collection, March 2006

In collaboration with the Green Library, the Cuban Research Institute (CRI) is pleased to announce that it has received two grants for the Díaz-Ayala Cuban and Latin American Popular Music Collection: a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Initiatives for Faculty at Hispanic-Serving Institutions Grant Program, and a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation for the Archiving and Preservation Grant Program. The grants will be used to preserve and increase awareness of the significance of the Díaz-Ayala collection, one of the world's most extensive and impressive collections of Cuban music housed at FIU's Green Library.

An academic treasure for music scholars around the world, the collection spans the history of popular Cuban and Latin American music, and contains approximately 100,000 items valued at nearly one million dollars, including 25,000 LPS, 14,500 78 rpms, 4,500 cassettes containing radio interviews with composers and musicians, 4,000 pieces of sheet music, 3,000 books, and thousands of CDs, photographs, videocassettes and paper files (contents of the collection are currently accessible through the Diaz-Ayala Database).

Sponsored by the NEH, Humanities Initiatives for Faculty are intended to strengthen and enrich humanities education and scholarship at the three types of Presidentially-designated institutions: historically black colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal colleges and universities. The CRI's NEH grant will be used to train faculty at FIU and other local schools to incorporate the Díaz-Ayala Collection into humanities courses in the fields of African-New World Studies, Art and Art History, History, International Relations & Geography, Modern Languages, Music, Religious Studies, Sociology & Anthropology, Theatre & Dance, and Women's Studies.

In the summer of 2006 ten FIU faculty members and five professors from local academic institutions will attend a five-day workshop taught by Cristóbal Díaz-Ayala, the distinguished Cuban musicologist who donated the collection to FIU, and several visiting scholars who have previously received travel grants from the CRI and Green Library to conduct research in the collection. Through this initiative the CRI seeks to ensure that faculty use the Díaz-Ayala Collection to enrich the humanities education of FIU students. By encouraging students to learn about the history of popular Cuban music, the institute hopes to enable them to understand the intricate connections between this music and the social, historical, literary, political, and economic contexts in which it is made.

The GRAMMY Foundation Grant Program awards grants to organizations and individuals to support efforts that advance the archiving and preservation of the music and recorded sound heritage of the Americas. The grant from the GRAMMY Foundation will be used to preserve and archive 150 oral interviews with musicians and composers of Cuban and Latin American music, part of the Díaz-Ayala Collection. Currently on audiocassette tapes, the interviews will be transcribed and placed in long-term, digital storage in the Florida Center for Library Automation (FCLA) Digital Archive.

The GRAMMY Foundation was founded in 1989 to cultivate the awareness, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music on American culture from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined musical breakthroughs of the future generations of music professionals. The GRAMMY Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities designed to engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with the Recording Academy and its regional offices to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving the rich cultural legacy of American music.

For more information on the Díaz-Ayala Collection please contact the Cuban Research Institute at (305) 348-1991.

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Last updated:
March 29, 2006