Fundación Amistad and Harry A. Abrams hosted a booksigning for Cuban Elegance
Anthony Perrotto, Lane Montgomery, and Bruce Buck
Dana Buckley, Dr. Michael Connors, and Luly Duke
Cuban Elegance (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., publishers) is the second collaboration of Michael Connors and Bruce Buck, Caribbean Elegance (Abrams, May 2002). They have reunited to reveal a Cuba not known to many, and celebrated by those who remember her elegance.

Connors Gallery
Connors and Buck have a produced a book about a Cuba that has been locked away from the rest of the world for more than 40 years. This collaboration was made possible by Fundacion Amistad, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote mutual understanding and respect between the peoples of the US and cuba. It was founded six years ago by Maria de Lourdes “Luly” Duke.

“We would not have been able to accomplish this book without the collaboration of Fundacion Amistad,” said Connors. “Their research and coordination efforts not only helped us find these architectural and design treasures, they also made it possible for us to get close enough to even rearrange furniture and style the photographs.”

Fundación Amistad’s accomplishments also include creating and executing exchange programs with Cuba have won Mrs. Duke the recognition of UNICEF, The Hale House and the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. In 2002, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) selected Fundación Amistad to serve in Cuba as the coordinating U.S. non-governmental organization (NGO) for the development and facilitation of collaborative projects.

Dr. Michael Connors
Cuban Elegance gives the reader a first time look at the country’s lavish and stylish homes, furniture, and decorations, dating back to Cuba’s “criollo” plantation aristocracy, are known to very few outside of the country. The splendor of the grand homes and the intricately crafted European-inspired furniture (made of native woods by local artisans) are captured in Bruce Buck’s stunning photography and brought to life with Michael Connors’ authoritative text.

Fundación Amistad sponsors academic programs, research projects, and community outreach initiatives in the arts and culture, the environment, and human development. It achieves this on a collaborative basis with a variety of cultural, academic and non-governmental institutions in the U.S. and Cuba, and within the appropriate travel and operating regulations of both countries.
Mr. and Mrs. Von Althann
Dr. Michael Connors, Luly Duke, and Bruce Buck

Photographs by Mia Matheson



Second annual Fashion Fete in Miami Beach
L. to r.: Yamila and Thomas Kramer; Antonio Misuraca and Samantha Salinas; Royal and Ana Davide Webster with Fana and Abel Holtz.
Luca Luca designer Luca Orlandi and the Jackson Metropolitans hosted the second annual “Fashion Fete”, and exclusive event to benefit the Holtz Children’s Hospital at the private estate of Norma and Luis Quintero in Miami Beach.

The evening began at with cocktails in the ballroom followed by a sitdown dinner and runway presentation of the Luca Luca fall/winter 2004 collection, under a gorgeous tent facing the water.

Gillian Dinnerstein, Katrina Peebles, and Marlen Pernetti
Jose Rodriguez, President of the Jackson Metropolitans and Rolando Rodriguez, President of the Jackson Memorial Foundation presented Luca Orlandi with an award of recognition, followed by a live auction with Belkys Nerey auctioning off a leather and shearling Luca Luca coat for $7,000. The winning bidder then donated the coat back and it was re-auctioned for another $3,000. After the runway show the entire party jumped up on the runway and danced the night away.

Guests included comedian Victoria Jackson, supermodel Elsa Benitez, Jon Secada. Zaedy Pozo, Marlen and Nino Pernetti, Jeannie Etter, Lydia and Rudy Prio Touzet, Alan Randolph, Michael Capponi, Thomas Kramer, Rino and Paulette Schena, Eric and Stacy Milon, Michelle and Michael Arias, Mari Alarcon, Mickie and Leticia Grendene, Ivette Arango, Loren and J.R. Ridinger, Elizabeth and Mitchell Taylor, Rosa and Michael Mora, Carlos and Martha de Cespedes, and Fana and Abel Holtz.

All proceeds from “Fashion Fete” went to benefit The Jackson Metropolitans Learning Center at Holtz Children’s Hospital, Jackson’s famed center for Children, is a computer learning center for the hospitalized children. The Center is equipped with both desktop and laptop computers so that Jackson’s pediatric patients can download homework from the Internet, email with their family and friends and even videoconference with other hospitalized children around the country through the Starbright World Network.
Lana Bernstein, Tammy Green, and Leslie Wolfson
Ivette Arango, Loren Ridinger, Luca Orlandi, Stacy Milon, and Cherie Hinson



Public Domain wins Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the 2004 Beverly Hills Film Festival
Kris Lefcoe and Malcolm Danare
Jeff Rogers and Malcolm Danare
Nicole DeBoer, Kris Lefcoe, and Nadia Litz
Public Domain, the dark and disturbingly funny film about a fictional game show won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the 2004 Beverly Hills Film Festival at a ceremony that took place two weeks ago at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Written and directed by Kris Lefoe in her feature film debut, and starring Don McKellar, Nicole deBoer, Nadia Litz, and Mike Beaver, Public Domain, (produced by Severance Package Productions) had its US premiere at South by Southwest 2004 in Austin, Texas where it played to sold-out audiences and received rave reviews.

Upcoming film festivals include the Jacksonville Film Festival and Taos Vision Quest film Festival in New Mexico. The film made its debut in Toronto at the Royal Cinema.
Michael Broomberg and David Mullen
Jeff Rogers and Molly Parker

Photographs by Monique Moss



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