Study Abroad PVCC: Art History and Communication in Bilbao, Spain

Basque Highlights: Culture and International Communication in Northern Spain

Bilbao, Spain

Dates:  June 5th - 16th, 2017

This study abroad program will take place in Bilbao, Spain, in the heart of Basque-land. Through special projects courses in art and communications, participants will spend their mornings immersed in the rich artistic culture of the Basque region of northern Spain, and their afternoons sharpening their communication skills for speaking to international audiences.

The art course will aim to help students develop an awareness of this ancient, matriarchal, tribal society that has maintained its unique cultural identity into the modern age. The communications course is designed for native (or near-native) English speakers who have had significant public speaking experience. It will focus on the theory and practice of public communication with an international audience, with the goal of developing an awareness of the challenges faced by a non-native English speaking audience, along with theory and practice to master these challenges. These skills will become increasingly important in an expanding global economy.

Course Enrollment (choose one or both courses):

ARH 298AA, 1 cr.

COM298AA, 1 cr.

Estimated Program Cost – 1 credit:  $2,265.30

Estimated Program Cost – 2 credits: $2,358.80

Estimated Airfare: $1,300.00

Estimated Meals:  $350.00

Students can register for one or both courses once Summer registration gets underway.
In the meantime, express interest to:

Tomi Johnston 

Paradise Valley Community College



Jim Paluzzi

(480) 834-5627

PVCC Study Abroad: A Teacher's Reflections on Havana, Cuba


We arrived in Miami after a 5 hour overnight flight from Phoenix and, after breakfast, toured the sights of Little Havana. We visited a public art garden, Wynwood Walls, which featured painted murals by famous artists such as Shepard Fairey.

We had a traditional Cuban-style lunch of rice and black beans with pork and chicken, and visited a library/bar which featured a live Cuban band. We went on a tour of Little Havana with director-led sightseeing.

Day 2 : HAVANA

The next day we flew from Miami to Havana and were greeted by Jorge and Geldrys, our two tour guides who stayed with us the entire week. We checked into the Panorama Hotel, which is very modern, and located on the west side of Havana, on the waterfront.

We visited the home and studio of two local Cuban artists, Yamilla and Jaqueline Bristos, then lunch at El Aljibe restaurant. After lunch we toured an artists collective, called Muraleanda, barrio majico, that is a space for artists to work, teach skills to local residents, and host workshops by internationally known artists.

In the evening some of our group took a taxi to see a performance of the Buena Vista Social Club.


Compas Dance and Music Company visit

Paladar dinner


Viñales Valley excursion

Finca Agro-Ecologica agricultural cooperative visit, hike in Viñales with local farmers and visit farmers' homes


Travel to Cienfuegos via Matanzas

Hector Crespo Farm visit

Cienfuegos city walk


Local art school visit

Travel to Trinidad

Trinidad city walk


Travel to Santa Clara

Valley of the Sugar Mills cultural exchange

Santa Clara city walk


Met with local private hostel owners

Fiesta de los Abuelos educational Exchange

Travel to Havana

Farewell Paladar dinner


Day 9 : END TOUR

Overall, we had a tremendously satisfying experience. Our trip introduced us to the complexity that is Cuba. In spite of government restrictions, the people we met were friendly, industrious and creative. The 8 days in Cuba flew by, and I am looking forward to going there again, and spending time getting to know the artists we met on this trip. 

- Professor David Bradley

All photographs courtesy of David Bradley. 

PVCC Study Abroad: the student experience in Havana, Cuba

This June, Professor of Art David L. Bradley, along with Professor of Art History, Tomi Johnston led a group of students on a fantastic experience to Havana, Cuba to study art history. Ready on to explore their experience in their own words and images:

The trip to Cuba reinforced my belief that people are the same around the world despite the differences in their governments. I was extremely impressed with the Cuban people's ability to improvise around their lack of resources and money. An example was the Cuban dancers who turned sticks and chairs into musical instruments and how they carved their own drums. -John Storslee

The creative repurposing of space. Houses were turned into restaurants and their walls turned into memorabilia. PC: John Storslee. 

Building walls, streets and power posts turned into pieces of art. PC: John Storslee.

From atop the stock exchange building in old Havana over the port. PC: Kimberly Harris

The architecture and color combinations in Havana. PC: Kimberly Harris

Using color to define individual space. PC: Kimberly Harris

Artwork of Havana, Cuba by PVCC Study Abroad Student Kimberly Harris. 

Tradition, innovation, amazing food, laughter, dancing, lovely people and cobblestones. CUBA, mi enamored! -Wendy Raisanen

Arriving In Style - Photo Series by Michelle Marion

Theatre Department Attends Festival in Honolulu, Hawaii

Attending faculty: Andrea Robertson and Karla Frederick. Attending students:  Rachelle Dart, Delfinia Valdenegro, Megan Sutton, Gustavo Flores, Nick Claudio, Micah Thomas, Elizabeth Hogsed, Emile Trudeau and Courtney Kenyon.

Attending faculty: Andrea Robertson and Karla Frederick. Attending students:  Rachelle Dart, Delfinia Valdenegro, Megan Sutton, Gustavo Flores, Nick Claudio, Micah Thomas, Elizabeth Hogsed, Emile Trudeau and Courtney Kenyon.

In February 2016 PVCC Theatre Faculty Andrea Robertson and adjunct Karla Frederick took nine PVCC students to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.  This was the first year the PVCC theatre department participated in this Festival. The Festival for our Region was held at the University of Honolulu, Hawaii.  The acting students worked with their partners for about two months before we left on preparing two scenes and a monologue while our stage management student made sure her prompt book was incredibly detailed and full of everything on the production for which she was nominated.

Once in Hawaii we all kept busy with workshops, meetings, acting competition rounds, interviews, watching shows and rehearsals. Two of our students, Nick Claudio and Courtney Kenyon, were selected to participate in the ten minute play festival while we were there. The students also made new friends from around our region including Southern California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Hawaii and Guam. Rachelle Dart, one of our Irene Ryan acting nominees and her partner Megan Sutton made it to finals of the Acting competition. Out of about 300 pairs they were one of sixteen to show their scene in finals. Our stage manager Courtney Kenyon was alternate to nationals out of about forty forty five managers.  

The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival or KCACTF is a celebration of the creative process and a shared experience of a community of theater artists. KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, stage management, dramatic criticism, directing, and design.

In January and February of each year, regional festivals showcase the finest of each region's entered productions and offer a wide range of activities, including workshops, symposia, and regional-level scholarship and award programs. At this year's Festival PVCC students were nominated to compete at the Regional level through the Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Auditions and Stage Management after being selected via a response to our shows here at PVCC by a KCACTF Respondent who witnessed the student’s work.  Students competing at the regional festival have the opportunity to appear at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC in April of 2016.