Prominent cultural journalist Olga Connor, whose articles appear in El Nuevo Herald, received the prestigious Lydia Cabrera Award of ArtesMiami on Friday, July 18, during a reception co-sponsored by U.S. Century Bank, ArtesMiami and Dreyfus & Company wines.
The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the cultural development of South Florida. Named in honor of Lydia Cabrera, worldrenowned writer and expert in Afro-Cuban culture, it included a $500 cash prize and an original ceramics work of art by local artist Rodrigo de la Luz.
Dr. Aida Levitan, ArtesMiami president, and Carlos Davila, CEO, presented the award to Connor at the reception attended by 125 guests, including Coral Gables Commissioner Vince Lagos, State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle; former U.S. Presidential appointee María Elena Toraño; El Nuevo Herald executive editor Myriam Marquez; Jose Fernando Godoy Botran, owner of Zacapa and Bortran Rums, and poet Janisset Rivero. Also present were former winners of the Lydia Cabrera Award: writers and journalists Gloria Leal, Luis de la Paz and Carlos Alberto Montaner.
“It is an honor for U.S. Century Bank to host such an important event and award, and to recognize Olga Connor, who has contributed so significantly to the cultural excellence of our community,” said Carlos J. Dávila, president and CEO of U.S. Century Bank.
“As a true community bank headquartered in South Florida, we support a number of important causes, and we appreciate the impact that art and culture make in enriching our community,” he added.
“Olga is a constant presence in the Hispanic cultural scene of South Florida,” Levitan said. “No event is complete without her participation and coverage, and, in her writings, she has the unusual ability to focus on the most important aspects of the cultural activity regardless of its complexity.”
Connor expressed her appreciation to the sponsors.
“It’s a great pleasure to receive an award named after Lydia Cabrera, a great writer and researcher who brought glory to the Cuban people. After my work as an editor at El Nuevo Herald, I dedicated myself to writing about the cultural groups of this city. From covering one to two groups at first, I now hardly have time to cover as many as 30 organizations dedicated to Cuban culture. Thanks to so many Hispanic cultural leaders, I have seen Miami grow from a town and resort to a great city.”
Connor has a Doctorate in Romance Languages from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also was a lecturer. She was a professor of language and Hispanic literature at Swarthmore College, Dickinson College and the University of Miami, and of journalism at Florida International University.