By many political and economic measures, Cuba is a poor country; however, when I think of Cuba, I also see a wealth measured in the richness and appreciation for the arts. Artists, dancers, writers, and musicians are well-respected and relatively well-paid professions.
I believe that Havana is a great place for artists: it provides an environment that fosters and encourages creativity, there is a strong sense of community amongst artists, as well as many opportunities for creative collaborations.
In many ‘wealthy’ countries, few people can survive solely through their art, aspiring creatives resort to getting full-time jobs, or have several part-time jobs and other sources of income. Art becomes a hobby rather than a profession. In Havana, if an artist sells a piece of work for 100 Convertible Pesos (approximately $115 Canadian dollars), this is equivalent to five months salary for the average state worker which is approximately $26 Canadian dollars monthly). Not that anyone could live comfortably on this salary, but the profit from that sale would last you at least a few weeks, or potentially a few months in Cuba. Many of the artists, dancers and musicians I know in Havana live comfortably. Of course, there are other challenges faced by Cuban artists. There are barriers to accessing resources and to sharing your work with the rest of the world, and your content is censored and cannot be political.
So depending on how you define success or wealth as an artist, if it is measured by international recognition, the number of hits you have on your website, and how many followers you have on twitter, well then, Havana is not the place for you. But if wealth is measured by other things, such as the ability to make ends meet while having time to create alongside a community of artists that support you; Havana could be better than you think.