ARTS AND LITERATURE
Venezuelan music and dancing incorporate indigenous, African and European influences. The styles vary from region to region. The national dance is the joropo, which is performed by couples. It is accompanied by the harp, maracas, and a unique musical instrument called the cuatro, a small four-stringed guitar. One of Venezuela's most popular musical groups, Un Solo Pueblo (One People), combines the folk music of the Llanos with the African drumbeats popular in the coastal towns. Although Venezuela is known for its folk music, classical music is also popular. Caracas has four symphony orchestras and many other cities have their own orchestras.
Many of Venezuela's most gifted writers have also been some of its most influential political leaders. Simón Bolívar's writing inspired the Venezuelan people and prepared them for the War of Independence. Andrés Bello also wrote inspirational non-fiction and poetry. One of the most famous novelists in Venezuelan history is Rómulo Gallegos. He became the president of Venezuela. His best-known novel is Dona Bárbara, the story of a woman who lived in the Llanos region. Arturo Uslar Pietri is one of the most celebrated living Venezuelan authors. He won the Rómulo Gallegos Prize for Literature and the Spanish Prince of Asturia Literary Prize in 1991 for his novel, Una visita en el tiempo (A Visit in Time).
   Did you know?
One of Venezuela's most talented painters, Armando Reverón, was also known as the "Hermit of Macuto". He was given this nickname because he refused to socialize with anyone except his wife and one of the models for his paintings. 
Venezuela has been home to many distinguished painters, muralists, sculptors and architects. Venezuelan artists are at the forefront of a new kind of art called kinetic art or movable sculpture. The most famous kinetic artists are Jesús Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Alejandro Otero. Many of Soto's sculptures are located at the entrances of some of Caracas's most important buildings. Otero is best known for his work La abra solar, which is an intricate and beautiful metallic cross that moves in the wind.

Manuel Cabre, Ángel Luque, Armando Reverón and Hector Poleo are among Venezuela's most famous painters. Martín Továr y Továr is renowned as a muralist. His best-known work is a painting of Bolívar's victory at the Battle of Carabobo, which he painted on the ceiling of the National Capital Congress Building.

The Venezuelan architect Carlos Villanueva combined beauty and utility in his buildings. He designed the bullfighting stadium in Maracay, a housing development for the poor in Caracas and the impressive University City for the Central University of Venezuela. 

Different regions of Venezuela are known for specific handicrafts. For example, the Amazonian region is known for its hammocks and canoes. The Llanos region is known for saddles, musical instruments and ropes.