The Loisaida Festival’s 4th Annual Theater Lab

 The Loisaida Festival’s 4th Annual Theater Lab

Co-produced by MEZCOLANZA NYC & Loisaida Inc.


Brief description of participants and their performance, visual, theatrical or musical pieces:


1. Teresa Hernández / Performance / 15 min

Title: (A) parecer  

About the piece: Performance-space intervention and body. Appearance is a human condition that reveals the uniqueness of each in the encounter with the-othrx. Ten years ago he works with a woman dressed in a black suit. She has named her-the walker. She goes out and walks in and out, complains, reveals in she a-seem what she lives.

About the artist: Stage performer. Actress, dancer, creator-interpreter, author and director of her own texts, self-management activist. She has spent more than twenty-five years research and practice from the frontiers of dance, theater and performance. Looking for other ways of doing, narrating and being on stage, starting with the integral study of the body, space, and its own text. Their themes surround; Identities as shifting and complex lands; Art and it´s established canons, violence and power with its multiple faces and bifurcations. Precariousness is a fundamental part of its ethics. Hernández’s career has been recognized by the United States Artists Foundation under the discipline of Theater Arts. (USA Role Fellow-2011). She is the second Puerto Rican on the island to receive such distinction, being the only one in the field of theater. She holds a master’s degree in “Management and Cultural Management” from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras precinct.


2. Kairiana Núñez / Performance / 10 min

Title: La basquetbolista

About the piece: Set in a basketball game’s tight quarter, a Puerto Rican basketball player has to row hard against the opposite team’s defense in the presence of a referee that unfairly penalizes her and does not call the true fault.

About the artist: Actress taurine and Puerto Rican. Graduated from the Drama Department of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, (2009). He began his career in 1996 with Pedro Santaliz, and later became a founding member of the theater group in the streets Jóvenes del 98 under the direction of Maritza Pérez Otero. Later he continued his training with Puerto Rican teachers and artists Rosa Luisa Márquez, Teresa Hernández, Viveca Vázquez, among others. In Argentina, she trained at Sportivo Teatral with Mirta Bogdasarian and Ricardo Bartís (2011-2013, Buenos Aires), and was part of the Quinto Piso Theater Companies, directed by Daniel Godoy, and El Rizoma Collective (2011-2016, Buenos Aires) . In 2017 he returns to Puerto Rico, where despite the imbalance, she bets on continuing to grow artistically, professionally, Ideologically and humanely.


3. Mickey Negrón / Performance / 18 min

Title: Transgressed Body

About the piece: An emigrant, homosexual, transvesti. Strength in the voices of the minority.

About the artist: Mickey Negrón Puerto Rican artist. Artistic director of the Asuntos Efímeros art platform. Enthusiastic writer. Free thinker. Nonconforming gender. Cultural manager. Singer. Moving. Student who never finishes. Fan of pop singers and frustrated athlete. It just premiered as a critic. Currently works an artistic residence at the Center of Fine Arts to be presented in August 2017 and coordinates the second edition of Quiebre: International Performance Festival in Puerto Rico.


4. Yan Christian Collazo / Performance / 15 min

Title: Untitled 

About the piece: Character that intervenes in the intermediates, comments the pieces, is ally of the public. Uses a half mask makes jokes about the current situation on the island in relation to the floating islands that we are all talking about individualism, migration and the condition of the migrant.

About the artist: Yan Christian Collazo: Actor, poet, creator, dancer. Puerto Rican. He holds a Bachelors degree in Drama with a second concentration in Foreign Languages ​​specialized in Italian. Studied at “Universitá Cattólica del Sacro Cuore” in Milan, Italy; Specialized in poetry and Italian literature. He took workshops with Latin American theater groups including Malayerba from Ecuador and Yuyachkani from Peru. De Clown with maestro Luis Oliva of Puerto Rico, David Martínez Sánchez of Spain and with the group “Pig Iron Theater Company” of Philadelphia. In 2012, he was part of the group La Pata de Cabra, acting in the play ‘Cortadito or Capuchino’, directed by his teacher Rosa Luisa Márquez. The Festival of Theater of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture was invited. He obtained an MFA in Ensemble Based Theater. He was selected to participate in the “Mad River Festival” along with the company of the school “Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theater. He has been invited to the “2017 River Theater Festival” in Blue Lake, CA and to “California Summer School for the Arts” in Los Angeles, CA. After completing his short tour with his thesis, he will move to New York with a view to forming a multidisciplinary theater group and establishing a working and collaboration bridge between Puerto Rico, New York, California and the world.


5. Awilda Rodríguez Lora / Theater Lab MC / Contemporary Dance / 19 min 

Title: Untitled

About the piece: Contemporary dance movement piece that accounts for its status as a migrant who absorbed American culture and made it theirs.

About the artist: Awilda Rodríguez-Lora is a performance choreographer and cultural entrepreneur. Born in Mexico, raised in Puerto Rico, and working in-between North and South America and the Caribbean, Rodríguez Lora’s performances traverse multiple geographic histories and realities. In this way, her work promotes progressive dialogues regarding hemispheric colonial legacies, and the unstable categories of race, gender, class, and sexuality. Rodríguez Lora is currently a host/coordinator at La Rosario in Santurce (Puerto Rico) where she is creating, researching, and producing her life project, La Mujer Maravilla, while developing new strategies for the sustainability of live arts in Puerto Rico. After more than ten years of work as a fully independent artist, she is committed to further studying how artistic economies can be harnessed to support alternative forms of life rooted in communality, creativity, and social justice. laperformera.org.


6. Jeanne D Arc / Dance / Flamenco / 15 min

Title: Untitled

About the piece: Contemporary dance & Flamenco intertwined with poems of protest by Federico García Lorca

About the artist: Jeanne D Arc Casas (1984) was born in Aibonito, Puerto Rico. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Individualized Studies from the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. In 2011 she earned a master’s degree in performance and choreography at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque where she was a Moderna and Flamenco dance instructor. Since January 2012 is part of the company Soledad Barrio y Noche Flamenca. She has made a large number of tours in the United States, Canada and Argentina Europe and the East. It also teaches lessons in modern dance, contemporary dance and body movement in different schools and universities. Recently Jeanne D ‘Arc Houses participated in the program of residential artifacts of the Fine Arts Center Luis A. Ferré de Santurce, PR where shows the show Hij @ s de la Bernarda directed by the teacher Rosa Luisa Márquez.


7. Poncili Creación Artist Collective/ Performance / Art Installation  

About their piece: During the month of May Poncili Creación will be studying the Loisaida community and its mural history in order to produce a performance piece that speaks about the short comings that the community has faced in the past and still face today.

Inspired by Loisaida, Poncili Creación will create several of their unique sculptures based on Loisaida’s murals and community. Using different elements they will create a performance to be presented at the Theater Lab.

About the artists: Poncili Creación conceptualizes and designs interactive experiences for all ages. The company has been conspiring for over half a decade, in which they have shared their work with several countries throughout their international tours to the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. Their creation technique consists of several disciplines which lead them to create complex structures that resemble different forms through different mechanisms and means of creation. These objects, often humanized, can induce placebos and metaphorical experiences to the spectating mind that often goes from passive interaction to active observation, in the attempt of decoding what happens and transforms before their eye. They currently reside in Puerto Rico and dedicate their time to the study of objects and reality.


8. Yaraní del Valle & Gabo Lugo / Music  / Performance / 20 min

Title: Pura’s Lágrimas

About the piece: Musical project developed by Yaraní del Valle and Gabo Lugo that fuses pop music with electronic sound supports and stage theatricality.aims to comment and provoke conversations about identity, gender inequality, her experience as an immigrant and the devastating effects of colonialism, the political condition that Puerto Rico has been a victim of for more than a century.

About the artist: Yaraní Del Valle Piñero is a Puerto Rican actor, singer, dancer, educator, cultural promoter, and activist based in New York City. Her interdisciplinary approach to artistic creation has led her to train and to collaborate with theater directors, choreographers, musicians, filmmakers, writers, and educators as a performer, co-creator and/or curriculum developer. Some of her projects include CHAMACAS,  ChicaPReneursSeniors In Motion and Pura’s Lágrimas and latest co-founder of Caicú, a nonprofit organization that serves as a cultural platform to empower Puerto Rican artists beyond geographical barriers.


9. Lizbeth Román / Music / 40 min

About the piece: Original music that fuses the Caribbean bohemian with multiple rhythms and a Lyric of the everyday that joins the poetic with the street jargon.

About the artist: Lizbeth Román is a Puerto Rican songwriter, theater and singer. With her scenic force accompanied by the porosity and intensity of her voice, Lizbeth has established herself in the independent scene with her original music that fuses the Caribbean and bohemian vibe with multiple rhythms and a lyric of the everyday that connects the poetic with the street jargon.


10. Alejandro Aldarondo  / Art Installation / Site-Specific

Title: Durational

About the piece: Site-specific art installation uses threads or strings that seeks to trace our multiple routes. Uniting as a collective, migrants from here and there. Respecting our qualities and differences, exalting the reasons of movement of each one, looking for a common place from which to leave, is born this installation of threads that looks for the earth and wants to take root. 

About the artist: Visual artist Puerto Rican, is dedicated to build facilities with textiles and thread in open spaces. Design and make clothes. Artist / installer, performer, designer, costume designer and dancer. He has a bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Studies illustration and Drama. Associate Degree in Fashion Design. Has worked on several projects for: Wire / Mezzanine · PR / NYC / The great fantastic circus  and the fashion event: Bohemian Sunset.


About TheaterLab co-producers:

MEZCOLANZA NYC 2017 – 12th Edition

Mezcolanza is a cultural platform born in 2013 in the city of Buenos Aires produced by Helen Ceballos. It gathers short pieces of artists and multi-disciplinary collectives in order to maintain a live and open stage for the processes and creations of emerging artists in different cities around the world. We aim to erase distances and expose pieces of author, which account for the social reality that is lived in our changing environments. To date, Mezcolanza has hosted over 250 artists among the cities of Buenos Aires, New York and San Juan de Puerto Rico. On this occasion, Mezcolanza visits the city of New York for the third time and celebrates its twelfth edition. We have convened 14 multidisciplinary artists. These artists work in theater, performance, movement, music, improvisation, construction, musical composition, costume making, sculptures, sound and video art. In this edition of the Festival Loisaida and within the framework of the Theater Lab. Mezcolanza presents the urban interventions of 14 outstanding artists from the local and international scene of Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States, interlacing the scenic discourses of these creative artists with their status as permanent immigrants.


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Community Parade & Pageant – Open Workshops

The Loisaida Center logo

The Loisaida Center

proudly presents:

 Community Parade & Pageant – Open Workshops


Workshops begin: Thursday, May 4th 2017
Open daily from 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm (except Mondays)
All workshops held at Loisaida Inc. Center – 710 East 9th Street NY NY 10009
FREE! All ages welcome.
Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.


Overview:

Loisaida Inc. has commissioned three masters in the arts of street theater to develop and implement a FREE month-long intensive collaborative atelier of parade-making & pageant techniques to kick-off the Loisaida Street Festival on its 30th anniversary. Daniel Polnau, Pablo Varona and Adam Ende (link to bios below) are three veteran puppeteers and distinct street artists with extensive US and international experience coming together in Loisaida to engage our surrounding community in an exploration of what is possible with humble and accessible materials. They will offer their skills and mentorship in diverse formats of inter-active public art aesthetics, messaging and celebration.


Workshop dates and description by theme:


Tutabanda (Tootophone)

Dates: Thursdays (May 4, 11, 18, and 25) from 12:00pm to 3:00pm

Description: Let’s start a musical street band from scratch! Bring out all of your inner musical joy in a band of wonders and learn how to make your own costume, design your own mask, help build a float, build your own musical instruments (with materials sourced from any local hardware store) and collaboratively come up with a choreography. Open to all artists, specially musicians and dancers.

(Recommended for ages 18 – Adults)

Cabezudos (Big-head puppets)

Dates: Tuesdays (May 9, 16, and 23) from 12:00pm to 3:00pm

Description: This workshop we will celebrate local history by creating an ensemble of big head masks– portraits of the important artists, activists and gardeners who shaped the neighborhood, such as Bimbo Rivas, Carmen Pabón, Tato Laviera, Armando Pérez, and Jorge Brandon aka “El Coco que Habla”, among others.

Participants will learn sculpture techniques with clay, cardboard, and other materials, the finer points of “paper mâché”, and painting skills. No prior experience necessary– all participants will discover that they have the innate skills to make beautiful portraits and caricatures. Included in the workshop will be mask movement and performance, so you will not only make a head, but learn how to embody it.

The creations will be part of the 30th Anniversary edition of the Loisaida Festival’s opening Parade and its Theater Lab.

(Recommended for ages 13 – Adults. No unaccompanied minors will be allowed.)

Giant Tiger and Jaguar Puppets:

Dates: Wednesdays (May 10, 17 and 24) from 12:00pm to 3:00pm

Description: Open to anyone who wants to make wearable-danceable- carry able art and help create. Join our team of guest artists and local luminaries in a highly collaborative and experimental open studio where we spin straw into gold! All levels of experience- from the curious to fluent!

Families, adults, teens, individuals, organizations welcome. See your dreams come to life when we bring our creations to the street in a spectacular parade that celebrates the spirit of Loisaida past, present and future!

(Recommended for ages 6 – Adults. No unaccompanied minors will be allowed.)

Open Community Workshops:

Dates: Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays (May 5,6,7,12,13,14,19,20 and 21) from 12:00pm to 6:00pm

Description: The Loisaida Festival Parade & Pageant counts with workshop space to build anything related to the parade. Any individual or group that would like to use our space, can come in on the Open Community Workshops. If you reach us beforehand, we could also reserve a space in the workshop and help with your designs and craft.

Please note: The parade is on the 28, May 2017, it starts at 10am and finishes at 12pm. We are asking all parade volunteers to be there, at least, two hours before (~8am) the parade starts and to anyone else that is parading with us, at least one hour before (~9am).

(Recommended for ages 6 – Adults. No unaccompanied minors will be allowed.)


Instructor Profile:

Daniel Polnau – Artist, puppeteer, director of Tiny Town artists collective and  Strombolli’s Medicine Show. Daniel Polnau has created puppet parades, circuses, and outdoor theatre spectacles for over 30 years. He specializes in creating larger than life puppets out of recycled junk and up-cycled materials making the mundane become extraordinary. At the heart of each highly collaborative project he strives to demystify the creative process, and quicken the innate creative abilities in all, regardless of age, abilities, or arts experience. His projects and residencies have spanned the globe from Moscow, Bali, Alaska and Puerto Rico.

Pablo Varona – Artist, puppeteer and resident of Casa Múcaro in Las Marías, Puerto Rico. Spends most his time living close to the forested mountaintops of Puerto Rico as the artist liaison of Casa Múcaro, Las Marías. He is amazed by the immeasurable value that the reuse, recycling and/or “forgotten” objects do when it comes to the transformation of urban contexts. His interests revolve around making these issues relevant and accessible to the general audience. Lead artist at Honey for the Heart Parade, Athens, OH, 2015 and Art Director of Loisaida Festival Parade 2016.

Adam Ende – Puppeteer, founder and director of Jawbone Puppet Theater; artistic and managing director of the Islewilde performance festival. He has more than 20 years of extensive experience directing puppet shows, parades and festivals around the US and Taiwan, as well as writing shows, building puppets, performing, and leading workshops in puppet making and performance. His particular specialty is making portraits in puppet.


Even though everyone is welcome to participate in all workshops without previous registration we ask that you to please fill out this form.


Volunteer to give life to the 30th Loisaida Festival Parade, join here!


For any questions please contact: Zuleyka Alejandro (787) 636-4413 or Pablo Varona (787) 412-1220

The 30th Loisaida Festival

A celebration is coming:

The Loisaida Festival has been historically celebrated on the Sunday before Memorial Day, this year is on:

    Sunday, May 28th fom 12:00pm – 5:00pm

2017’s theme is Immigration where we’ll be recognizing and celebrating the Im/migrant experience in the Lower East Side – The Gateway to America, and celebrating the Latin American Immigrant and their contributions to this community, city and country.

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Vitrina Rota – book talk with Silverio Pérez

Wednesday, March 29th at 6:30pm

Loisaida Inc. Center hosts Silverio Pérez in the presentation and signing of autographs for his new book:

La Vitrina Rota “The Broken Glass Case” or What the hell happened here?


THIS EVENT HAS PASSED. SEE A VIDEO OF THE LIVE BROADCAST BELOW:


About the book:

The broken glass case, or what the hell happened here? Is a hybrid text that takes hold of what memory is and what memory offers, it is autobiographical, and a “history-o-graphic” essay. Narrated using the most respectable seriousness, the most pure emotion and a suggestive taunt, it leaves us a text that invites reflection and calm, but also calls to action and maybe encourages a calculated rebellion. All written in a tragicomic or comedic-serious tone so typical of the picaresque narrative that accompanies the Puerto Ricans from a remote past.

What Silverio does in this intense and moving volume is to look at that long 20th century that began in 1898 and continues in 2016, the American century, in the light of a repeated “promise” unfulfilled.

Exceptional witness of the time he has lived will prepare the reader for a time where “history” and “life” converge in an enviable balance.

It is also a historical and vital responsibility, well fulfilled.

Read Press Release here.


About the author:

Silverio Pérez (born July 18, 1948) is a musician, writer, comedian, entrepreneur and broadcasting media host, born in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He is known for several reasons, among them:

  • Hosting several successful Puerto Rican television shows during his career.
  • Performing with the known group of political satire called Los Rayos Gamma (The Gamma Rays)[1][2]
  • Performing with the nueva trova group called Haciendo Punto en Otro Son.
  • His motivational lectures which are usually called “Humortivación” (Humortivation).

Walled Worlds

Loisaida Inc. and Atomic Culture are proud to present:

Walled WorldsBorder Publics, Cultural Activism and Urban Planning.


Panel: Thursday, February 9th at 6:00 pm.
Loisaida Inc. – 710 East 9th Street New York, NY 10009

Renowned scholars, artists, cultural activists and critics–Ricardo DominguezTeddy CruzFonna Forman and Ed Morales–ccome together to discuss their distinct yet cross-cultural perspectives on the intersections of arts and culture, activism and policy, and forced migration and community building, utilizing examples of neighborhoods including the Lower East Side.

We will consider how might our cultural activism, advocacy, and participatory planning begin working to create stronger collaborative movements and build solidarity within and beyond our multiple communities?

In the face of political uncertainties, we will also consider what tactics and strategies work to strengthen cultural equity advocacy, to influence policy and to advance equity principles as part of what should be enshrined in NYC’s cultural plan. A report-back on the discussion will be included as a set of recommendations to the New York City Council’s 10 year Cultural Plan.

FREE

Please RSVP, limited capacity!


Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City

Loisaida Inc. and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation are proud to present:

Ours to Lose: When Squatters Became Homeowners in New York City


The Lower East Side in the 1980s and 90s was home to a radical squattingmovement that
blended urban homesteading and European-style squatting in a way never before seen in the
United States.

Ours to Lose takes a close look at a diverse group of Lower East Side squatters who occupied abandoned city-owned buildings in the 1980s, fought to keep them for decades, and eventually began a long, complicated process to turn their illegal occupancy into legal cooperative ownership.

In this multimedia event Starecheski will use oral histories to explore the complicated
relationships between homesteading and squatting on the Lower East Side, and in American
history.


Amy Starecheski is co-director of the Oral History Master of Arts program at Columbia
University. She received a PhD in cultural anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center, where
she was a Public Humanities Fellow. In 2016 she was awarded the “Will the Next Margaret
Mead Please Stand Up?” Prize for public anthropological writing.


Check out video of the talk below:



BRAINLINGO

Loisaida Inc. presents:

BRAINLINGO – A poetry workshop for the body and mind.

With: Edwin Torres

Thursdays, September 15th, 22nd, 29th & October 13th from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

710 East 9th Street New York, NY 10009

(Joining Edwin on Sept. 22 will be guest artist Will Power, Doris Duke Foundation Resident Artist at New York Theater Workshop)


Eventbrite - BRAINLINGO - Open Sensory Awareness


OVERVIEW:

A Poetry Workshop For The Body And Mind — is a creative laboratory combining elements of theater, collage, and movement structured around language. Participants will explore the performative edges that embody transition as rich tools for transformative work. By cultivating an awareness between the disciplines of body language and archetypes of imagination, the tri-lingual voice, the speaking-seeing-hearing voice, will be nurtured. The four weeks are oriented around opening the sensory awareness necessary for artistic expression.

The workshop is structured sequentially for maximum effect, however each class can be taken individually to fit your schedule. Please enroll online.


September 15th – CLASS 1: GROUND

Poets are creatures grounded in awareness. To establish that ground, we need to see what happens to awareness as it transitions. We activate that trigger by presenting two immersive exercises built to represent the evolution of the creative process as a microcosm of the writer’s experience. The writing that emerges is then shared and a discussion follows, utilizing the newly-charged creative space. This becomes groundwork for transition to become a resource in the creative process.


September 22nd – CLASS 2: BALANCE (with guest artist Will Power)

In this class, we’re lucky to be joined by award-winning playwright and performer Will Power. To nurture creativity is to spark the imagination, to see the world from many viewpoints, to cultivate where balance lies, literally, from one foot to the other. Using alignment to explore movement in theater and performance, we’ll integrate exercises from The Alexander Technique that explore the spine’s relationship to language, and how support is integral to creativity. We’ll then explore improvisation in dialogue on stage and in action by creating brief performances in group settings. Between Will Power and Edwin Torres, an immersive narrative among a range of genres will create an intoxicating blend of creative inspiration for the class to journey by.


September 29th – CLASS 3: SIGHT

Our volume, our mass, the weight of our perception is defined by the movement we attach to it. This week, we’ll take what we explored with Will Power the previous week and interpret music as movement, words as sound, interconnecting the accumulation of classes as possibilities for interpretation. The students will be taking their places with each other to create movement plays, based on word exercises reducing writing into vowels and consonants. Our movements are mapped into choreo-poems, as concrete poetry and collage are explored and assigned, creating new pathways into the visual senses.


October 13th – CLASS 4: VOICE (Please note that the first Thursday in October, Oct. 6th, will be skipped)

To communicate what’s being listening to requires an understanding of border with intention, defined as “voice.” This final class explores the Japanese dance Butoh – which explores energy slowly traveling through the dancer’s body. Butoh will be used to translate the voices within, to interpret listening to unknown voices into action. Mantra and repetition will be used to generate new writing out of trance states, further opening the possibilities of sensory awareness. Collaged pieces will be adapted into new texts, creating a performance of collected works to be presented at The Loisaida Center at a later date in November.


ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Edwin Torres came to poetry as a graphic designer in New York City, becoming a self-proclaimed “lingualisualist,” fluent in the languages of sight and sound. The iconic diversity of the East Village during the 90’s, along with the combined forces of Dixon Place, The Nuyorican Poets Café, and The St. Marks Poetry Project, shaped his multi-disciplinary approach to language. He was a member of the poetry collective “Nuyorican Poets Café Live” that helped revitalize Spoken Word, performing and giving workshops worldwide. He is the author of eight books of poetry, including Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press 2014), Yes Thing No Thing (Roof Books 2010), In The Function Of External Circumstances (Nightboat Books 2009) and The PoPedology of An Ambient Language (Atelos Books 2008). He’s received fellowships from the DIA Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, The Foundation For Contemporary Performing Arts, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The Poetry Fund among others.

In 2016, he judged the Andre Montoya Poetry Prize at the University of Note Dame, performed his solo show “Mi Voca Su Voca” at The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, is part of a 2-year artist’s residency entitled Open Studios at The Drawing Center in New York City, and received a residency fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, Creative Writing Program for the upcoming semester. His visual poetics have been exhibited at Exit Art, EFA Gallery in NYC, and a graphic retrospective “Poesís: The Visual Language of Edwin Torres” at The Center for Book and Paper Arts, Chicago, Il. His CD “Holy Kid” (Kill Rock Stars Records) was part of the Whitney Museum’s exhibit “The American Century Part II.” Anthologies include, American Poets in the 21st Century: Vol. 2 (Wesleyan University), Angels Of The Americlypse: An Anthology of New Latin@ Writing (Counterpath Press), Post-Modern American Poetry Vol. 2 (Norton), Best American Poetry (Penguin), Kindergarde: Avant Garde Poems and Plays for Children (Black Radish Books), and Aloud: Voices from The Nuyorican Poets Cafe (Holt).

Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer. Plays include “Stagger Lee” (Dallas Theater Center), “Fetch Clay, Make Man”(New York Theater Workshop, Marin Theatre Company, Roundhouse Theatre, True Colors Theater), “Steel Hammer” with SITI Company (Humana Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music), “The Seven” (Lucille Lortel Award Best Musical, New York Theater Workshop, La Jolla Playhouse, Ten Thousand Things Theater Company), Five Fingers of Funk! (Children’s Theatre Company), Honey Bo and The Goldmine (La Jolla Playhouse) and two internationally acclaimed solo shows “The Gathering,” and “Flow.”

In addition to being the Doris Duke Foundation Resident Artist at New York Theater Workshop, Power is also on the faculty at The Meadows School of the Arts/SMU, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence with the Dallas Theatre Center

The 29th Loisaida Festival

The largest community pride event in Manhattan’s most historic neighborhood.

Sunday, May 29th 2016. Avenue C – The Lower East Side.

Background

Since 1987 the Loisaida Festival has been celebrated the Sunday before Memorial Day weekend in the Manhattan neighborhood known as the Lower East Side, the East Village, or Loisaida. This event is the largest community pride festival in the neighborhood and grows annually in size, excitement, and impact. It is presented in the Avenue C commercial corridor-renamed Loisaida Avenue since 1989.

The Loisaida Festival includes diverse manifestations of the Puerto Rican and Latino cultures expressed through music, cuisine and arts. Although it began as a community event to celebrate the culture, heritage and accomplishments of Loisaida’s Puerto Rican/Hispanic community, the event has created a multi-cultural spirit where people from all races and backgrounds descend from all parts on the city into this historic and eclectic neighborhood.The Loisaida Festival has also created a platform for Loisaida’s Latino and, now growing, non-Latino neighborhood residents and families that come together on the day of the event to share and celebrate the Memorial Day Holiday as well as their social and cultural differences.

The program includes musical concerts, dance performances, folkloric musical presentations, and arts and crafts exhibitions that showcase the work of artisans that represent diverse ethnic groups and nationalities. It also serves as a vehicle to disseminate critical community information distributed by employees and volunteers of many local and city-wide health and human services organizations.The Loisaida Festival is sponsored by Loisaida Inc., the oldest Puerto Rican non-for-profit organization in the neighborhood.

Loisaida, Inc. was founded in 1979 to address the problem of social and economic disenfranchisement of poor, low income and working class residents of the Lower East Side. Over the years, Loisaida has provided comprehensive education, training and employment opportunities that have targeted young adults. It has also worked with local businesses in neighborhood economic development activities as a means to promote entrepreneurship and help create jobs for local residents.

The festival weekend attracts over 15,000 participants every year.

The festival will become an even more significant Loisaida community event and venue as a signature citywide and tourist destination.

Event Objectives

  • Contribute to the preservation and promotion of the Latin American culture of the Lower East Side neighborhood.
  • Enhance, promote and support the artistic-cultural expressions of the Latino and other artists that reside in this community and/or working in the Lower East Side.
  • Provide culturally-relevant, first-class entertainment and educational opportunities for the entire family, neighborhood residents and visitors.
  • In the tradition of this historic New York City neighborhood, known as the “America’s Gateway”, expose non-Latino community residents and visitors to the rich and diverse Latin culture as expressed thorough its music, arts, cuisine and folklore, and promote multi-ethnic understanding and harmony.
  • Provide a platform to disseminate educational, health-specific information and public interest information to community residents, and special needs populations.
  • Remember and recognize Puerto Ricans/Latinos who, through their advocacy and leadership, helped establish and strengthen local institutions, and worked to help improve the economic, educational and social conditions of the Latino community of the Lower East Side.

Location

  • The Festival is held on Avenue C (Loisaida Avenue) from East 12th to East 6th Streets. Parking around the neighborhood is extremely limited, so the best way to get to the festival is Subway.

The closest stations are:

  • L train to First Avenue and 14th Streets
  • Lexington (green line) to Union Square; at Union Station you can transfer to the Eastbound L train to First Avenue
  • F Train to Delancey Street. (free shuttle bus service from this location to festival)

Transportation

  • The First Avenue and 14th Street stop of the L Train is at walking distance from the festival site–Avenue C and 12th Street. Commuters on the Lexington Line [4, 5, and 6] at Union Square can transfer to L, to reach the East Side, or transfer to the Avenue A or D 14th Street cross-town buses and get off on Avenue B and 14th Street.

Visitor’s Tips List

  • This event is free to the public and family-oriented, therefore, no sale or promotion of alcohol and tobacco will be allowed.
  • Pick up a Festival Program and Guide at the Official Loisaida Festival information booth to be stationed on the Southeast corner of Avenue C and 9thh Street.
  • Keep your children engaged and excited with hands-on activities offered at the Children’s Pavilion.
  • Reunite with old friends and relatives at The Placita-Under the Willow Trees, located on the Southwest corner of 9th Street.

Low Tech High Magic

Loisaida Inc. and Casa Múcaro presents:

LOW TECH HIGH MAGIC – FREE COMMUNITY WORKSHOP


Schedule: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Starting Monday, May 9th through Sunday, May 29th.


Eventbrite - Low Tech High Magic


Overview:

Create puppets out of recycled and upcycled trash, waste and discarded found materials. Learn how to transform junk into beauty! Spin straw into gold! Art with an ecological, green twist. Create your own wondrous puppet or assist in larger collaborative group puppet project.

Making art with trash is one way of reusing everyday found objects and instead of seen as a nuance, if used right, it could become an object of beautification. The purpose behind this workshop is to create a group of community members, or volunteers, interested in working together to be part of a parade happening on the 25th of May and be part of a pageant, happening right after. As a way of bringing people together with under a similar motif, centered around the Loisaida community’s societal impact as pioneers of urban ecology creative innovation.

We’ll be making masks and big puppets, with “upcycled,” or reused materials and full body masks and costumes, made with reusable and recyclable materials. We’ll be reliving the lives of those that made this neighborhood alive, with those that are present today. Be part of this event and help us exalt the creativity of the Loisaida community towards an ecological mindset. Trash, or daily found objects, will be our best friend for this workshop, as they are a cost-effective material filled with endless applications.


Outcomes:

1. A new contingent will be added to the opening Carnival Procession (Parade) of the Loisaida Festival. An exuberant celebration of Caribbean solidarity, drawing inspiration from Afro-Caribbean mythological symbols, and the resilient creative spirit of looking backwards and forwards: a recognition of all the lives of those that made this neighborhood alive, with those that are present today. (Featuring the collaboration of: Braata Productions, Semi-Upright Cultural Workers Collective,and RMO)

2. Join our Giant Puppet making community workshop Low Tech, High Magic. Learn how to create masks! Parade costumes! Larger-than-life Puppets! Colourful parade floats!

3. Beyond the Parade, join the amazing outdoor street-theatre puppet-pageant that follows as part of the Theater Lab inside La Plaza Cultural!  Be part of this homage to the legacy of Latino community builders from the Young Lords forward in celebration of all lives that make this neighborhood alive.


Workshop is led by Pablo Varona of CASA MUCARO.


Profile:

Casa Mucaro Logo F BlackCasa Múcaro is a collaborative project on a forested mountaintop near Las Marias, Puerto Rico. We are multidisciplinary artists in pursuit of self-sufficiency for ourselves and others, through “the sharing of tools, materials, and know-how.” We envision “termitopia” cities, like termite mounds, in which by means of re-use, or recycling of materials, their citizens understand the benefits of self-managing “waste” generated by their neighborhood and can actively participate in the construction and maintenance of their own city.

Collaborative Practices: Casa Múcaro’s project will feature a collaboration of with Braata Productions, Semi-Upright Cultural Workers Collective, and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra (RMO) with the goal of joining the talents, resources and visions of multiple theater, music, arts and culture collectives working on projects related to the people and culture of Caribbean Islands living in NYC.  It will produce a collection of different works to be presented at the 29th edition of Loisiada Festival and Braata Production’s Caribbean Folk Festival in Jamaica, Queens the following weekend.


Individual Bios:

Bill Birdsall is an artist refugee from Los Angels, with about 40 years of residence now in backwoods Puerto Rico.  Bill went from airplanes to coffee farmers, learning survival skills along the way. He built his own home out of free, discarded fishnet and cement, using a technique he calls nylon-cement.  Bill invents things and posts his inventions on Instructables.com under the name “Thinkenstein”. Search for his “nylon-cement”, PVC, and “tootophone” instructables there, among other things. See his website: http://thinkenstein.info for other things Bill do, like paintings, sculpture and music.

Pablo Varona or “Pablillo José, spends most his time living close to the forested mountaintops of Puerto Rico. At the time, he is a puppeteer, street performer and a supreme believer of juggling as his way through every corner he visits. He is amazed by the immeasurable value that the reuse, recycling and/or “forgotten” objects do when it comes to the transformation of urban contexts. His interests revolve around making these issues relevant and accessible to the general audience, with the hopes that some day we will all learn from its potential uses and collaborate in the creative process of experimenting with the most abundant material out there: Trash. To see more of his work, go to http://www.diminuto.info.

Daniel Polnau has created puppet parades, circuses, and outdoor theatre spectacles for over 30 years. He specializes in creating larger than life puppets out of recycled junk and up-cycled materials making the mundane become extraordinary. Projects and residencies have spanned the globe from Moscow to Bali to Juneau, Alaska to Puerto Rico. Highly collaborative, at the heart of each project he strives to demystify the creative process and quicken the innate creative abilities in all – regardless of age, abilities or arts experience. He is committed to respectfully embracing underserved and marginalized populations.

How to Self Publish Your First Book

La SoPA NYC and Loisaida Inc. presents

How To Self Publish Your First Book


A free workshop talking about the process of publishing, editing and promoting your first book using low cost digital tools.

Speakers: Elisabet Velasquez & George Torres

The School of Poetic Arts aka La S.O.P.A. is a producer of diverse poetry and performing arts events in New York City, formed using the philosophies of the most progressive intellectual and artistic movements of the last century (i.e. The Harlem Renaissance, the Beat Poets, Black Arts Movement & most notably the Nuyorican Movement). We were founded in Brooklyn in March 2007 as an Open Mic & made our presence felt immediately by featuring both veterans as well as up-and-coming performers of spoken word, prominent visual artists, comedians, and select musical guests covering the genres of salsa, bomba y plena, progressive hip hop, and more. We have taken our brand to major academic institutions like New York University, Hunter College and Long Island University, and we have also taken our brand to major international corporations like National Grid Energy and Pepsi.

3/30 – 6pm -8pm