The Loisaida Center Team 


Alejandro Epifanio Torres – Executive & Artistic Director

Alejandro’s extensive expertise over a more than ten-year career as a cultural worker and organizer, as well as his deep commitment to civic engagement, the preservation of our Puerto Rican culture, arts, creativity, and social justice, are embodied in his work ethic. Alejandro oversees the organization’s technology and media programs, web development, image and branding of Loisaida Inc. and the annual Loisaida Festival. Graduated from the School of Visual Arts, a multifaceted artist born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and a resident of the Lower East Side.


Catiria Ayende – Administrative Assistant

Catiria is a Lower East Side resident who is passionate about her community, heritage and culture. Catiria has a degree in Anthropology from John Jay College, her interests include social justice research, Latinx culture and art. Through community engagements Catiria looks forward to further learning more about her community’s history. Aside from her administrative duties, Catiria leads various outreach efforts through Loisaida including the distribution of dry goods, winter clothing and essentials for the local homeless population.


Paul Garrin – Creative Technologist & IT Manager

Paul Garrin is an interdisciplinary artist and social entrepreneur whose work explores the social impact of technology and issues of media access, free speech, public/private space, and the digital divide. In 2003, Garrin launched WiFi-NY, an independent, cooperative community wireless broadband network that serves downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. He continues to live and work in the Lower East Side.


Alex-Nicole Edwards – Multimedia & Marketing Associate

Alex-Nicole Edwards is a multimedia storyteller whose work includes news articles, short stories, scripts, podcasts, and films. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the City University of New York at Baruch College. Alex-Nicole manages the Loisaida Center’s social media presence and creates content for our various events and programs. Born to Trinidadian parents who immigrated to the United States, she is a first-generation American and lifelong resident of Brooklyn, NY.


Julián Garnik – Videographer & Editor

Julián Garnik is a filmmaker from Carolina, Puerto Rico based in New York City and a producer for the independent film production company Filmes Eucalyptus, which has produced short films that have traveled through several international film festivals in the past years. At Loisaida, Julián is leading the ongoing documentation of our programs, projects and community engagements, his work is featured via LoisaidaTV.


María Torres-O’Connor – Project Coordinator

Maria Torres’ extensive career as director, choreographer, instructor,and Producer began as a critically acclaimed performer, contributing choreography while performing in the film Dance, with the six-time Tony-nominated Broadway musical Swing and Me!. Torres was nominated for a 2018 Ovation Award for Best Choreography for Luis Valdes’ Zoot Suit, is a Lucille Lortel & Carbonell nominee of Four Guys named Jose’, The Donkey Show and Celia, the musical based on the life of the late Cuban singer Celia Cruz. At Loisaida, María is the lead Program Coordinator for the Media Used for Justice, Equity & Respect (M.U.J.E.R.) program.


Artistic Advisory Committee: Loisaida’s Artistic Advisory Committee is made up of a mix of knowledgeable arts leaders in different fields who meet twice a year and are consulted frequently between meetings. We are honored by the support of these esteemed individuals who advocate for the quality of our programming and our mission.


Acacia Network Cultural Team:

Lymaris Albors – Chief Executive Officer

Raul Russi – President

María del Carmen Arroyo – Executive Vice President of Administration

Gabriela González – AVP, Communications & Development

Angel Santini – Vice President of Special Projects, Marketing & Events

Loisaida Inc. is an affiliate of the Acacia Network.