As part of the Women in Bomba series, in collaboration with La Sala de Pepe & Foto Espacio, we sit down with Oxil Febles.

Oxil is an NYC-based Afro-Puerto Rican dancer, folklorist, performer, educator, curator, and founder of O Team, Inc. Her artistic career began in Puerto Rico under the mentorship of The Cepeda Family and other Bomba elders. Oxil directed Nandí, the first female Bomba ensemble in Puerto Rico in 2006 which spearheaded a women’s drumming movement, creating a space for women’s visibility and collaborating in the preservation of Afro-Puerto Rican folklore. She is currently a Creatives Rebuild New York grantee and has collaborated with different agencies and transnational artists such as William Cepeda, Paoli Mejias, Bobby Sanabria, and folklorist artists in PR and the diaspora since 1997. Oxil’s recent artistic contribution in California was with Ms. Denise Solis, director of Bomberas de la Bahia and Taller Tambó in 2022.

For this second part of the Women in Bomba series, José “Pepe” Flores sits down with Yasmar Cruz. Yasmar began her artistic training early in life in her hometown of San Juan, PR which led her to be invited to participate at the Puerto Rican Day Parad while she was in Middle School. This experience transformed her life and she knew one day she would live in that lights filled city. Ms. Cruz moved to New York City in 2011 and became the Cultural Dance Program coordinator for the Brooklyn Music School. She has written and directed various theater plays including “I Love Salsa” The Musical and “El Espejo” which have been selected for International Theater Festivals in New York, New York Frenzy Festival, Festival de Teatro de Otoño (Cuba) and Festival Casa Navarrette (Dominican Republic). In Cuba, she trained with companies such as Ballet Folklorico de Oriente, Teatro de la Danza del Caribe y Ballet Folklorico Cutumba, as part of a Cultural Exchange Program with Oyu Oro, Afro-Cuban collective. Yasmar is currently a Hunter College, M.A. in Dance Education candidate at the City University of New York.

As part of the 2022 Loisaida Artistic Residency Program; photographer and filmmaker Ebony Cawthorne’s documentary titled Tied Together takes an candid look at five New York City young adults as they unpack the attraction of sneaker culture in their lives, communities as they reflect on the urgency of foundational financial literacy in their lives, and how collecting sneakers has been key to understanding financial responsibility.

The short documentary was awarded a Special Jury Prize at the 2022 Toronto Black Film Festival. Ebony is now working on a podcast series that will dive deeper into the making of the film and what comes next for each of the interviewees. Contact Ebony at ebcawthorne@gmail.com or Loisaida, Inc. at info@loisaida.org for more info.

Entre ON & OFF es un programa digital de comedia/variedades en Español, creado y protagonizado por Gilberto Gabriel y Andrés López-Alicea como parte del programa de residencias artísticas en Loisaida, Inc. Center. Andrés y Gilberto han creado un programa de “TV” basado en la ciudad de Nueva York, mediante el cual la audiencia tiene la oportunidad de explorar el teatro “ON Broadway” y “OFF Broadway” donde se destacan los logros de la comunidad LatinX dentro del campo de la actuación y producción en esta ciudad.

Made as part of Loisaida’s Tech Program, filmed at the Loisaida Center Media and Tech Studio, and on location throughout NYC. Supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council.