The Afro-Latino Festival of New York kicks off today in Brooklyn. In its 7th year, the annual festival is bringing musical talent from eight countries to indoor and outdoor stages. This includes 30 local and international artisans and will bring together attendees with descendancy across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the African diaspora for a two-day affair.
“The Afro-Latino Festival brings some of the most exciting acts and performers to the famed streets, plazas and public spaces of Downtown Brooklyn,” said Regina Myer, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, in a press release. “With an unparalleled line up of musicians, dancers, and speakers, we invite everyone to come celebrate the diversity and culture that both the Festival and Downtown Brooklyn are known for.”
Run by Mai-Elka Prado, co-founder, and co-director of the festival, and co-director and husband Amilcar Priestley, the core focus of the Afro-Latino Festival is to affirm, educate and celebrate Afro-Latinxs. This year’s theme is #ReclaimingCulture+Spaces. At a time when Afro-descendants are still fighting for equality across the board, it’s a timely subject.
Programming starts with the first-ever, three-part AfrolatinTalks podcast powered by Latino Rebels and Futuro Media Group. It’ll feature insights from culture curator Bobbito Garcia; Zahira Kelly, widely-known as Bad Dominicana; and Cecilia Nelson-Hurt, assistant vice president, diversity and inclusion at L’Oréal USA, to name a few. Friday’s agenda also includes an opening party at BKLYN Studios featuring Haitian-American DJ Stakz, as well as a bevy of other diaspora-focused DJs. A tribute to the legendary Catalino “Tite” Curet Alonso of Puerto Rico will be led by Garcia, poet-activist Felipe Luciano, and DJ Nina Vicious. The awards ceremony will honor leaders past and present, including Alonso, Luciano, and Afro-Colombian journalist Edna Liliana Valencia Murillo.
On day two, featured performances will include Latin Grammy winner Jose Alberto “El Canario, twin DJs Coco and Breezy, and Panama’s Los Beachers, who are celebrating their 51st anniversary.
There’s something for everyone, even the young ones. The kids zone will include family-fun activities throughout Saturday.
The Festival is in partnership with City Point and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. To view the complete lineup and activities, visit the Afro-Latino Fest NYC website.