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Flyer for the March 2011 Arts and Family Day Program: Lembranças/Recollections.

Meet the artist Amy Garas as you explore her solo exhibit "Lembrancas: A Recollection". Participate in creating art with your children and families…

The Plegarias, or spiritual masses, are taken from the Espiritismo liturgy as practiced on the island of Cuba and in the diaspora.

Bomba performance by the Raícitas Youth Program participants. Illustrates bomba dance, a conversation between the dancer and the drummer.

The chants and the toques de batá for the dead performed by the Raíces Ensemble and guest artists in the Festival for the Dead are taken from the Lucumí/Ocha liturgy of Cuba.

The batá are the liturgical drums of Ocha. The rhythms and chants are used to praise, honor and call to the Orishas, or forces of nature.

Oyá is the orisha, or force of nature of the whirlwinds, the energy that brings chaos and destruction to make room for change and new growth. She is also the gatekeeper of the cemetary and the marketplace, deciding who may enter and who may leave.

Iansa is the Brazilian tradition equivalent to the Cuban Orisha Oyá, force of nature of the whirlwinds and keeper of the cemetary and marketplace.

Orixa Iansa, gatekeeper of the cemetary and marketplace, force of nature of the whirlwinds, causing upheavals and making way for change.

Ancestor altar, on stage for the production, containing photographs of the ancestors of the performers.

Toque and chant for the orisha Obbá, keeper of the graves in the cemetary.

Raíces Cultural Center was able to present a variety of traditions that honor the ancestors through music, song and dance thanks to a cultural collaboration with Grupo Ribeiro from New York City, who presented the Brazilian traditions of the caboclo…

Bomba performance by the Raícitas Youth Program participants. Illustrates bomba dance, a conversation between the dancer and the drummer.

In June of 2009, Raíces Cultural Center Ensemble members were invited to participate in the Brooklyn Puerto Rican Day Parade, drumming, singing and dancing plena. Plena is a musical tradition that evolved on the island of Puerto Rico. Plena is…

Plena is a community tradition. Known as a “singing newspaper”, it tells a story, and traditionally brought news between the towns and cities of Puerto Rico. Everyone joins in the singing, dancing and playing.

After the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Raíces Cultural Center Ensemble was asked to perform at a benefit event sponsored by local Rutgers University students. Raíces Ensemble members and Raíces student performers created a presentation for…

Raíces student performer Aja Washington dancing Yemayá, the orisha, or force of nature, of the ocean. In Nigeria, the orisha Yemayá was originally a river, but in the evolution on the island of Cuba, during and after the trans-Atlantic slave trade,…

Raíces Co-Directors Francisco G. Gómez and Nicole Wines in a Raíces Ensemble rehearsal. Francisco is also the Musical Director of Raíces. Pictured here in the spring of 2010 surrounded by cultural objects and instruments.

Raíces students often rehearse and perform with the core of the Raíces Ensemble. Practicing voices for a full chorus in the Spring of 2010.

At the Spring Jam community art event, Raíces Cultural Center organized a day of workshops and music performances, as well as collaborations with local family arts organizations. A local Girl Scout troop participated in the festival, attending all…

Participants in this Arts and Family Day event had the opportunity to paint and take home their own miniature vejigante masks.

After hearing stories about Los Vejigantes de Puerto Rico and making their own vejigante masks, participants colored vejigante costumes and masks and later put their artwork on display at the Raíces studio.

After learning about the history of the vejigantes, families who participated in this Arts and Family Day event worked together on vejigante based crafts.

At this Arts and Family Day event, participants got to learn about and meet los vejigantes de Puerto Rico in an interactive presentation and performance.
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