For three decades, Loisaida Festival has paid homage to the Latinos who first started laying down roots in Loisaida in the 1940s. Though gentrification has erased some of the neighborhood’s past – when it was truly multi-ethnic and brought together Puerto Ricans, Argentines, Cubans, Eastern European Jews, amongs many other – Loisaida Inc. is making sure this history doesn’t go forgotten. This weekend, it will host its 30th annual festival.
With the immigration debate dominating national discourse, this year’s theme – The Spirit of the Immigrant and Migrant Community – couldn’t be more fitting. The one-day event will take place on May 28 from 11 to 5:30 p.m. J.W. Cortes will serve as this year’s host. The festival will open with a parade at 11 a.m. on the Avenue C corridor, but with the 4th Annual Loisaida Festival TheaterLab – visual, theatrical, or musical performances – there’s plenty to do.
Here’s what to be on the lookout for:
With the use of threads and strings, Alejandro Aldarondo’s Durational traces multiple routes. The piece unites 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.”
Mickey Negrón, who currently has an artistic residence at the Center of Fine Arts, will present Transgressed Body, a piece looking at the “strength in the voice of the minority.”
Puerto Rican poet Omar Iloy, who grew up between Texas and Puerto Rico, will return to Loisaida Fest to perform Hungry Diasporican. Vive Borikén – Puerto Rico describes this piece as something intimately familiar for many Puerto Ricans who want to help the island.
Yan Christian Collazo's performance
Yan Christian Collazo’s untitled performance makes commentary “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.”
Awilda Rodríguez Lora's performance
This untitled contemporary dance piece look at migrants who in coming to the United States have “absorbed American culture and made it theirs.”
Check out what else the TheaterLab has to offer here.