mostbet casinomosbet1win loginmostbet casino kz1win aviatorlucky jetmostbet az1 win azmosbet1xbet lucky jetpin upmostbet casinoaviatormostbetpin up betmostbetpinup indiapin up casino4rabet bd4era bet1win casinopinupmosbetlucky jet online1 win1win slotsparimatchaviator mostbet1win aviator1 win1winpinup1 win kzlucky jet onlinemostbet casino1 win casinopin up azerbaijanpin uppinup kzmostbet aviator login1 win az1winmostbet azpin up casinomostbet kz4r bet1 winlucky jetmosbetparimatch4rabet bangladesh

D.C’s “Diaspora Fest” Doesn’t Just Bring The Entire Caribbean Diaspora Into One Festival, It’s A Movement


Photo By Jermoni Dowd

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Hundreds of people gathered at Franklin Park in the nation’s capital on September 30 to celebrate diverse cultures at Diaspora Fest, with a particular focus on the Caribbean diaspora. 

Diaspora Fest featured unique art and fashion, delicious food, live music, and dance performances. From the signature moves of the DC Casineros that showed the crowds the beauty of Cuban dance to high-energy live band performances that had everyone grooving to the sounds of soca reggae, afrobeats, and more, it was an afternoon to remember. 

D.C’s “Diaspora Fest” Doesn’t Just Bring The Entire Caribbean Diaspora Into One Festival, It’s A Movement

A headlining performance from Freetown Collective rounded out the unique experience. This dynamic global music group from Trinidad and Tobago is known for its unique genre fusions, soul-stirring performances and inspirational messages.

“We are powerful people, Caribbean people, and the Diaspora. The effect we’ve had on the world of Pan Africanism, Black intellectual thought, art, writing and painting, you name it. We’ve been at the base at it contributing. I think it’s always for the next generation, [us] to carry on that legacy. So in any way that we could support that… we’re there,” shares Muhammad Muwakil, a lead vocalist of Freetown Collective. 

However, this was more than the launch of a new festival. The inaugural Diaspora Fest officially marked the beginning of a local movement with plans for national expansion that would increase engagement, recognition, support, and cultural exchange for a community that’s often underrepresented.

“We wanted to project a different aspect of Caribbean American programming, not just about the carnival, although we are focused on it, but we also wanted to show a very different aspect, hence our focus on art, animation and music. So we are using Diaspora Fest to bring all the artistic disciplines together under one roof to showcase a much broader spectrum of Caribbean American artistic representation,” says Shurland Oliver, co-chair of the recently formed Diaspora Arts Council. 

D.C’s “Diaspora Fest” Doesn’t Just Bring The Entire Caribbean Diaspora Into One Festival, It’s A Movement
Photo By Benny Flaco

The 13-member council is made of individuals who have long-held experience and impact in the arts and culture space, such as co-chair and renowned entertainment publicist Vida Ali, who has worked with legendary artists such as Tina Turner and Janet Jackson and led campaigns for local cultural staples like Ben’s Chili Bowl.

Other members of the Diaspora Arts Council include National Museum of African American History & Culture curators Dr. Joanne Hyypolite and Dr. Ariana Curtis, sound engineer Sean Sturge of 8th Day Sound, and Clair Global who has worked with artists such as Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Taylor Swift. 

Some of the council’s other planned initiatives include the launch of a Caribbean American heritage exhibit to highlight contributions of the community in culture, sports, entertainment, and beyond; a leadership pipeline program that would provide internships and other opportunities to students who want to pursue artistic endeavors; and an exploratory committee for the hopeful return of carnival celebrations in D.C.

So far, the Diaspora Arts Council has received key sponsorship support from the Mayor’s Office of Cable, Television, Film, Music and Entertainment and Events DC, the official entertainment and cultural events authority in Washington, D.C., which helped make Diaspora Fest possible. 

“I think it’s critical, because one of the things I kept hearing for years is there’s so much talent within the Caribbean community, past and present, and that we have not honored the ones of the past,” Ali tells ESSENCE. “The current ones are doing such amazing work, but they, too, have not been highlighted or honored. So, in creating this, it is exposing the youth to those in the communities that have made an impact, and they can be mentored, know that it’s happening in their community, and also learn whatever part of the arts they want to participate in, she adds. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Diasporafest-2023-7404.jpg
Photo By : Jermoni Dowd

In addition to performing for the crowds at Diaspora Fest, Freetown Collective took some time to meet with fans and visit the campus of Howard University, where they spoke with members of the university’s Caribbean Student’s Association. 

“Shurland was influenced by the music, so he shared it, and other people were also influenced by the music and said, hey, let’s get these guys here. You don’t realize how many miles that cut out. We literally made the world smaller. As we do this, we shrink this intimidating big globe into communities. That’s the gift Africa gave us, to always see ourselves as tribes and communities no matter where we go,” says Freetown Collective lead vocalist Lou Lyons.

Muwakil agreed, adding that the arts and artists play a central role in the storytelling of a people. “The artist maps the parts of the history that no one else pays attention to. The historians will tell you the dates and the times, the artists will map the psychological and emotional the overall feel of the people from any given moment,” he says. 

As the community efforts of the council grow, the team behind it says it’s looking beyond the nation’s capital. It intends to start chapters in other creative capitals, including New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, where there are also sizable Caribbean diaspora communities to host events, provide resources, and amplify impact.


Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply