The Show Must Go On!

virtual loisaida 2020

Loisaida Inc. Announces Line-Up for its 2020 [Virtual] Loisaida Festival

Streaming Live on Sunday, May 24 and Sunday, May 31

Honoring its 30-year tradition, Loisaida Inc. –the oldest Puerto Rican nonprofit organization in the Lower East Side of Manhattan–announced that its annual cultural celebration, the Loisaida Festival, will take place on Memorial Day weekend, with one significant difference: The Loisaida Festival is going Virtual.

Given the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis, the Loisaida Festival will move to the digital realm, streaming live through platforms such as Facebook and YouTube on Sunday, May 24 and Sunday, May 31, 2020 from 2:00-4:00pm.

“For the first time in over three decades, our annual Loisaida Festival will transmit live to reach thousands of participants from New York City and beyond in the comfort and safety of their homes,” says Alejandro Epifanio, Director of Loisaida Inc. “Although we are deeply saddened by the devastating impact of COVID-19 in our communities, we hope that the [Virtual] Loisaida Festival will give us an opportunity to come together to celebrate our resiliency, our creativity, and our sense of community.”

The 2020 [Virtual] Loisaida Festival’s theme – ¡Cuenta Con Nosotros! – Count on Us! – will highlight the unwavering dedication of our Latinx essential workers, who have bravely fought in the frontlines against the ongoing health crisis, as well as the plight of the LGBTQ community, as depicted in this year’s beautiful commemorative artwork by local artist María Dominguez. It will also emphasize the importance of filling out the 2020 Census in order to secure future Federal, State and City funding for our schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs.

Recent data released by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows that black/African American and Latinx/Hispanic individuals have been dying at higher rates due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, a large majority of essential workers in our City are people of color.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted Latino and black communities across our country and in New York City,” says Raul Russi, President and CEO of Acacia Network. “Acacia Network and Loisaida Inc. are proud to be in the frontlines providing critical services to individuals and families in need, and we are inspired on a daily basis by the courage we witness in our essential workforce. We invite you to join us at our [Virtual] Loisaida Festival so we can rejoice together.”

The event, hosted by singer and comedienne Jeannie Sol, will feature music by D’marquesina Ny-pr, FUSION JONDA, Joe Louis Vázquez-Ayala, Fernandito Ferrer, and Alynda Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff, with additional performances by Circo Café con Gloria (Circus Performance), Carola Garcia (Theater for Kids), Paula Herrera Nóbile (Video Art), Gabriel Leyva (Performance), Sorely Muentes (Performance), the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra (Performance), La Trinchera (Contemporary Dance), and Amneris Morales (Poetry). The event will also stream music videos and short films by Teófilo Torres, Julián Garnik and Melvin Audaz.

To curate part of the Festival’s programming and performances, Loisaida Inc. has once again teamed up with the Mezcolanza art festival, coordinated by artist and producer Helen Ceballos. This collaboration is part of Loisaida Inc.’s Theater Lab, an open space for diverse artistic disciplines, from alternative art to family-oriented interventions.

The 2020 [Virtual] Loisaida Festival has been made possible thanks to the continued support of Popular Bank, Acacia Network, PHIPPS Houses, Heart 2 Heart Home Care, Bright Health, Mezcolanza, Daly/González and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and with the support from the New York City District 2 Councilwoman Carlina Rivera and Hispanic Federation.

Loisaida, Inc. was founded in 1979 to address the social and economic disenfranchisement of poor, low income and working-class residents in the Lower East Side. Since 1987, Loisaida Inc. has produced the Loisaida Festival, the largest community pride festival in the Lower East Side, which celebrates the culture, heritage and accomplishments of the Puerto Rican/Hispanic community in this neighborhood. The festival attracts over 25,000 participants every year. It has not only become a community tradition, but an anticipated cultural event citywide.