There are many things about New York City that I love and am proud of, but one thing that stands out is its diverse communities and its desire to elevate those communities. The energy of the Puerto Rican and Latino community made its presence known during the opening of the Loisaida Festival that has been held during Memorial Day Weekend since 1987.
Nearly 30 percent of the 8.4 million people living in New York are Latino and the Loisaida Festival has been celebrating the culture for decades. The Loisaida Festival includes diverse manifestations of the Puerto Rican and Latino cultures expressed through music, cuisine and arts.
We were invited to the opening party and after guests enjoyed wine and hor d’oeuvres, we had the opportunity to see the Festival’s official poster. The poster was created by artist Adrian “Viajero” Roman. Guests also previewed Edgardo Miranda Rodríguez’s new exhibit, “Guardians of Loisaida,” which includes original artwork from his best-selling debut comic book “Guardians of the Lower East Side,” from the anthology series Marvel’s Guardians of Infinity. Supporting prominent guests in attendance included Assembly member Brian Kavanagh, Council member Rosie Mendez, who awarded Miranda a Citation of Honor, Latina icon Iris Chacón, and Gotham actor J.W. Cortes, who co-hosted the Loisaida Festival.
NYC Mayor de Blasio’s office issued a proclamation declaring Sunday, May 29th Loisaida Festival Day in New York City, commemorating the significant contributions of the Puerto Rican community to the city. Bringing more than 15,000 artists, community organizations, NYC leaders and restaurants together to celebrate their Latino contributions to the city, the Loisaida Festival included musical concerts, dance performances, folkloric musical presentations, and arts and crafts exhibitions. The Loisaida Festival is sponsored by Loisaida Inc., the oldest Puerto Rican non-for-profit organization in the neighborhood. Loisaida, Inc. was founded in 1979 to address the problem of social and economic disenfranchisement of poor, low income and working class residents of the Lower East Side. Celebrating and lifting up cultures that makes this city so great is what makes New York so magical.
Twisted Talk: Did you attend this year’s Loisaida Festival? What was your favorite part? Discuss below!