The Spirit of the Drum has travelled from Africa to the Caribbean to the US and is now alive in Middlesex County. Raíces Cultural Center, A NJ Nonprofit Corporation has received a MINI grant from the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission to produce the series “The Spirit of the Hispano-Afro-Caribbean Dance, Song and Drum.” The production will trace the history of Hispano-Afro-Caribbean music from Africa to the Caribbean to the modern day New York metropolitan area through a fusion of traditional folkloric Caribbean dance, song, drum and music with the contemporary genres of salsa, spoken word poetry and hip-hop.
Raíces Cultural Center is a New Brunswick based nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving cultural roots through music, dance, song, visual arts and history. The 2010 MINI grant will provide the members of the Raíces Cultural Center Ensemble with performance opportunities and the local community with an educational, culturally and artistically enriching experience.
In the face of possible funding freezes which would have directly affected this production, Raíces is thankful to the state for recognizing the importance of providing support for its artistic, historical and cultural organizations, allowing them a means to deliver educational and culturally enriching programs, events and experiences to their communities.
In addition, MCCHC has teamed up with the Crossroads Theater in downtown New Brunswick to provide a professional theater venue for performance based grantees, where the Raíces Cultural Center Performance Ensemble will present “The Spirit of the Hispano-Afro-Caribbean Dance, Song and Drum” on October 30, 2010 at 7 PM. Additional performances will take place November 13, 2010, 7 PM at IM Studios in Highland Park, NJ and December 18, 2010 at the YMCA Theater in Perth Amboy, NJ.
This program has been made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts; through a grant provided by the Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission/Board of Chosen Freeholders.