Caribbean Cultural Heritage: A Day of Celebration!

Kulu Mele Drum and Dance group photo

Viva Vallenato

Viva Vallenato

Caribbean Festival Day

WheatonArts, September 17, 2016 (Saturday)

This is a one-day celebration bringing together music, dance and visual arts that represent the many faces of the Caribbean cultural heritage as maintained and transformed by the Caribbean communities residing in our region and abroad.

Artists, storytellers, musicians and dancers will provide visitors a vivid introduction to the unique Caribbean traditions showcasing both similarities and differences between the various Caribbean communities while simultaneously placing them in the multicultural context of the American society.

10:30 a.m. Carnival procession! Bring your costume and join us for the carnival procession to begin the festivities for the day. Musicians and dancers will turn it into an unforgettable experience for participants.

Kulu Mele featuring Edward Smallwood

Kulu Mele featuring Edward Smallwood

The narrated music and dance presentations will feature Puerto Rican Jbaro, Bomba and Plena music and dance, Jamaican Nyabingi and Reggae, Haitian Vodou drumming and dancing as well as Rara and Twoubadou music, Trinidadian Calypso, Soca and Steel Pan performances, Dominican Bachata, Merengue, Palo and Dem-bow(Dominican Reggaeton), Cuban Bata drumming, Afro-Caribbean stilt walkers, Djembe drummers and dancers as well as Garifuna music and dance. All visitors will be invited to join the dancers for several rounds of Caribbean salsa.

Special demonstrations in folk and traditional arts will be offered to introduce audiences to the unique experiences of old imagery and present-day creativity. Visitors will be able to observe art displays and demonstrations as well as engage in a dialogue with the artists. Featured art forms will include: Puerto Rican, Dominican and Trinidadian mask making, Bahamian, Trinidadian and Puerto Rican carnival and dance costumes, Puerto Rican and Jamaican coconut and wood and bamboo carving (santos and figurines, decorative carving), Jamaican and Puerto Rican domino tables, Jamaican doll making, dreadlocks or rasta locs, Haitian jewelry making, palm weaving, papier-mâché, leather sculpture, Vodou bottles and beaded/sequins flags, Cuban Lace, Puerto Rican weaving, Garifuna cooking demonstration, and more…

Contemporary art displays and artist market will present the paintings and sculpture of contemporary artists showcasing their works and delivering yet another layer of artistry and creativity through the lens of the Caribbean heritage.

 Admission is $5.00 | 12 and under free


KuluMele 2015

KuluMele 2015

Shades of Past, Colors of Present Title image

Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center is proud to present Shades of the Past, Colors of the Present: Preserving Caribbean  Cultural Heritage in New Jersey. This exciting six-month project will celebrate Caribbean visual arts, music and dance through exhibitions at numerous South Jersey locations, educational programs, a conference and a Festival at WheatonArts. Program partners include the Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission, Cumberland County College and Rowan College of Gloucester County.

Segunda Quimbama

Segunda Quimbama


10:30am – 11am    Procession (lead by Segunda Quimbamba Percussion and Dance Ensemble) and a Paso Fino Horse Show

11:00am – 11:45pm     Segunda Quimbamba (Puerto Rico Bomba and Plena)

12:00pm – 12:30pm    Viva Vallenato! (Colombian Cumbia)

12:45pm – 1:15pm    DJ Dave Watkis

La Troupe Makandal

La Troupe Makandal

1:30pm – 2:00pm    La Troupe Makandal and Pat Hall Dancers (Haitian Vodou Drumming and Dancing)

2:15pm – 3:00pm    Tropic Topic (Trinidad Calypso, Kaisa, Soca)

3:15pm – 4:00pm    Braata Folk Singers (Jamaican Folk Songs)

4:15pm – 4:45pm    GAMAE Garifuna Performing Arts Company (Garifuna Music and Dance)

5:00pm – 5:30pm    The Dubway Reggae Band (Jamaican Reggae)

5:45pm – 6:15pm    Conjunto Criollo (Puerto Rican jibaro, merengue, bachata, and bolero) and Raise Boriqua Dance Group

6:30pm – 7pm    Wisdom Child (Haitian Folk and Twoubadou Music)

7:15pm – 8:00pm    Kulu Mele (Afro-Cuban Music and Dance)

Steel Horizons Steel Drum Band

Steel Horizons Steel Drum Band

Steel Horizons Steel Pan Group

1:15pm – 1:30pm; 2pm – 2:15pm; 3pm – 3:15; 4pm – 4:15pm

Mask Making Demonstrations

12:00pm – 2:00pm Felipe Rangel

2pm – 4pm Francisco Jimenez

Stilt Walkers

10am – 6pm

Artist Market

10am – 6pm

Felipe Rangel, Puerto Rican masks

Francisco Jimenez, Dominican Masks

Olga Ayala, Polymer clay sculptures and 2D artworks

Marta Rodriguez – Olmeda and Bárbara M. Díaz-López, Wood sculptures

Mercedes Molina, Spiritual dolls

Carline Aurelus, Vodou flags, Paintings and CDs

Luis Cordero, Digital prints with Taino & original designs on T-shirts; linocut prints, digital photos on canvas

Mikala Allen, Natural soaps, lotions, shea butters and oils; dashiki clothing.

Lance Radcliffe, Wood sculptures (contemporary)

Carmen Ayala, Paintings

Matina, Beaded sculptures

Frito Bastien, Paintings

Ronald Cadet, Paintings

Nadine LaFond, Paintings, Hand-made prints

Klode(Michele Garoute Michel), Paintings

Fausto Sevila, Digital print on watercolor paper

Hair Braiders, Charlene Boone; Briza Solomon; Vera Taswell; Keyonna Sample; Kenyetta Sabree

Garifuna Artefacts Display, Eleanor Bullock-Castillo (GAMAE)

Rada Lwa Altar, Kesler Pierre and Lina Mitchel

* Program Schedule is subject to change without notice.