MILLVILLE, NJ (September 1, 2016)  – Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center is pleased to host, as part of the 2016 special Down Jersey Folklife Center program, Shades of Past, Colors of the Present: Preserving Caribbean Cultural Heritage in New Jersey, a Caribbean Festival on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  In partnership with the Cumberland County Cultural and Heritage Commission and Cumberland County College, the one-day Festival will kickoff with a Carnival procession at 10:30 a.m.  Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy narrated music and dance, musical performances, special demonstrations in folk and traditional arts, an artist market, and authentic Caribbean cuisine.  A complete schedule of events, which includes performance times, can be found at wheatonarts.org.

The Caribbean Festival will bring together music, dance, and visual arts that represent the many faces of the Caribbean cultural heritage as maintained by Caribbean communities residing in our region.  Interactive performances and demonstrations will include:

  • Procession (lead by “Gaga Pal Pueblo” and Segunda Quimbamba) and Horse Show
  • “Segunda Quimbamba” (Puerto Rico Bomba and Plena)
  • Viva Vallenato! (Colombian Cumbia)
  • “Gaga Pal Pueblo” Dominican Ensemble
  • La Troupe Makandal (Haitian Vodou Drumming and Dancing)
  • Tropic Topic (Trinidad Calypso, Kaisa, Soca)
  • Braata Folk Singers (Jamaican Folk Songs)
  • Garifuna Music and Dance
  • The Dubway Reggae Band
  • Conjunto Criollo (Puerto Rican jibaro, merengue, bachata, and bolero) and Raise Boriqua” Dance Group
  • Wisdom Child (Haitian Folk and Twoubadou Music)
  • Kulu Mele (Afro-Cuban Music and Dance)
  • Steel Horizons Steel Pan Group

The Artist Market will feature works by Felipe Rangel, Genaro Ozuna, Francisco Jiminez, Frito Bastien, Olga Ayala, Marta Rodriguez – Olmeda and Bárbara M. Díaz-López, Tanya Torres, Yarisa Colon Torres, Ronald Cadet, Nadine LaFond, Klode (Michele Garoute Michel), Fausto Sevila.  Several of these artists will be demonstrating at the Festival.

The Shades of Past, Colors of the Present: Preserving Caribbean Cultural Heritage in New Jersey will address the history and cultural heritage of New Jersey’s residents of Caribbean descent through a multi-faceted project that includes research, documentation, exhibition, educational programs and public presentations of Caribbean arts and culture.  Shades of Past, Colors of the Present is the sixth program in the Creative Community Connections initiative that began at WheatonArts in 2004.  The Down Jersey Folklife Center (DJFC) at WheatonArts was initiated 1995, in conjunction with a major NJSCA initiative to create a state-wide Folklife Infrastructure. The Center has presented programming to diverse audiences at WheatonArts, in area schools, and at other sites. Public programs include exhibitions, demonstrations by artists/tradition bearers, performances, festivals, classes, training for educators and interns, lectures and seminars. The Creative Community Connections initiative, a DJFC program, was designed to raise awareness of cultural heritages and to create a welcoming community setting for appreciating, preserving and perpetuating the folk and traditional arts of our region’s extraordinarily diverse population.

Spanish, French, and Creole versions of an overview of the Shades of Past, Colors of the Present: Preserving Caribbean Cultural Heritage in New Jersey project can be found at https://www.wheatonarts.org/calendar-eventon/shades-of-past-colors-of-present-preserving-caribbean-cultural-heritage-in-new-jersey/.

For more information about WheatonArts or the Down Jersey Folklife Center, call 1-800-998-4552 or 856-825-6800, or visit online at wheatonarts.org. Please submit requests for press images to wheatonartsnews@wheatonarts.org.

WheatonArts strives to ensure the accessibility of its exhibitions, events and programs to all persons with disabilities. Please provide two weeks notice for additional needs. Patrons with hearing and speech disabilities may contact WheatonArts through the New Jersey Relay Service (TRS) 800-852-7899 or by dialing 711.

Funding has been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey Cultural Trust. WheatonArts receives general operating support from the New Jersey Historical Commission, Division of Cultural Affairs in the New Jersey Department of State, and is supported in part by the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism.


 Click here for a PDF of the Caribbean Festival media release.