Arte Pa’ Mi Gente Festival

The Society of the Educational Arts, Inc. (SEA) is proud to present the 5th edition of Arte Pa’ Mi Gente / Arts For All Festival (APMG) taking place August 2-4.

This FREE outdoor festival presented in collaboration with The Clemente celebrates the rich cultural history of Puerto Rican Plena, a form of traditional folk music and dance native to Puerto Rico.

Doors open at 6:30pm each night for festivities hosted outdoors in
La Plaza @ The Clemente located at 114 Norfolk St. in New York’s Lower East Side.


THE BELLY-ACHE OPERA |LA PLENÓPERA DEL EMPACHEA Puerto Rican children’s theatre classic by Leopoldo Santiago Lavandero. It compiles a good number of Puerto Rican Plenas (Afro-Caribbean music from Puerto Rico) with lyrics that narrate the story of a gluttonous boy and the experience that changed his life.

*Recommended for all ages.

Friday, August 2 | Live Performance at 8pm

Danza Fiesta: Baile y Teatro Puertorriqueñowas created in 1998 by Gilda Rivera-Pantojas in New York City with the idea of sharing Puerto Rican culture with the rest of the world. Danza Fiesta features over 30 members, including dancers, musicians and creative contributors who focus on the study of Puerto Rican Folk and popular traditions and make it accessible to all people through workshops, community programs, performances and lecture demonstrations. In June 2019 they opened the National Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC.

Saturday, August 3 | Live Performance at 8pm

Los Pleneros de la 21 is the premier Harlem-based performing ensemble and non-profit community organization founded in 1983. LP21 is an exceptional mix of Puerto Rican folk masters & professional musicians dedicated to exposing the importance of traditional Puerto Rican music. After more than 35 years & a Grammy nomination for their groundbreaking album, Para Todos Ustedes, LP21 remain as cultural leaders of the NYC community.

Special Documentary Double Feature
Saturday, August 3 Only At 3pm at Teatro SEA

Hunter College’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies Presents “Plena is Work, Plena is Song,” which is 29-minute documentary that explores this original Puerto Rican musical form. Plena is a music performance in the form of storytelling song. Therefore, to appreciate the full scope and meaning of plena, we must engage in a journey to explore its cultural milieu and history. This documentary explores the social and cultural history of plena and deepens our appreciation of this folk expression.

“Los Plenazos Callejeros” is a documentary film by Mariana Reyes-Anglero and produced by Mariana Reyes-Anglero & Tito Matos that chronicles street-level plena over a period of 7 years from 2005 to 2012. This movement saw the resurgence of plena in neighborhoods throughout its 70 stops. This documentary establishes links between documentaries that precede it such as La Plena and Plena Es Canto y Trabajo, making it a perfect companion piece.

Sunday, August 4 | Live Performance at 8pm

Tito Matos y La Máquina Insular is a plena band, which carries on the tradition of street music still very much alive in Puerto Rico, led by director, plena maestro and requinto virtuoso and community arts organizer Héctor “Tito” Matos. Matos has worked with legends like Eddie Palmieri, Ricky Martin, and Gloria Estefan, and also known for his celebrated group Viento de Agua, which puts a contemporary spin on traditional styles.

Arte Pa’ Mi Gente / Arts For All Festival is sponsored by Manhattan Borough President, Gale A. Brewer, and NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera as well as NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson and NYC Council Member Margaret Chin under the Cultural Immigrant Initiative.

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