“Every year we challenge ourselves with pushing the accomplishments of previous years. And bringing together icons like Iris Chacón and Johnny Colón with a new cadre of edgy, innovative artists will make for a fantastic celebration. Our poster is being created by visual artist, Adrian ‘Viajero’ Roman who is doing a commissioned installation at Facebook offices as we speak, and Loisaida Inc. is his neighborhood partner in this project. He is also sharing his knowledge in our El Loop Fair, a Latino Grassroots Innovation Fair we are hosting the day before the Festival,” shared Libertad Guerra, Chief Curator at Loisaida, Inc.
The celebration of Loisaida, Inc.’s roots is a throwback to the organization’s mission and strong social commitment. It’s also a fulfillment of a commitment that started four years ago when Loisaida, Inc. became an affiliate of Acacia Network, an integrated care organization founded by Raul Russi. Raul Russi’s unique leadership style, and a new core team at Loisaida, Inc., injected a new energy into the organization. The move resulted in a revamped Festival, a new community space, a host of intergenerational programs, such as their upcoming Senior Days, and efforts to expand into STEAM programming, helping Latinos thrive in tech, engineering, design and creative fields.
The Loisaida Festival 2016’s expanded offerings preview a new stage in Loisaida, Inc.’s plans to combine STEAM programming with social services that meet the needs of the local community. Some of the new offerings include a Grassroots Innovation Fair, discussions on how art and digital technologies intersect, an expanded Healthy Living Zone, with free dental screenings for children, and a new Sustainable Innovation Zone, which will include a Bio Bus.
“Loisaida, Inc. has always been committed to both preserving and serving our community. This year’s expansion into STEAM and our strengthened Healthy Living Zone speak to that commitment. The Festival entertains, of course, but there’s also a very intentional commitment to elevating Latinos through our offerings,” said Russi, founder and CEO of the ACACIA Network.
About the Loisaida Festival: Produced and hosted by Loisaida Inc., the Loisaida Festival has been the biggest carnival in downtown Manhattan since 1987, bringing more than 15,000 neighbors, guests artists, community organizations, companies, NYC leaders and restaurants together to celebrate their Latino contributions to NYC. A signature Puerto Rican and Latin American cultural event, the Festival celebrates Loisaida’s pride and diversity while supporting commerce, entrepreneurship, community service and neighborhood revitalization across Loisaida Avenue.
About Acacia Network: Acacia Network is the parent company of Loisaida Inc. and is an integrated care organization with offices in New York City, Buffalo, Albany, Orlando and Puerto Rico is the 2nd largest Hispanic nonprofit organization in the country and the largest in New York State. The mission is realized through three main service delivery systems; Primary Health Care, Behavioral Health Care, and Housing. The Network incorporates several affiliates managed under one executive and senior leadership team. With 63 years of combined experience, Acacia Network has demonstrated ability to scale high quality, comprehensive services for thousands of the most vulnerable residents.