CCCADI Presents ‘CROSSROADS’ during Caribbean Heritage Month in June




Yelimara concepcion, Program Associate for CROSSROADS, speaking on a panel in Puerto Rico at the Grantmakers for the Arts Conference. Image courtesy CCCADI

The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute announces the public phase of its area of work dedicated to artists and cultural workers in the Caribbean, CROSSROADS.

On June 1, 2024, in alignment with Caribbean Heritage Month, CCCADI will announce the public phase of its program, CROSSROADS, which is based out of Puerto Rico and dedicated to supporting and empowering artists and cultural workers in the Caribbean.

Key Highlights:
  • Empowering Artists and Cultural Workers: CROSSROADS is designed to address the urgent needs of artists, focusing on cultural sustainability, innovation, and self-reliance.
  • Pan-Caribbean Solidarity: The program strengthens connections across the Caribbean, involving representatives from Haiti, U.S. Virgin Islands, Saint Martin, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas.
  • Holistic Approach: Using a decolonizing and healing justice framework, CROSSROADS aims to create a self-sustaining ecosystem through skill development and support, enhancing the cultural and economic contributions of Caribbean artists.
  • Public Programming Launch: The public phase kicks off with “La Fiambrera,” a virtual lunchtime talk series that will feature dialogues on sustainable practices and space acquisition from renowned Caribbean artists.
CCCADI Executive Director, Melody Capote, at the opening of Travesias, a CCCADI-sponsored art exhibition featuring the works of Imna Arroyo featured in the photo alongside Humberto Figueroa Torres, the exhibition curator. Image courtesy CCCADI

Created in 2021 as an organizational pathway for advancing its mission of cultural equity, racial and social justice for African descendant communities through arts and culture, CROSSROADS strengthens the African Diaspora’s Pan-Caribbean connections by focusing on the cultural sustainability, autonomy, innovation, and self-reliance of artists and cultural workers living and working in the Caribbean.

Over the past three years, the CCCADI CROSSROADS team has built the roadmap for executing this work. The framework seeks to use a decolonizing and holistic healing justice approach to develop a self-sustainable ecosystem through skills development, supporting individuals, and sustaining their contributions to culture, economy, and collective well-being.

A critical development of the program was the creation of a Caribbean-based advisory board of cultural workers. The advisory board is comprised of eight representatives from various nations: Micherline Islanda Aduel (Haiti), La Vaughn Belle (U.S. Virgin Islands), David Gumbs (Saint Martin), Zuleica Margarita Romay Guerra (Cuba), Mapenzi Nonó (Puerto Rico), Rafael Ramos (Colombia), Abril Troncoso (República Dominicana), and Natalie Willis Whylly (Bahamas)—their collective experience and expertise help to inform the needs and realities of Afro-Caribbean communities across the region.

Dr. Marissel Hernandez Romero, Senior Program Associate, speaking on a panel alongside Dr. Ivette Chiclana. Image courtesy CCCADI

Anchored in Pan-Caribbean solidarity, CROSSROADS has also built relationships with like-missioned organizations, most recently including Corporación Cultural Cabildo, based in Cartagena, Colombia, and Escuela Kalalú Danza in the Dominican Republic.

June 2024 marks the beginning of public programming by CROSSROADS with the launch of its lunchtime virtual talk series, La Fiambrera. The series represents the cultivation of sustainable practices through the exchange of experiences and advice among Caribbean artists and cultural producers. The first installment set to air in June, delves into the acquisition of spaces from the lens of two artists in their practice and roles as cultural managers.

Caribbean Cultural Center Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), 120 East 125th Street, NYC.

About CCCADI ~ The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI), is an arts, culture, education and media organization that advances cultural equity, racial and social justice for African descendant communities. CCCADI’s programs serve children/youth, families, young professionals, elders, local and international artists, and practitioners of African-based spiritual traditions. Through our work CCCADI offers a collective space where African descendants honor the contributions of the global African Diaspora through exhibitions, performances, conferences, educational programs and international exchanges. CCCADI is located in its historic firehouse located at 120 East 125th Street, NYC.


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