You might not expect to hear a trumpet fanfare, see a game of stickball or witness a performance by the award-winning dancer Arthur Aviles on the streets of Hunts Point and Longwood, but on Saturday, October 6th, that’s exactly what audience members experienced. The final event in last weekend’s celebration of the South Bronx featured 88 performers showcasing the music, dance and games that contributed to the vibrant culture of the neighborhood throughout history.
Earlier that day, visitors met at Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education for a walking tour of the South Bronx Culture Trail. A two year initiative, the Trail celebrates the rich cultural history of the South Bronx. For example, visitors heard about some of the biggest names in Latin music who came from the area, and they learned that salsa legends Eddie Palmieri, Joe Quijano and Ray Barretto went to school at P.S. 52.
After the tour of the Trail, participants viewed the opening of the HOME exhibit at Casita Maria. The exhibit features objects brought in by members of the Casita Maria community that answer the question, “What does home mean to you?” Also on display are collaborative works between artists and the South Bronx community.
The celebration culminated in PASEO, which means “promenade.” Performers and audience members alike took to the streets with a parade through the neighborhood accompanied by lively music and dancing. On the street known as Banana Kelly, pigeons were released from a roof overhead. Participants also got to see games of stickball, double dutch and skelsies.
Created by Casita Maria and Dancing in the Streets to encourage community members and visitors to embrace the fascinating history of the South Bronx, the South Bronx Culture Trail helps bring people together and keep younger generations engaged in their cultural past.
How do you celebrate the cultural history of your neighborhood?