Braata Productions presents Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival celebrating the 60th year of independence of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday, August 6, 2022, 12pm-8pm, on the lawn of the York Performing Arts Center, 94-45 Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Queens, NYC. The event is free, but donations are accepted at braataproductions.org/bankra2022.
The Festival is an annual staple in the community and promises to be a day of fun and entertainment for the entire family. Showcasing the best of the Caribbean, the Festival provides a chance for New Yorkers to experience the folk culture of the islands and sample its unique cuisine.
"The Caribbean community has so much to offer and this Folk Festival is a unique opportunity to showcase our rich and diverse cultural heritage with the residents of the borough and its environs," said Andrew Clarke, founder. "We look forward to the support of the Queens community and the wider New York Tri-State area to ensure the Festival's success."
The Festival will feature traditional authentic folk forms, and experiences from the different Caribbean territories. The Braata Folk Singers headline an impressive lineup of celebrated cultural groups, who are all either from Trinidad, Tobago and Jamaica or who have a special focus on those island traditions, including JC Lodge (Jamaica), Marva Newton (Trinidad & Tobago), and the Carnyval Dancers (Trinidad & Tobago).
There are three major components to the Festival: the Stalls/Island baskets, cultural performances, and a cultural pop-up display. These three components set the Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival apart from other Caribbean festivals, since it is dedicated to Folk forms and Folk culture. It provides nostalgia for those who grew up with it, learning opportunities for others who had no knowledge of it, and helps reestablish the importance and relevance of Folk culture as a viable, vibrant contributor to the Caribbean brand.
The Festival's name is derived from a large woven basket or "bankra," made of materials indigenous to the islands of the Caribbean, and is often used to carry an array of food and cultural items in Jamaica. This is exactly what this festival replicates: the largesse beauty of the folk culture represented from each island.
The festival offers a full sensory experience of traditional music, dance, crafts, and food. In addition to the cultural performances, the Festival will also feature:
Drumming circles, folk games & dances, and cultural exhibits
A Playzone, where the young and young at heart can play traditional Caribbean games
A Food Pavilion, with cuisine from various islands
About Braata Productions
Braata is a Jamaican colloquial term meaning 'more,' which is what this company aspires to do -- give its supporters and audiences something more at all times. Started by actor/singer Andrew Clarke in May 2009, the goal for Braata has always been to provide entertainment and education to our patrons and give voice to diverse experiences, performers, writers and directors. We aim to authentically represent the culture of the Caribbean islands and to prioritize cultivating and re-telling Caribbean stories and legends for generations to come. Braata is dedicated to giving Caribbean and Caribbean-American artistes a platform through which to showcase their work and talents. Braata seeks to define its position as one of the leading performing arts organizations in New York City. We maintain strong ties to the community and have a reputation for artistic excellence, educational innovation, and fiscal responsibility. Allowing immigrants' voices a chance for creative expression, our principle activities include theatre, music, and folk arts, in addition to education and community outreach. These activities take us on engagements outside of the 5 boroughs of NYC to Connecticut, Rochester, and Boston to name a few. Braata's goal is to rekindle an appreciation for Caribbean culture & heritage amongst Caribbeans and non-Caribbeans alike by engaging community members in New York and surrounding areas. For more information, visit braataproductions.org.