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Celebrate Women's Empowerment through the Arts this Weekend at El Puente, Williamsburg

Image courtesy of El Puente website

This weekend at the El Puente headquarters in Williamsburg, a weekend-long arts and healing event, called MANIFEST! will take place in honor of Women's History Month.

"MANIFEST! honors the sacred in women by creating spaces and opportunities for reflection, celebration, and empowerment," Tina Orlandini, one of the event coordinators, explains. "An artist-led and produced event, MANIFEST! evokes the concept of an open studios by activating all of the spaces in El Puente’s Headquarters building with arts and wellness workshops and performances, presented by El Puente CADRE (Community Artists’ Development & Resource Exchange)".

Image courtesy of El Puente website

For a suggested donation of $10, guests can expect workshops in forum theatre, metal casting, writing, dance & movement, urban gardening, quilting, drumming, meditation, health empowerment, and much more. There will also be spoken word by Shy Richardson, Middle Eastern Dance by Yowalka, an excerpt from Afaliah Tribune/Soul Rebel Dance Company’s “Bigger Than Hip Hop,” a theater excerpt from Jana Lynne “JL” Umipig’s “The Journey of a Brown Girl,” and traditional Afro Puerto Rican music and dance by BombaYo. All performers and artists are connected to El Puente.

"The Journey of Brown Girl" Photo courtesy of El Puente website

"MANIFEST! emerged out of El Puente’s network of mostly Latino artists rooted in North Brooklyn, CADRE," Tina describes. "El Puente CADRE formed in 2008 after an initial convening of artists from the Southside of Williamsburg who came together to proclaim their presence and leadership in a rapidly changing Williamsburg. El Puente CADRE has served as a venue and a platform to preserve and share the Latino cultural legacy of Williamsburg and Bushwick, and has expanded to include artists of all cultures, ages and artistic disciplines. CADRE members meet regularly to share work and exchange resources with each other and to produce cultural projects and events like MANIFEST! that are intrinsically linked to community sustainability. MANIFEST! surfaced as an opportunity to observe women’s history month in a powerful way."

Image courtesy of BombaYo

Both Tina, like many others involved with El Puente, feel that events such as these are important not just for women but also for the community. "El Puente’s Green Light District is committed to creating and supporting new opportunities for community members in the Southside of Williamsburg and Bushwick to connect and build together," Tina says. "MANIFEST! builds on this mission and on El Puente’s 33 years of building bridges with communities and cultures everywhere."

Image courtesy of El Puente website

CADRE Member and co-founder of BombaYo, Melinda Gonzalez, also adds, "“I am deeply proud that CADRE is recognizing the enormous talent and passion women bring to the Arts. MANIFEST! is an opportunity for undervalued artistic expressions to take center stage. Although Williamsburg is on the map in terms of its arts scene, the voices of women and people of color are severely lacking. MANIFEST! is a declaration that we are present, visible and that our art matters to the whole fabric of society.”

Stop by for the festivities and fun at the El Puente Williamsburg headquarters (211 S 4th Street), on Saturday March 28 (12PM-7PM) and Sunday March 29 (12PM-6PM). To find out more information please visit El Puente's website or the event Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

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