Two Latinx Artist Collectives Are Hosting a Cultural Fiesta in Bushwick with a Cause

Angelica Florio

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Nearly a week after the often-misunderstood Cinco de Mayo, Bushwick will host a different kind of celebration to honor NYC’s Latinx community with an event called Jangueo Heavy. It’s a fiesta and fundraiser that features Latinx visual artists, musicians, and dancers on Saturday, May 11 from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. at 3 Dollar Bill. While DJs from Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Colombia provide tunes, Latinx artists will paint on canvases in the open air space while professional salsa dancers perform.

The art that’s created during the event will be auctioned off in a fundraiser to Comparte Por Una Vida, which is an NGO that benefits Venezuelan children in need during the country’s current humanitarian crisis. If you don’t want to purchase the artists’ pieces, you can still donate to the nonprofit organization at the event. Sebastian Lizarazo, one of the event’s organizers, explained that the Venezuela crisis hits home for him, literally, as refugees have amassed in his home country of Colombia. “Kids are the most vulnerable to this kind of situation,” Lizarazo told Bushwick Daily.

Lizarazo is one of the founding members of the artists’ collective nowigo (pronounced “no ego”), which is co-hosting Jangueo Heavy with Latinx organization Un Lugar Ideado. Lizarazo founded nowigo with Will Ramirez—one of the visual artists who will perform at the event—and Victor Gomes in 2017. Un Lugar Ideado was more recently founded by Juan Felipe Leguizamón, who saw the need for a group that would promote Latinx artists as well as foster a community in Brooklyn. He created Un Lugar Ideado, which holds community events like nowigo with his friends Rosalia Contreras, Esteban Arturo, Jose Zambrano and Rafael González.

“Our goal is to showcase this community to everybody…we want people who are going to of course monetarily support these artists, but also show up to the event to help promote them as well,” said Leguizamón. “Whether this is Caucasian or non-Latino attendees, we still welcome everyone to the event.”

The whole event is set up to provide an interactive, fun experience to all attendees, including an interactive session in which attendees can freely paint on canvases. “And there’s also, like, a slang dictionary that we’re going to have so people can learn the different ways the different countries of South America say things,” Lizarazo said.

For non-South American Spanish speakers, even hearing the event’s name offers a hint of one of these slang terms. “Jangueo’ is slang for ‘hangout’ in South America,” said Lizarazo.   

Why Bushwick? Lizarazo and Ramirez lived in the neighborhood until recently, and Leguizamón currently lives here. Leguizamón said, “What has really drawn me and kept me in Bushwick is the Latino community that is there and the fact that I can go to the supermarket or to a corner store and speak in my native language.”

Jangueo Heavy, which has a $10 cover fee — or $5 if you buy a ticket in advance — will give Bushwick community members the chance to connect with each other as well as the Latinx artists who live in the area. So the event bringing a taste of Latinx arts and culture to Bushwick might just make Once de Mayo a new holiday of its own.

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