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¡Pa gozar! Your inside scoop on Miami’s Latin music clubs

Hoy Como Ayer 1_reduced

Photo courtesy: Hoy Como Ayer


By, Daisy Cabrera

Ahh, glorious South Beach. Tourists flock here to bronze under the blazing sun, break waves on rented jet-skis, throw back some fruity cocktails, “watch me naenae” in mega clubs and relish under tall palm trees swaying to the ocean breeze. It’s a year-round chancleta paradise!

Miami is also an explosion of Latino culture, and the 305’s live music scene is no joke. But, here’s the thing mi gente – you’ll have to get off the Beach (yep, you read that right) and do it up local style. Dust off those dancing shoes, and get ready for some sabrosura.

In the heart of Little Havana lies an iconic, bohemian little gem called Hoy Como Ayer where you can groove to everything from salsa and Latin pop, to rock en español and flamenco. Named after Benny Moré’s hit song, Hoy Como Ayer has been entertaining folks with live music for the last 15 years. You’ll be bumping hips up in here ‘cause it’s a standing room only affair. Don’t miss the happening Thursday night ¡Fuacata! party, a Latin funk percussive soirée courtesy of Spam AllStars’ weekly residency. ¡Tremenda descarga! Famous talent who’ve graced their stage include Willy Chirino, Diego el Cigala, Albita, Pavel Nuñez, Los 3 de La Habana, Isabel Iñigo, Ana Maria Perera, Aymeé Nuviola and many more. Hoy Como Ayer is located at 2212 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135.

Ball & Chain 2

Photo courtesy: Ball & Chain


Don’t put away the guayabera just yet! A favorite haunt for many is the historic Ball & Chain (circa 1935), a gorgeous venue also located on Calle Ocho. The Friday festivities begin early with a live salsa music/lunch hour set at noon, followed by the quite popular happy hour at 4pm. At 6pm, behold the tunes of live jazz and stay for the icing on the tres leches cake – the “Miami Boheme” party – when a full band hits the outdoor Pineapple Stage at 10pm for a serious Latin music jam session. Tito Puente Jr., Nil Lara, Conjunto Progreso, Calle Sol, Tony Succar, Edwin Bonilla, Locos Por Juana, BARRIOACTIVO and countless others have performed here. Ball & Chain’s address is 1513 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135.

La Covacha 1

Photo courtesy: La Covacha


On to Saturday night, where the place to be is La Covacha. Head over to Doral for this major nightclub that is all about dancing. Think big. Think jam-packed. Think major sound system. Think crazy fun! Since 1988, this has been the go-to joint to hear an array of music: rumba, merengue, cubatón, samba, vallenato – de todo, un poco. Party hard inside, or take it on back to the patio area where national musical bands move the masses ‘til the wee hours. Prominent musicians from across the globe who’ve rocked this house include Calle 13, Frankie Negron, Los Amigos Invisibles, Diva Gash, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Kinky, Hombres G, and Osmani Garcia. Visit La Covacha at 10730 NW 25th St, Doral, FL 33172.

Next time you’re in the MIA, you know what spots to hit up! El que sabe, sabe.

President Trump vs. Mayor de Blasio

trump vs de blasio

President Trump has been in office just seven days and he’s already signed four executive orders, keeping up with campaign promises, one of which was taking a step further into deporting millions of undocumented immigrants as well as building that infamous wall (that’ll probably never be built). The order titled “Enhancing public safety in the Interior of the United States”, orders to what have been nicknamed as “sanctuary cities”, cities like New York, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, and more, to comply with any requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and threatens to cancel any federal grants to those that don’t comply. These cities appear to be targeted because they offer social services to its residents, regardless of immigration status. One service we know of here in New York City is the Municipal ID program known as IDNYC, not only offers free admission to a select number of the City’s museums but is also a great alternative to some form of photo ID for city resident who cannot otherwise obtain one through the State’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

So what are these sanctuary cities doing in response? NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYS’s attorney general, and California legislators aren’t planning on complying with this executive order. Miami-Dade County, on the other hand, is a different story.

Mayor de Blasio, along with former mayor Mike Bloomberg, doesn’t see undocumented immigrants as such, but as fellow New Yorkers. According to DNAInfo, de Blasio acknowledges that “we have half a million New Yorkers who are undocumented and they are part of the fabric of this city,” and has already started to set aside a reserve fund in case those federal cuts do happen. As reported by the Daily Beast, Bloomberg stated during his tenure as mayor, “although they broke the law by illegally crossing our borders or overstaying their visas and our businesses broke the law by employing them, our city’s economy would be a shell of itself had they not, and it would collapse if they were deported.” That Daily Beast article highlighted undocumented day laborers in NYC who simply look to make an honest dollar. The city receives an estimate of $7 billion from the federal government, which contributes to law enforcement and NYPD’s anti-terrorism efforts, social services such as NYCHA and other affordable housing, public assistance, child protective services as well as HIV/AIDS prevention programs, which is almost fully funded by federal dollars.

New York attorney general Eric T. Schneiderman outright called this executive order “unconstitutional”, noting the trust that has been built between immigrant communities and local law enforcement is vital to the safety of ALL citizens. He released a full statement on this, using the president’s favorite form of mass communication: Twitter.



According to the LA Times, California’s high court decisions have interpreted financial threats like this as an unlawful intrusion on the state’s rights. San Francisco officials have determined that since the wording of the executive order is rather vague, it may not even be applicable to them.

Miami, on the other hand, has given in to such demands. According to USA Today, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez has refused for years to detain undocumented immigrants for federal immigration authorities but changed his mind upon the signing of the order since it would cut federal funding. Gimenez signed his own executive this week ordering the director of Miami-Dade’s corrections department to begin complying with any requests from ICE. Money talks, huh?


Couture fashion inspired by modern art: The legacy of Narciso Rodriguez


By Daisy Cabrera

The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum in Miami hosted an opening reception for their new exhibition, Narciso Rodriguez: An Exercise in Minimalism. This marks the first-ever museum solo exhibition by the Cuban-American fashion designer, Narciso Rodriguez, and the first time a major museum has presented an exhibition by a living fashion designer during the world-famous Art Basel season in Miami. The exhibit runs through Jan. 8.


When I was approached about doing this exhibit here, I thought it would be a great opportunity to speak about how proud I am of my heritage, and for my extended Cuban family to see my work firsthand in a very different way,” says Rodriguez. Dressed entirely in black, with a sliver of white along his neckline, the Latino designer embodies the aesthetic. His masterful, minimalist designs are showcased as works of art, glorious sculptures elevating the sharply edited exhibit. He walks around the gallery, quiet and taking it all in.

Featuring nearly two decades of more than 40 couture designs, the presentation is co-curated by Alex Gonzalez, the Creative Director of ELLE Magazine and the museum’s curator Klaudio Rodriguez, who reveals, “This exhibition contributes to the discourse about fashion as art, because there are many parallels. Narciso redefines the processes of creativity, artistry, skills and personal expression to create his garments.


Visual arts have influenced the famous designer. To illustrate this, Rodriguez’s modern designs on view – asymmetric tunics, geometric prints, bright bursts of colors – are perfectly paired with pieces by major artists such as Carmen Herrera (Cuba), Lygia Clark (Brazil), María Freire (Uruguay), Mira Schendel (Brazil) and Eugenio Espinoza (Venezuela).

When we started to talk about what the show would look like and how we would put it together, it was really an interesting exercise to go back to the archives and see things that I had done in the past,” Rodriguez shares. Throughout his career, he’s never strayed from what he does best: timeless silhouettes with an architectural yet feminine energy.

Rodriguez’s polished designs have been featured in film, on stage and TV (hello, Sex and the City!). Top personalities have lined the front row at his fashion shows, and donned his signature garments on red carpets, at award galas and in magazines. These iconic A-listers include Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Winslet, Charlize Theron and many more.


One of the biggest names to wear his line is Michelle Obama, catapulting him to international fame as she dazzled during the 2008 inauguration of President Obama. The First Lady has worn his garments to a National Medal for Museum and Library Service ceremony, in Argentina and during the President’s final State of the Union address. But, Rodriguez’s first taste of White House royalty was creating Carolyn Bessette’s wedding dress when she married John Kennedy, Jr., the son of former president John F. Kennedy.

It’s easy to fall in love with Rodriguez’s exquisite creations. They feel like romantic poems whispering sweet nothings, giving you the feels, encouraging you to dream.

Looking back, the Jersey kid has come a long way. From an early age, Rodriguez showed a creative inkling – sketching, making art, sewing and designing. A graduate from Parson’s School of Design, he went on to design for Anne Klein, Calvin Klein and Nino Cerruti. Almost two decades ago, Rodriguez launched his women’s ready to wear collection and established a NYC atelier. When his first fragrance hit the market – a sensual blend of vanilla, orange blossom, amber, musky and veviter notes – it became an instant hit.


Since then, he’s won endless awards: Vogue/VH1 Fashion Award, Hispanic Society Award, Council of Fashion Designers of America awards (twice), Pratt Institute’s Fashion Icon Award, ALMA Award, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award, El Museo del Barrio’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and Vanidades’ Iconic Man of Style Award.

Even with this heavyweight list of accomplishments, the fashion powerhouse has never forgotten his Latin roots. “The part that I always see as being born to my heritage is the part that celebrates a woman’s beauty, having an appreciation for the body and a practicality, elegance and joy to creating these pieces that will be enjoyed by women,” Rodriguez adds. “Also, there is a pragmatism to the work that was given to me by my parents and my family.

The designer, who cooks up a mean congrí, was named one of the “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America” (Time Magazine) and quoted, “For me, designing is such a personal thing. It’s really emotional—that’s part of my Latin upbringing.” (New York Times)

The Narciso Rodriguez: An Exercise in Minimalism exhibit runs through Jan. 8 at Frost Art Museum’s Grand Galleries at Florida International University, 10975 S.W. 17 Street, Miami.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz Have No Love for Fidel

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz

When it comes to politics, this year proved to be historic in many ways.

A businessman that had no experience holding public office became the president of the United States.

Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominee of a major party and Bernie Sanders  was the first Jewish candidate to receive serious backing for the highest office in America for the Democratic Party.

However, the Republican Party also had two Hispanic contenders that had a strong chance of becoming commander and chief of the United States in Cuban Americans Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Earlier this year in March, President Obama also announced an end to the Cuban embargo, which has slowly been coming to an end, but that might very well change with Trump’s presidency.

Nothing has been more momentous than the recent death of Fidel Castro.

His timely passing comes after half of the Cuban-American population in Florida helped to decide who will become the new leader of their country after being angered by President Obama’s decision to start to lift the embargo, a right they would have been denied if in Cuba.

Of course, this led to many Americans across the country wondering what the two most famous Cuban political candidates in the United States most recent history had to say.

With both Cruz and Rubio having immigrant parents that fled Castro’s rule in Cuba, it wasn’t hard to guess.

Both were angered by Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s condolences to the Castro family and lack of acknowledgment to his political crimes.


That was one word that Rubio used to describe Obama’s statement to the Cuban people.

There are thousands upon thousands of people who suffered brutally under Castro’s regime. He executed people, he jailed people for 20 to 30 years. The Florida Straits…there are thousands of people who lost their lives fleeing his dictatorship.”

Rubio was not alone in his sentiments towards Castro, as Cruz tweeted his disgust towards both the dictator and Trudeau who praised el Comandante’s power as an orator over the island nation.

Disgraceful. Why do young socialists idolize totalitarian tyrants? Castro, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot — all evil, torturing murderers.”

Rubio also had choice words for the young Canadian Prime Minister admiration for Fidel.

Shameful and embarrassing.”






Famous for her hips movements, her huge afro and an imposing presence that quickly grab the attention anywhere she goes, Dana Danelys De los Santos, better known in the music world as Amara La Negra, is an urban artist who has earned the respect of millions of fans since she began singing professionally in 2013.

This artist, with her light-colored eyes and impressive beauty began her career in entertainment at the age at 4 years-old when she won a beauty pageant for girls in Univision’s “Sabado Gigante” TV show.

“I later was part of a segment where children would talk with Don Francisco. That taught me to be self-confident. Thanks to that opportunity, I became a dancer at the Latin Grammys, Premios Lo Nuestro and for many important performers,”

said Amara.

Born and raised in Miami by Dominican parents, from an early age she felt she had art and music in her blood.

“I live for the stage. The adrenaline I feel when I grab the microphone and see the audience can’t compare to anything else. I live for that moment. I live for music,”

said the exuberant singer of Dominican descent.

Despite her years of preparation in dance, acting and singing schools, the performer has closely encountered the ugly face of racism and the rejection of some media – Latino media in particular-for her skin color.

“They never consider that a woman like me can represent Latinas. They are always looking for someone like Shakira, Sofia Vergara or Jennifer Lopez. I am fighting to break this stereotype because I am proud of who I am, of my roots, of my “bad hair” and I know that many Latinas identify with me. “



One of the most important moments in this 25-year-old artist’s career was having the chance to play Celia Cruz in a documentary about the life of the legendary salsa singer.

“To me, Celia Cruz was an inspiration for her charisma and things she was able to achieve. I grew up listening to Tina Turner, La India and Olga Tañon. These women gave me strength and inspired me to want to be like them.”

She said

On several occasions, Amara has been harshly criticized and deemed immoral due to her song lyrics and her sexy movements. This does not worry her, as she knows that the same people who attack her are the same people who later support and applaud North American stars such as Rihanna or Miley Cyrus who has a similar style.

The singer said to be grateful for her success, and told us that her mother has been her rock, her support in this challenging career.

“My mom is my other half, my heart; and you cannot live without your heart.”

She describes herself as fresh, daring and very bold.

She is certain that her career is on the rise and says that she can feel and taste success already. When the time comes to say thank you, she includes her “haters” for being a part of her success and for giving her the drive to do everything they say cannot be done.

“I’m not afraid of anything, I take a chance and jump and, what I don’t know something, I learn. And as my mother says, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”


What’s hotter than a scorching July in Miami? Miami Swim Week!


Originally published in the Jul/Aug 2016 issue of LatinTRENDS magazine

By, Daisy Cabrera

Latinas love to make a fashion statement. It’s part of our cultura. Whether wearing a “barely there” bikini, sharp business suit or over-the-top ball gown – we dress to impress. At. All. Times. You know how we do! Now combine that deep-rooted love of fashion with extraordinary talent, and you’ve got yourself some powerful Latina designers making their mark in the industry. 

The annual “Miami Swim Week” was proof that Latinas are running this motha! The event took place from July 13-19 in the nation’s year-round bikini capital – South Beach!

The “Instagrammable” festivities included fashion shows in state-of-art tents, cool pop-up stores, swank satellite venues, exclusive trade shows and luxurious pool soirees. Droves of fashionistas, stylists, socialites and blogueras scored front row seats – snagging coveted swag, basking in the latest trends and dancing the night away at the after parties. 

It was quite the fashion fête, and Latina designers were front and center of it all. Time to suit up!

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Colombian designer, Andrea Gaviria, brought her OMG Swimwear collection (cover-ups, monokinis, bikinis) infused in striking fuchsia, sunflower, turquoise and emerald green. She shared, “I design pieces that create an illusion and highlight a woman’s curves, making her feel unique, sophisticated, and glamorous.” Celebrities who sport her sweltering designs include Jennifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara and Selena Gomez!

Sisters Manuela and Amalia Sierra created their artistic swimwear line, Maaji, inspired by the charm, beauty and diversity of Colombia. Proceeds of the fashion-forward collection (cover-ups, swimsuits, resort wear, accessories) help plant native trees in their country.

Lumé, by Colombian designer Paula Daza, thoughtfully combines artist paintings with design. “You don’t have to sacrifice style for sustainability,” she said. The line supports the Cartagena-based Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar Foundation, helping pregnant youth with much-needed resources.

Argentina was in the house! Mariana Cortes presented her Juana de Arco line – an easy-to-wear, colorful collection of relaxed styles that combines movement and comfort. She creates her own patterns to design A-line tanks, slip dresses, harem pants, leggings and more. 

Mariana Lopez Osornio’s line, MLO Jewelry, is simply majestic! The Argentinean designer draws inspiration from eco-friendly, natural materials. She showcased her innovative “resort” jewelry collection filled with cow horn, brass, quartz, amazonite, turquoise and magnecite. 

Liliana Villalobos is the dynamic Peruvian force behind Aguaclara. Think custom-made, ultra exotic swimwear pieces rooted in Amazon and Andean influences. The sophisticated silhouettes (monokinis, flowing dresses, cover-ups) in exclusively designed prints are to die for.

Raffaella Raffo Porcari’s poolside line, Capittana, is delightfully fresh, spirited and youthful. The Peruvian’s resortwear (bikinis, one pieces, bags, accessories, shorts) is all made in Peru.

Accessories anchor an outfit. Just ask the talented Dominican designer Erika Peña. She creates magnificent tribal necklaces, and it’s no wonder Jessica Alba wears her signature pieces! “I was put on earth to enhance a woman’s beauty,” she said, sharing her passion for the elements of the earth – volcanic and semi-precious stones, sea glass, wood, brass, onyx and more. 

Puerto Rico, ho-oooooo! Former Miss Universe, actress, and TV host Zuleyka Rivera introduced her super playful, tropics-inspired line – ZK Swimwear, mesmerizing with its bright colors, romantic mesh embroidery and flirty silhouettes.

Lila Nikole’s self-titled collection, drawing inspiration from the aesthetic of native warriors, rocked the runaway with trend-setting monokinis, tangas, cover-ups and resortwear. The Boricua showcased custom prints in traditional African color palettes, and rich hues of red, orange, blue and purple.

On to Brazil! KRUZIN, the brainchild of Alessandra Gold, was all about sleek, street-inspired cool kicks. The ‘Sneaker Queen of Miami’ enjoys a celebrity following: Trina, Lil Wayne and Flo Rida.

Watching Brazilian designer Paula Hermanny’s line, ViX, luxuriating down the catwalk was a dream come true. Think St. Tropez meets Morocco meets Southeast Asia. The modern, warm hued resort wear – linens, cotton, silks wrapped in brass and gold accents – was a feast for the eyes. Count Gisele Bündchen and Jessica Alba among the charmed fans.

Sinesia Karol’s sparkling couture collection stole the spotlight! The Brazilian’s line, which celebrates women with impeccable designs, includes cover-ups made with luxe silk and chiffon. The fabrics feature the art of Brazilian talent Ana Paula Castro. 

Spanish actress Penélope Cruz and her sister Monica co-designed the L’Agent by Agent Provocateur collection of chic, edgy and seductive pieces with carefully placed zippers, colorful lace and intricate embroidery. 

And, what’s fashion without a little sabrosura? Vikina Lopez, born to Cuban and Ecuadorian parents, is a force to be reckoned with! The talented singer performed a rich fusion of reggaeton, urban bachata and Latin pop onstage. The show was LIT! 

Until next time, Miami Swim Week! And, bravo!

What You Didn’t Know about Carlos Ponce

carlos ponce

Host, singer, actor and all around hunk, Carlos Ponce is a man of many hats. Puerto Rican born and of Cuban descent, Carlos Ponce Freyre has been entertaining us since 1989. The character actor can embody any role.

Whether it’s playing a lovelorn romantic in “Meet Me in Miami,” or a yoga instructor that is too comfortable with everyone like in “C0uples Retreat,” Ponce knows how to completely get in tune with whatever character he is playing.

Although he is mostly known for his acting, Ponce started off as a host for the Univision show, “Hablando”. Shortly after that shows run ended he became a soap star in two of Televisa’s telenovelas on the network, “Guadalupe” and “Sentimientos Ajenos.”

For the next few years Ponce would go back and forth between hosting (Control, Entertainment Tonight, Idol Kids Puerto Rico and Miss Universe)and starring in soap operas (Dame Chocolate, Perro Amor).

After becoming wildly popular on soap operas and becoming a renowned host, Ponce signed a record deal in 1998 and released the album “Carlos Ponce.” Carlos Ponce went on to be a double-platinum selling album and has three hit songs, “Decir Adios,” “Escuchame” and “Rezo.” Between 1999 and 2012 he would go on to release another seven albums.

As he was beginning to make waves on the Latin charts on the radio, Ponce also started to make a name for himself with American audiences on hit shows like “7th Heaven” and “Beverly Hills 90210.”  Those appearances were followed by a contract with Disney to sing “Belle Notte” on the soundtrack for the sequel to “Lady and the Tramp” called “Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure.”

It wasn’t too long before Ponce found himself on the silverscreen with such films as “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo,” “Just My Luck” and this year’s hit comedy, “Spy.” While his star continues to rise you can next catch him in the film “Single in South Beach.”

Fun Facts

  • After his family moved to Miami, he was honored as the best student actor in the southern region of the U.S.
  • He dropped out of the New World School of the Arts Conservatory  to host “Hablando”
  • He sang the theme song for “Sentimientos Ajenos”
  • His first album hit number one in all of the Americas
  • The song “Amelia” from his second album, “Todo lo que Soy” became the theme for the The World Athletic Games held in Seville, Spain





Humilde, tímido y agradeciéndole a Dios al final de cada frase, ese es Jordy Quintero, un joven cantante procedente de la ciudad de Guayaquil, Ecuador. De tez oscura, sonrisa amplia y mirada inocente, Jordy quien imita a la perfección al cantante Romeo Santos, nos ganó el corazón desde el primer momento por su simpatía y naturalidad.

Considerado por sus fans, un aún mejor cantante que Romeo, este talentoso muchacho se hizo famoso en todo Ecuador por su participación en el Reality Show “Yo Me Llamo”. Jordy, mejor conocido por todos como “El Romeo Santos Ecuatoriano”, se encuentra de visita en Estados Unidos realizando su primera gira internacional donde recorre las principales ciudades del país.

“La gente aquí, me ha dado un gran apoyo incondicional. Es un privilegio y gracias a Dios porque él me dio el talento y el carisma”

nos dice feliz este ecuatoriano de tan solo 21 años.  Quintero comenzó a cantar desde niño y se hizo famoso entre sus amigos y en la escuela por cantar y bailar las canciones de Michael Jackson, hasta que en el 2001, escucho por primera vez la música del famoso grupo de Bachata “Aventura” y se aprendió todas sus canciones.

“Todos me decían pero tu cantas igual que Romeo y los amigos y familiares me empezaron a llamar Aventura y luego Jordy Romeo”.

El éxito y la popularidad del este artista coincide con la fuerza que el ritmo dominicano, se ha expandido por toda Centro y Suramérica, y donde intérpretes como Prince Royce y Romeo Santos se encuentran en los primeros lugares en la preferencia del público.  Jordan nos comenta un poco apenado,

“aun no conozco a Romeo Santos personalmente pero espero con ansias que cuando sea la voluntad de Dios no podemos ver y le pueda decir cuanto lo admiro”

Por terceros, Quintero ya escucho que Romeo conoce de su existencia y que aprueba su trabajo. Con numerosas canciones propias, a Jordy le gusta también interpretar salsa, pero en todas las presentaciones la gente aclama que cante las canciones de Romeo. La similitud en el tono de voz es realmente asombrada y sería imposible reconocer la diferencia sino fuera por las evidentes diferentes físicas de este Romeo de la costa ecuatoriana con el Romeo original, que es un poco más bajo de estatura y con la piel más oscura que el famoso bachatero.

Este nuevo talento es representando por empresarios dominicanos y existen grandes planes de promoción entre los que se encuentran una gira por toda la Republica Dominicana, País que Quintero considera ya su segunda patria, por la bendición de conocer y enamorarse perdidamente del ritmo de la bachata.

Jordy Romeo o el Romeo Ecuatoriano cuenta con un talento evidente, gran carisma y un ángel muy especial que llama la atención de los fans de la bachata. El reto de este largo camino hacia la fama, será demostrar que es un cantante con luz propia más que el imitador de una estrella internacional



Three Urban-Based Organizations Get $50,000 Grants for New York City Youths

Amir Sukalic, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment/ Urban Arts Partnership receives Made in NY Community Grant

Amir Sukalic, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment/ Urban Arts Partnership receives Made in NY Community Grant

The young people of Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan are going to benefit greatly from the Mayor’s office of Media and Entertainment and the Theatrical Teamster 817 when three local youth groups each receive a $50,000 grant by the Theatrical Teamster.

The announcement of the $50,000 grants that occurred during the Tribeca Family Festival, which will help high-need community based organization fund their academic, media/film or arts programs, will go to El Puente, Socrates Sculpture Park and Urban Arts Partnership. These programs inspire and nurture young people to take leadership in their academic, art and media work.

“At the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, we’re committed to supporting our local communities, and we are grateful to Tommy O’Donnell and the Theatrical Teamsters for their generous donation,” said Commissioner of Media and Entertainment Cynthia López, who partnered with the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City to create the project. “The three organizations selected to receive the community grants share a mission of helping young people develop their talents through media and the arts. This not only leads to opportunities for young New Yorkers but will further expand the pool of talented New Yorkers for the media and entertainment industry.”

The co-founder and executive director of the Brooklyn community organization EL Puente, Frances Lucerna, was thrilled to continue closing the gap between storytellers. “It is fitting that, in Spanish, El Puente means ‘the bridge,’” Lucerna said. “We believe that this project will serve as a bridge, allowing El Puente to grow and nurture partnerships with the media and entertainment industries that have made their home in North Brooklyn, and most importantly, support us in providing equitable access for the young people we serve to the resources and the training to document their Brooklyn experiences as storytellers themselves.”

CEO Philip Courtney of the Urban Arts Partnership, which was co-founded in 1991 by Rosie Perez, thanked Commissioner Lopez and the Theatrical Teamsters for their support to the thousands of youths in their lower Manhattan community. “Currently serving 15,000 youth, we use the arts to help NYC’s underserved students develop their voice, strengthen their connection to academics, and develop an enduring passion for learning. We aim to provide opportunities that these students would not have access to otherwise, and this support will allow our young people to create exceptional artwork inspired by their communities and to celebrate their accomplishments through digital badging. We believe arts education is the future of learning, and we are thrilled to be working toward this future together.”

Stuart Match Suna, board president of the public space, Socrates Sculpture Park, and president of Silvercup Studios, was grateful for receiving a grant that will continue pushing the 30-year-old program that has provided a space that allows artists to showcase large-scale sculpture and multi-media installations.

“Outdoor Cinema at Socrates Sculpture Park is truly unlike any other summer film festival in New York City,” said Stuart Match Suna, Board President, Socrates Sculpture Park & President, Silvercup Studios. “For the last 17 years, we have presented sophisticated international films on our waterfront and worked hard to engage the Queens community in every aspect along the way. Receiving this prestigious award today is recognition that Queens is home to incredible cultural diversity worthy of celebration and has become New York City’s borough of film.”

Chayanne’s roots lead him to his motherland


Chayanne surprised his fans with the release of his third single ‘Madre Tierra’.

The premiere releases from ‘En Todo Estaré’, ‘ Humanos a Marte ‘ and ‘ Tu respiración material ‘ were well received by Chayanne’s fans as well as media outlets.

With ‘Madre Tierra’, Chayanne reintroduced his fans to “Las Cosas Buenas”. His lyrics release a melody of the importance on counting on their strength of their cultural roots to get through the hard times as well as enjoying the good ones. Recorded in Mérida, Yucatán, under the direction of Daniel Gruener, their collaboration of both cultural destination and animated creativity magnetized Chayanne’s biggest fans to leave them in a nostralgic realm of joy and inner peace.

This Puerto Rican artist has prepared himself for an amazing promotional tour to kick off in beautiful Mexico. This tour will take him over seas to Spain, Latin America and last but not least, landing in the United States.

Chayanne’s seductive dance moves combined with his sultry vocals have surely become the platform for his longevity.

Chayanne has revealed to keep fit he exercises.

“I get up early and go to the gym an hour run and lift weights or combine the two things Another thing I do is P90X (program end exercise) and other days I do insanity. All of these are excellent exercises that prepare me to feel good.”

Wow! Good plug for this company. You guys want to keep is sexy like Chayanne.. You need to pick up P90X