Since 1987, the Loisaida Festival has been the largest community celebration festival event in Lower Manhattan and grows annually in size, excitement, and impact. Produced by Loisaida Inc., founded in 1978, one of the last remaining Puerto Rican community organizations in the neighborhood, the Loisaida Festival epitomizes over four decades of the struggles and success of the Puerto Rican/Nuyorican diaspora that settled in the Lower East Side as had thousands of immigrants and migrants over the 19th and 20th Century. 

This historic place – the Lower East Side— our ‘Loisaida,’ as a poet, Bimbo Rivas, coined it in the ’70s, it's still the ‘Gateway’ to America, a community that embraces diversity, welcomes difference, celebrates arts and culture, and preserves, in amber and performance, the voice of all that came through this LES portal to settle in this country.

The unity of purpose and resolve to confront Covid-19 exhibited by the residents, community organizations, religious institutions, frontline workers, and small businesses, has been extraordinary.

2021 Loisaida Festival

The 34th Annual [Virtual] Loisaida Festival's theme, ¡Viva Loisaida!, celebrated the Lower East Side’s roots, the elements that characterize the neighborhood, and its residents’ resiliency, creativity, growth, and unity.

The second [Virtual] Loisaida Festival, its 34th edition went live on two dates, engaging thousands of viewers and still counting. Even though this annual celebration had to stay indoors for another year as a precautionary measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we nonetheless appreciate the enormous support provided by our presenting sponsor Popular Bank and supporters like Acacia Network Inc., Phipps Houses, and Hispanic Federation among many others community partners, artists, and collaborators.
Part 1 · Sunday, May 23
Featured Puerto Rican folk singer Chabela Rodríguez; world-renowned Mexican singer & actor Fernando Allende; and local independent artist, singer, and songwriter Linda Díaz, the winner of NPR’s 2020 Tiny Desk Contest. As well as a short film by the Puerto Rican theater troupe Y No Había Luz, and much more!
Part 2 · Sunday, May 30
The musical lineup includes Afro-Caribbean/electronic music project ÌFÉ; Afro-Brazilian Samba Reggae All-Female Band Batalá, and acclaimed contemporary R&B Soul-Jazz artist Duendita. Plus it included a monologue excerpt by Loisaida Artistic Residency recipient Haus of Dust and a special intervention by poet Edwin Torres plus much more!
The official artwork for the 34th Annual [Virtual] Loisaida Festival was created by João Salomão, a local Brazilian artist also known as PIXOTE, whose distinctive style is heavily influenced by the Brazilian Pixação graffiti tradition. The commemorative poster for this year’s festival was inspired by the LES punk and hip hop’s NYC graffiti scene of the late eighties and nineties that helped form João’s artistic practice. With this year’s design, the artist also pays homage to Loisaida’s documentary photographer Marlis Momber, also well known as the co-producer of “Viva Loisaida”, a 1978 film documenting life in the late 70’s Loisaida neighborhood.
About João Salomão
Loisaida Inc. programs are supported in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, NYS Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Hispanic Federation, Promesa Foundation, Stonewall Foundation, Ford Foundation, MOSAIC Foundation of the New York Community Trust and the Howard Gilman Foundation.
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