Thursday, January 21, 2010

Garifuna Awards

New York – The Board of Directors of the Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. a, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization is pleased to announce The First Garifuna Heritage Awards which will be presented during the First Annual Garifuna Heritage Awards and Cultural Night on March 13th 2010 at 7 PM at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, 450 Grand Concourse Bronx, NY 10451.

The first Garifuna Heritage Awards will honor those who have made outstanding contributions to the preservation and promotion of the Garifuna Culture. The annual event, which is a flagship event of the Garifuna Coalition, celebrates the contributions, legacies and future of those of Garifuna heritage.

This year’s honorees include Crisanto Armando Meléndez, (Savaranga, Uayujuru), Executive Director of the Garinagu Cultural Center and Artistic Director of The Garifuna National Folklore Ballet in Honduras; Kensy Sambola, President of the Afro Garifuna Association of Nicaragua (AAGANIC), David Augustine Glasgow, President of the Garifuna Heritage Foundation of St Vincent and the Grenadines; Mr. Pablo Roberto Mejía from Livingston, Guatemala, Blanca Arzu, Branch Manager at Ponce de Leon Federal Bank in New York and E.Roy Cayetano, author of the People`s Garifuna Dictionary from Belize.

A dynamic cultural stage production will feature James Lovell and the AfriGarifuna Youth Ensemble, Hamalali Wayunagu Garifuna Dance Company, Chief Joseph Chatoyer Garifuna Folkloric Ballet of NY, Paula Castillo and Hechu Garinagu and a grand finale directed by Mr. Crisanto Armando Meléndez, (Savaranga, Uayujuru).

The Garifuna Heritage Awards and Cultural Night is an integral part of the Garifuna Heritage Month 2010. The proclamation will be presented by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr and New York State Governor David A. Paterson’s office during a press conference in the Rotunda of the Bronx Borough President’s Office on Thursday, March 11, 2010 at 11:00 AM. 851 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY.
Garifuna-American Heritage Month, celebrates the great contributions of Garifuna-Americans to the fabric of New York, and will pay tribute to the common culture and bonds of friendship that unite the United States and the Garifuna countries of origin. New York City is home to the largest Garifuna Community outside of Central America.

On September 17th 1821, nearly a decade before slavery was completely phased out in New York City; William Henry Brown's African Theater presented its first performance near the intersection of Bleecker and Mercer Streets in Greenwich Village. Mr. Brown is also known as the first American Playwright of African Descent, he wrote the play The Drama of King Shotoway, recognized as the first black drama of the American Theatre and has as its subject the 1795 Black Caribs (Garifunas) defense of the Island of Saint Vincent, against colonization by the British.

The Garifuna Heritage Month Proclamation is significant and critical in making visible the Garifuna American identity, developing the agenda and recognizing Garifuna Americans who contribute significantly to the American landscape.

For tickets or general information, please contact: Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture (718) 518.4455 Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. (718) 402-7700 or, Luz Soliz (646) 245-7302, Jose Francisco Avila (917) 783-5298