FORT LAUDERDALE – The Riverfront in downtown Fort Lauderdale is set to come alive with the Caribe Arts Fest, a celebration of creative expressions by Caribbean artists Sept. 28-30. The vibrant energy of the islands will be on display through various arts, food, rhythms and cultures.
Artists will showcase fine art, sculpture, jewelry, films, fashion, music, a kids art zone, authentic cuisine and excellent local talent. Admission is free with a suggested online donation of $10. For more information visit caribeartsfest.com, facebook.com/caribeartsfest or call 754-273-7166. The organizers say the event will launch on the evening of Friday, Sept. 28 with a VIP cocktail starting at 6 p.m. The following days will be a family affair with elements of art, entertainment and indie film screenings throughout. Schedules for daily activities are available on the website.
“Caribe Arts Fest aims to be a special affair showcasing some of the hidden treasures of the Caribbean,” said David Muir, CEO of the American Arts Initiative, a South Florida-based organization focused on creating avenues for artists to share their efforts while developing personal and business sustainability and viability. “The diverse community of South Florida will surely be able to appreciate this celebration through the arts.”
Orchestrating the project has meant a few bumps and bruises including issues surrounding sponsorship and funding. “Like so many projects, funding can either make or break the concept,” said Michelle McKoy, co-founder and event organizer. “We however, have a clear vision and have made the necessary adjustments to make it a stimulating weekend.”
The stage will be set for Caribbean islanders and countries that encroach on its surrounding waters to gather in festivities, the organizers said, while the welcome attraction will bring traffic and a much-needed boost to local businesses’ weekend sales.
Artists of Caribbean backgrounds and influence will display their works in a spectacular array. From traditional fine art to the contemporary, there will be a wide selection on display and sale. Juried exhibitors, such as Elizabeth Erazo Baez, David Muir and Paul Campbell will showcase their hidden treasures. Local artists will have open tents with original paintings, jewelry, wearable art and sculptures throughout the Riverfront.
For the indie film buff, Caribe Arts Fest has partnered with Frank Cinemas to screen independent films made by local and international filmmakers. Features will include Taboo Yardie, a documentary by Selena Blake that looks at the issues surrounding homophobia in Jamaica; Brianna, shot by Ronny Cush; The Forgotten Father by Perry Cassanov; Disturbed, shot by Nelda Augustine and The Heart of Summer, a faith-based film directed by local filmmaker Adrian Allen starring Paul Campbell, known for his role in The Lunatic, Dance Hall Queen and Shottas, to name a few.
The eclectic sounds of reggae, jazz and fusion will fill the air with performances by one of South Florida’s finest rising reggae bands, Jahfe. In efforts to showcase the outstanding talent within the community, other performers include Antonia Jenae, Mammadee, Jay Will, Jahyadevi Arts and much more.
The audience will be wowed by the latest in Caribbean fashion by local designers, models and makeup artists. Coordinated by Ray Balgrove and Maurice Tucker, the brains behind Driven Models and John Alessi PR, respectively, the fashion show will take viewers on a journey of wearable art, edgy trends and more.
KIDS ART ZONE
An interactive Kids Art Zone will enthuse the minds, hearts and creative ability of young ones. The zone will be supervised by professional artists who will introduce and guide the children as they create themed murals. There will also be face paintings, balloon makings and more.