Braata Productions presents Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival celebrating the 60th anniversary of the independence of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago on Saturday, August 6, 2022, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., on the lawn of the York Performing Arts Center, 94-45 Guy R Brewer Blvd, Queens, New York. The event is free, but donations are accepted at braataproductions.org/bankra2022.
The Festival is an annual staple in the community and promises to be a day of fun and entertainment for the whole family. Showcasing the best of the Caribbean, the Festival offers New Yorkers the opportunity to experience the islands’ folk culture and sample its unique cuisine.
“The Caribbean community has so much to offer and this folk festival is a unique opportunity to showcase our rich and diverse cultural heritage to residents of the borough and surrounding areas,” said Andrew Clarke, Founder. “We look forward to the support of the community of Queens and the greater New York tri-state area to ensure the success of the festival.”
The Festival will feature traditional authentic folk forms and experiences from the different territories of the Caribbean. The Braata Folk Singers head an impressive list of famous cultural groups, all of whom hail from Trinidad, Tobago and Jamaica or have a particular focus on these island traditions, including JC Lodge (Jamaica), Marva Newton ( Trinidad and Tobago) and the Carnyval Dancers (Trinidad and Tobago).
There are three main components to the Festival: stall/island baskets, cultural performances, and a pop-up cultural exhibition. These three components distinguish the Bankra Caribbean Culture Festival from other Caribbean festivals, since it is dedicated to folk forms and folk culture. It provides nostalgia for those who grew up with it, learning opportunities for others who had no knowledge of it, and helps restore the importance and relevance of folk culture as a viable and vibrant contributor to the Caribbean brand.
The festival’s name is derived from a large woven basket or “bankra”, made of materials indigenous to the Caribbean islands, and is often used to transport a range of food and cultural items in Jamaica. This is exactly what this festival reproduces: the great beauty of the folk culture represented on each island.
The festival offers a full sensory experience of traditional music, dance, crafts and food. In addition to cultural performances, the Festival will also offer:
Percussion circles, folk games and dances and cultural exhibitions
A Playzone, where young and old can play traditional Caribbean games
A gastronomic pavilion, with cuisine from different islands
About Braata Productions
Braata is a Jamaican colloquialism meaning ‘more’, and that’s what this company aspires to do: to give its supporters and audience something more at all times. Launched by actor/singer Andrew Clarke in May 2009, Braata’s goal has always been to provide entertainment and education to our customers and to give voice to diverse backgrounds, performers, writers and directors. Our goal is to authentically represent Caribbean island culture and prioritize the culture and telling of Caribbean stories and legends for generations to come. Braata is dedicated to giving Caribbean and Caribbean American artists a platform through which to showcase their work and talents. Braata seeks to establish its position as one of New York’s leading performing arts organizations. We maintain strong ties to the community and have a reputation for artistic excellence, educational innovation and fiscal responsibility. Giving immigrant voices a chance for creative expression, our main activities include theatre, music and folk arts, in addition to education and community outreach. These activities take us to engagements outside of the 5 boroughs of New York to Connecticut, Rochester and Boston to name a few. Braata’s goal is to rekindle appreciation for Caribbean culture and heritage among Caribbean and non-Caribbeans by engaging community members in and around New York City. For more information, visit braataproductions.org.