- Grammy-nominated performer, composer and educator Zacbe Pichardo performs on the Arpa Jarocha, a wooden harp typical of the Mexican Gulf coast, and a descendant of the 16th century Spanish harp. Performers introduced by Musical Instruments curator Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, in programs inspired by the Met’s Musical Instruments Collection and presented in the context of the Met’s encyclopedic collections and exhibitions.
A night of musical borderlands, celebrating a new generation of Mexican-American singer-songwriters with performances by Renee Goust and Diana Gameros. Having grown up between the U.S. and Mexico, Renee and Diana move between different cultures, languages and genres to deliver anthems of personal, cultural and sometimes political identity.
- Mexican photographer Adel Buzali’s exhibition, Water and proximity. The work explores how water, an element with charged history and symbolism, becomes, in fact, a connecting fluid that allows us to break normativity and experience a shared proximity. Her lens shows us how bathing suits are only slender materials that separate nude bodies from one another. In the photographs, which play with light and reflection, the subject’s identities blend with the water through the movement of their bodies and the anonymity intended by the photographer. The body in Buzali’s work becomes as fluid as the water that surrounds it.
- The opening of “Fantasy, Dream and Make Believe,” a photography and video exhibit presenting the work of three emerging Mexican photographers: Sergio Fonseca, Juan-Carlos Lopez Morales, and Roberto Tondopo. Curated by New York photographer and educator Jerry Vezzuso, the work in “Fantasy, Dream and Make Believe” ranges from the surreal to the hyper-real, situate their subjects– relatives, friends, and the self– within vivid and liminal landscapes. Join us at Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, one of New York’s oldest artist- run not-for-profit spaces.
Special screening of Bellas de Noche followed by a Q+A with the director and stars of the film Princesa Yamal, and Olga Breeskin. Moderated by Carlos Gutiérrez, Executive Director, Cinema Tropical. Bellas de Noche / Beauties of the Night, is an intimate glimpse into the past and present lives of Mexico’s biggest cabaret stars of the 70s and 80s. These five legendary showgirls represent the voices of the last generation of cabaret stars after the massive earthquake of 1985 in Mexico City destroyed these cabarets, which were never to be rebuilt. Director Maria Jose Cuevas spent eight years shooting over 180 hours of footage, crafting an honest work based on trust and friendship; weaving a unique portrait of each woman.
- A Celebrate Mexico Now tradition lives on! Every year the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM), one of Mexico’s most renowned gatherings for contemporary cinema, sends us five award-winning short films ranging from animation to documentary. All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. Following the screening, stay with us for a Q&A with Mexican filmmaker Sofia Carrillo. Moderated by Diana Vargas, Havana Film Festival NY.
-La Proporción Aura/ The Aura Proportion
-La palabra de la cueva/ The Word of the Cave
-Relato familiar / Familiar Tale
-Vuelve a mi/ Return to Me
- To commemorate the 15th Anniversary of Celebrate Mexico Now Festival, visual artist Gabriela Galván devised a sensory food installation experience showcased at MOFAD. Galván’s sculptures represent three distinct moments in Mexican history, Prehispanic, Colonial, and Contemporary, exposing Mexican culture and cuisine through ingredients, techniques, and storytelling. The interactive sculptures showcased the rich textures and flavors unique to Mexico, celebrating both tradition and innovation.
- Olga Cabrera, chef at “Tierra Del Sol Casa Restaurant” in Oaxaca, offered a demonstration and taste menu of the delicacies of her traditional Mixteca cuisine. With the firm intention of preserving the authentic recipes of grandmother’s kitchens, chef Cabrera will teach us how to conserve the traditional recipes with 100% original ingredients coming from all regions of Oaxaca. Her discipline and constant work converge to fulfill the firm objective of preserving the authentic recipes of grandmother’s kitchens, loved by all and served at Tierra del Sol.
- The 100th anniversary of Guadalupe (Pita) Amor, one of the most celebrated Mexican poets of the 20th century; in this multidisciplinary event, Carmen Boullosa, Beatriz Espejo, Michael K. Schuessler, Jean Graham Jones and more guests shared anecdotes, images and, most importantly, some of Pita’s most acclaimed verses. This gathering was conceived as a long-overdue tribute to an iconoclastic Mexican poet and personage. Author of several renowned books of poetry, one novel and a collection of distinctive short stories, Pita Amor was also a unique and, at times, notorious figure in Mexico’s cultural landscape of the second half of the 20th century.
Claudia Norman, Celebrate Mexico Now Festival´s Producer and Executive Director offered a multimedia presentation of Frida Kahlo’s passionate and often devastating love life, which inspired some of her most famous and celebrated works. Fragments of love letters, diary entries, music and, of course, art brought the feisty artist to life in celebration of her uncompromised spirit in art and love.
68 Voices, 68 hearts is a series of animated shorts that retell 68 indigenous stories narrated in their native tongues. This work was created by Gabriella Badillo under the premise that “no one can love what they do not know,” 68 Voices seeks to strengthen bonds between indigenous and non-indigenous language speakers, fostering pride in the indigenous communities that make up Mexico’s cultural richness.
- Mexico-City based, independent arts collective, Sur Oeste, presented “11:11,” a contemporary dance performance reflecting the anguish, frustration and impotence of the Mexican social, political and economic climate. The piece is based on Jane Alexander’s installation in the Tate Museum of Modern Art, “African Adventure,” where Alexander creates a scene of thirteen anthropomorphic yet animal-like figures, commenting on the legacy of abuse in post-apartheid South Africa. Drawing inspiration from the enigmatic yet politically charged nature of Alexander’s piece, and incorporating elements of theater, light and sound art, Sur Oeste presents a thrilling performance. After touring internationally with award-winning performances, this marks the collective’s New York debut.
- Known for her eclectic, collaborative and innovative works, contemporary dance choreographer Karole Armitage and her NYC-based company, Armitage Gone! Dance, presented “The Art of In-Between.” Accompanied by live music performed on pre-columbian instruments, Armitage presents a joyful and subversive performance inspired by Mexican traditions such as Dia de Los Muertos and the theatrical wrestling form of Lucha Libre, evoking everything from pre-columbian traditions to contemporary minimalism and even drag performance.
In the fall of 2018, from October 10th through the 21st, — , Celebrate Mexico Now festival will celebrate its QUINCEAÑERA EDITION – 15 years of providing a dynamic range of free and low-cost contemporary arts coming out of Mexico: music; film; literature; dance; culinary; visual art. The only festival of its kind in the United States, the 2018 Festival features more than 40 artists and an eclectic and thrilling schedule of world premieres, U.S. debuts, and cross-cultural collaborations.
Showcasing more than 300 artists in 97 venues across New York City, Celebrate Mexico Now annually invites audiences to celebrate the creativity, heritage, and heart that contemporary Mexican artists bring to every arts field. The Festival’s expansive repertoire disrupts the often narrow definitions of Mexican culture by exploring the way contemporary artists are reflecting, reshaping and revisioning Mexican identity in the ever-changing global context.
Award-winning curator and producer Claudia Norman of CN Management, who is internationally recognized for her expertise in contemporary Mexican arts and culture, founded and produces the independent festival. Celebrate Mexico Now is made possible through partnerships with venues and cultural institutions in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island, creating a New York City-wide platform that allows established and emerging artists to reach the city’s diverse audiences. The Festival’s close collaborations this year include The Metropolitan Museum, The National Museum of the American Indian, New York University, School of Visual Arts, Lincoln Center, Columbia University, The Queens Library, Museum of Food and Drink among others and the vibrant communities of New York City.
Celebrate Mexico Now festival looks forward to continuing to introduce Mexican artists to U.S audiences, building new collaborations and inspiring imaginations and cross-cultural opportunities.
We invite you to the party. No faltes a la Quinceañera!!
Claudia Norman, Founder and Director
Marcia De La Garza, Marketing and Development
Isabel Frías, Social Media
Alonso Gorozpe, Outreach
Ivette Mercado, Video
Julia Rocha, Editorial
John Seroff, English PR
Diana Vargas, Spanish PR
Karla Mejia, Festival Intern/Webmaster