“Art is a good way to release anything that’s kept inside our psyche and share something on the inside to the outside world,” said artist Alexandra Blazer when asked how artistic expression impacts her.
Blazer was one of the many artists to attend Teatro Yerbabruja’s second annual Central Islip Downtown Art Festival on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2019. The event was a great way to have fun and meet new people from different communities and seek out community resources like Adelante of Suffolk County Inc. and voter registration booths.
The community event had face painting for kids and live portrait paintings and drawings in different areas along Carleton Avenue. There was also a florist creating beautiful arrangements for attendees to take home, two DJs and live performances. It was a live experience where Hispanic heritage was fully embraced.
When asked what does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you, Ruby Fuentes from Fundación Caricatura, an arts non-profit, proudly said, “It means everything I am!”
Art has a deep and rich history in the Latinx community dating all the way back to Mesoamerica. A melting pot of different cultures from Africa, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America have influenced Latin American art and that same melting pot showed up during the event.
“This festival and Hispanic heritage month allows people to get out of their comfort zones,” said Artist Sueeg Gutierrez. “It’s more inclusive than exclusive to one Hispanic community or country.”
“It’s a good way to remember who we are and show our youngest that we are not only our present, but we’re also our past,” said Julian Soler of Sole Art Corp.
During the festival, art took on many different mediums including music.
“As part of La Fiesta 98.5 FM, I love giving back to the community,” said DJ German Villamar also known as DJ Jun, who has lived in Central Islip since high school. “Expressing the art of music, is important because it can express one’s mood, and unite all cultures as one from all backgrounds.”
Despite the difference in culture or country of origin a diverse crowd came together to share their love of music, art, and food and support each other.