Multinational Illumination Art, “1,849 Millas: Al otro lado del charco; A Diaspora Journey”
Friday 24th May, 2024 → Friday 28th Jun, 2024

Buffalo Arts Studio
2495 Main Street, Suite 500 Buffalo, NY 14214
Time: 11:00am-5:00pm
Cost: Free
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1,849 Millas: Al otro lado del charco, A Diaspora Journey, an innovative cultural initiative, is set to captivate Buffalo, NY, this spring and summer, inviting audiences on a profound exploration of African and Indigenous cultural expressions from Puerto Rico. This immersive project, encompassing an exhibition, performances, workshops, discussions, and forums, promises to illuminate the rich tapestry of heritage that often remains unseen. 1,849 Millas: Al otro lado del charco, A Diaspora Journey is on display at Buffalo Arts Studio from May 24–June 8, 2024 with an Opening Reception on Friday, May 24, 5:00—8:00 pm. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

At the heart of the project lies the intersection of art, activism, and identity. Through the lens of traditional vejigante masks and bomba music, rooted in the African heritage of Puerto Rico, 1,849 Millas aims to amplify voices often marginalized within the broader narrative of Hispanic/Latinx and American identity.

The project's centerpiece is an exhibition featuring meticulously crafted vejigante masks, a symbol deeply rooted in the African heritage of Loíza, Puerto Rico. These vibrant masks, handcrafted by Multinational Illumination Art with artists Deborah Canales and Benjamin Cirino, pay homage to tradition while incorporating contemporary themes, reflecting the journey of diaspora and adaptation. Accompanying the exhibition are bomba performances, workshops, panel discussions, and public forums, offering audiences a multifaceted experience. 

1,849 Millas, represents a collaborative effort involving diverse organizations and individuals committed to celebrating cultural diversity and fostering dialogue. Partnerships with El Batey Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Journey’s End Refugee Services, and other community organizations underscore the project's commitment to inclusivity and community engagement.

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