An intergenerational collective of award winning artist practitioners, Pagwah Mas, Something Positive, Inc. and Caribbean Fuzeon.
The Carnival experience begins with J’ouvert (pronounced-Joo-vay).
J’ouvert marks the beginning of the annual Carnival celebrations in many Caribbean islands including Trinidad and Tobago.
JOUVAYFEST is an intergenerational collective of award winning artist practitioners, Pagwah Mas, Something Positive, Inc. and Caribbean Fuzeon focused on bringing together, showcasing and exposing artistic talents from the African/Caribbean Diaspora. In collaboration with our international partnerships we use creative and performance based expressions to engage in social, cultural, political, and economic issues to enhance the empowerment and wellbeing of African/Caribbean Diaspora people. The collaborations with musicians, dancers and artistes and artisans across borders and cultures gives a great ‘dopamine’ feeling as we all sing, dance, play and laugh together.
The main aim of JOUVAYFEST is to develop and strengthen the capacity of the next generation of Diaspora people by sharing, developing, and transferring knowledge and innovative practices through a multiplicity of cultural representations.
Our uniqueness is based on the fact that our diverse creative expression has its roots in the Carnival experience of J’ouvert (pronounced-Jew-vay) which was started by formerly enslaved Africans in the predominately French speaking colonies, when they were allowed (post-emancipation) to participate in the pre-Lenten festivities of the ruling class. The phrase J’ouvert translates as ‘I Open.’
A Glimpse From the Street
A stunning spectacle, the street procession will be an explosion of communal color, music, revelry, and creativity.
The streets will never be the same as the vibrant masquerade band, costumed revellers, pulsating music, and engaging movement to bring in the dawn of the day…J’ouvert is here.
SOMETHING POSITIVE, INC. & PAGWAH MAS’ from the USA/Trinidad, together with Bands and Artist in cultural exchange are dancing- mirroring-showing their power in exchange with each other-one moves-another moves- like a conversation- all using their own movement language - you hear pulsating music- the communication, now in sound and movement continues as if awakening the great powers. All embrace the different energies in “the arms” of sound and dance. A stunning spectacle, the street procession will be an explosion of communal color, music, revelry, and creativity. The sounds will be of rhythms combined, directed and orchestrated by master percussionist from Trinidad &Tobago, and musical director of Pagwah Mas’ (NYC).
Through the exploration and understanding of African culture, folklore, religion, and traditions, we harness the historical and contemporary aspects of masquerade/carnival from across the globe and use that knowledge to influence the design and delivery of our projects. Those intercultural experiences are used throughout our activities, such as:
SOCIAL ACTION – empowering and mobilising communities and neighbourhoods to respond to social issues that matter to them e.g. Brooklyn JOUVAYFEST 2017 – ‘Kritical Mas’ calling for Reflection and Unity in the wake of Black Lives Matter.
COMMUNITY ENTERPRISE – supporting the development of enterprising individuals and groups e.g. pop up shop sales of ethical jewelry, clothing, and artifacts.
SOCIAL LEADERSHIP – offering training and development to create effective ethical social change leaders e.g. intergenerational mentoring, coaching and engagement activity workshops.
COLLABORATIONS – working together with international creatives, artistes and artisans e.g promoting, hosting and participating in International Music Festivals in Morocco, USA, Trinidad and Tobago, Cape Verdi. Participating in Brooklyn J’ouvert with musicians from Brazil, Guadeloupe and French Guiana where English is not the first language.
CAPACITY BUILDING - strengthening the skills, abilities, processes and resources of communities and groups e.g. hosting workshops on the steel pan musical instruments in schools in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
RESEARCH – exploring, investigating and fact-finding of creative, social, political, economic and environmental concerns e.g. historical investigation and documentation of the works of the late Ken Morris – founder and pioneer of Copper Repousse crafting technique.
JOUVAYFEST is embedded in a set of core principles that are grounded in the concept of green sustainability to challenge assumptions that there is a disconnect between African/Caribbean diaspora and a commitment to environmental issues.
This website is partially made possible with funds from the Destination> Brooklyn Program, funded by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and NYC & Company Foundation, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council.
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We appreciate your support in helping us continue our cultural and educational mission