Caribbean Art, Sounds And Rhythms Make History At The Riverfront, Downtown Ft. Lauderdale, September 28 – 30, 2012

For the first time in history, the Riverfront comes alive with the inaugural event of Caribe Arts Fest. Scheduled to be a 2 ½ day celebration of Caribbean art, the vibrant energy of the islands will be on display through various arts, food, rhythms and cultures between September 28th and the 30th, 2012. Artists will be showcasing fine art, sculptures, jewelry, independent films, fashion, music, kids art zone, authentic cuisines and excellent local talent. Admission is free with a suggested online donation of $10.


“Caribe Arts Fest aims to be a special affair showcasing some of the hidden treasures of the Caribbean,” said David Muir, CEO for American Arts Initiative, “the diverse community of South Florida will surely be able to appreciate this celebration through the arts.” Not an easy venture to orchestrate, the development of the project has taken a few bumps and bruises in its growth. Issues surrounding sponsorship and funding has been a defining factor. “Like so many projects, funding can either make or break the concept,” said Michelle McKoy, co founder and event organizer, “we however, have a clear vision and have made the necessary adjustments to make it a stimulating weekend”.


The stage will be set for Caribbean Islanders and countries that encroach on its surrounding waters to gather in festivities bringing much needed traffic to the Riverfront. The amalgamation of all art forms under one roof is an usual concept but one that will have something for everyone. For local businesses, the festival is a welcomed attraction bringing a needed boost to their weekend sales. The evening of Friday, September 28 will be the event launch and VIP cocktail starting at 6pm. Remaining days will be a family affair with elements of art, entertainment and indie film screenings throughout. Schedules for daily activities are available on the website.


Details of Events


Art Exhibits


Artists of Caribbean backgrounds and influence will display their works in a spectacular array. From traditional fine art to the contemporary, there will be a wide selection on display and sale. Juried exhibitors, including Elizabeth Erazo Baez, David Muir, Max Lazega, Paul Campbell and Louis Davis, will showcase their hidden treasures. Local artists will have open tents with original paintings, jewelry, wearable art and sculptures throughout the Riverfront.




On the opening night there will be the official book signing of new academia book “Rastafari in the New Millennium”. Published by Syracuse University, the book is a focus on the evolution of Rastafarianism since its inception in 1932 to the present year. Rastafarianism has been a very integral part of the Jamaican history and culture and this is what is celebrated in the book. Author, Dr. Michael Barnet, is a professor of Sociology at the University of the West Indies.


Another book featured at Caribe Arts Fest is “Pieces of Jamaica” the Real Rock Edition, a pictorial coffee book self published by local photographer, David Muir.


Indie Films


For the indie film buff, Caribe Arts Fest has partnered with Frank Cinemas to screen independent films made by Caribbean filmmakers. Features will include “Taboo Yardie”, a documentary by Selena Blake that looks at the issues surrounding homophobia in Jamaica; “Brianna”, shot by Ronny Cush; “Disturbed” shot by Nelda Augustine and “The Heart of Summer”, a faith based film directed by local filmmaker, Adrian Allen starring Jamaican actor, Paul Campbell, best known for his role in “The Lunatic”, “Dance Hall Queen” and “Shottas” to name a few.


Talent Showcase


The eclectic sounds of reggae, jazz and fusion will fill the air with performances by one of South Florida’s finest rising reggae bands, Jahfe. In efforts to showcase the outstanding talent within the community other performers include reggae fusion by German reggae artist, Mamadee, NBA sensations, Sons of Mystro, Jay Will and the Wraps and Kush band, Alana DaCosta, Soulflower, Omilani and much more.


Caribbean Fashion


Be wowed by the latest in Caribbean fashion by local designers, models and makeup artists. Coordinated by Ray Balgrove and Maurice Tucker, the brainchild behindDriven Models and John Alessi PR, respectively, the fashion show will undoubtedly take you on an intrinsic journey of wearable art, edgy trends and more.


Kids Art Zone


An interactive Kids Art Zone will surely enthuse the minds, hearts and creative ability of your young ones. Supervised by the Moving Lives of Kids (MLK) Mural Project, the zone will be facilitated by artists who will introduce and guide the children as they create themed murals. There will also be face paintings, balloon makings and more.