What We Do

Each of CCCADI’s programs asserts the centrality and relevance of African, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latino culture to strengthen our communities, build access, and support leadership from within economically vulnerable and underserved communities. We implement our mission through four lines of business:



Public ART EXHIBITIONS + PERFORMANCES

Throughout CCCADI’s history, we have acted as an incubator and springboard for new artistic and intellectual brilliance. For example, we spearheaded “Transforming the Crown: African, Asian and Caribbean Artists in Britain” which amassed more than 100 works into an exhibition that was simultaneously on-view at CCCADI, The Studio Museum in Harlem, and The Bronx Museum of the Arts. The landmark exhibition became a model for institutional collaboration. We’ve also presented transcendent talent such as Celia Cruz, Amiri Baraka, Tito Puente, Wynton Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, A Tribe Called Quest, Queen Latifah, the Mardi Gras Indians and Ghanaian rapper Blitz the Ambassador, among others.

Currently, CCCADI showcases the creative genius of traditional and contemporary Diaspora culture through the following arts exhibitions, festivals and performances:

  • HOME, MEMORY, AND FUTURE engaging El Barrio and the larger NYC area in a critical public dialogue about home, belonging, immigration and gentrification.

  • Mi Querido Barrio, an augmented reality project and mobile app employing artists and local youth to landmark East Harlem’s rich history and cultural legacy.

  • CCCADI-Lincoln Center-Out-of-Doors Festival partnership (“Heritage Sunday”) is a dynamic program featuring music and dance performances from around the world.

  • The Loiza Festival- in collaboration with Hermanos Fraternos de Loiza Inc. celebrates Afro-Puerto Rican culture in East Harlem.

  • CCCADI Saturdays, family-oriented cultural programming for New York City families and children (to launch @ new Firehouse headquarters late 2016).

ARTS EDUCATION + EQUITY

 

Cultivating the next generation of cultural activists, artists and arts professionals of color is at the heart of CCCADI’s mission. CCCADI believes that human and cultural rights are integral to individuals achieving their full potential within their cultural community and the broader civil society. This belief informs every step of CCCADI’s pedagogy, throughout our leadership and arts training pipeline, which extends from pre-Kindergarten to high school, mid-career professionals and beyond. Some of our our Arts Education + Equity programs are:

  • Teaching Living Culture: a PreK-12 education initiative that immerses students in the music, dance, theater, poetry, and visual arts of the African Diaspora.

  • The Apps Youth Leadership Academy: Empowers public high-school students to participate in NYC’s digital economy. Students receive hands on training in creating digital programs and apps, linked to Diaspora cultures and communities. will keep them on the cutting edge as participants in today’s ever changing digital economy.

  • Innovative Cultural Advocacy Fellowship (ICA) provides professional development and networking opportunities for diverse early to mid-career arts-based professionals in cultural arts advocacy.

  • Museums Connect trains middle-school students in Harlem, NY and Jamaica, West Indies to research their local histories, create related works of art, exchange experiences and present their work via digital media.

  • Community Arts University Without Walls (CAAUW): a two-week intensive certificate program launched with Inter-American University in Puerto Rico that educates next generation cultural and community advocates through service-based learning.

  • The Art of Justice, a conference on the intersections of art and activism in collaboration with New York University’s Departments of Art and Public Policy, African American Institute and Columbia University’s Institute for Research in African American Studies (IRAAS).  

SACRED TRADITIONS: Transformation + healing

 

CCCADI’s work honors the sacred belief systems of indigenous and African-based cultures around the world. These traditions often share core values: honoring ancestors, connecting with the divine forces of nature, and cultivating sacred energy within to achieve one’s personal mission on earth and build strong families, communities and societies. Through workshops, conferences, health expos and wellness circles, CCCADI facilitates deeper understanding and awareness of these traditions so that communities can leverage this ancient wisdom for the challenges they face today. Some of our Sacred Traditions programs are:

  • Transforming the Temple Series and Annual Expo: a culturally resonant health initiative that democratizes access to health resources, practitioners, and information promoting holistic wellness in underserved communities chronically plagued by disease as a result of historic and systemic inequalities.

  • The Trade-itions ConferenceSupported by the National Endowment for the Arts, this two day conference will explore and celebrate comparative African cultural and spiritual traditions.

  • Roots and Stars: A quarterly salon series exploring Black spiritual genius. It examines ancient African and New World religious customs, as well as contemporary spiritual practices to understand the foundation and evolution of spiritual practice throughout the Black World. Recent themes have focused on spirituality and social justice, divination, praise dance and Yoruba theology.

  • Sacred Songs workshop: Led by scholar and world-renowned Akpon, Frank Bell, participants learn traditional Orisha songs and their relative significance. Each workshop is categorized by specific Orisha groupings, based on their pantheon location, as well as their assigned universal force.   

  • Mulheres de Axé: Celebrating the Sacred Power of Women of Spirit unifies faith-based women organizers and healers across New York City communities, honoring the sacred feminine and working at the intersection of spirituality and social justice.  

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE + TRAVEL

 

While all CCCADI programs are rooted in a global consciousness and engage presenters from around the world, CCCADI also sponsors unique international exchanges and convenings. In the past, these have included educational tours to the Havana Biennale in Cuba; cultural tours in Brazil; and hosting the Orisha Tradition World Conferences in Nigeria, Brazil, and New York City, which convened global academics, spiritual leaders and practitioners of Yoruba sacred religious traditions for the first time in history. Some of our International Exchange + Travel programs are:

  • Women of Power Conference convenes afro-descendent female leaders from the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa that live abroad and in New York City to consider the role and impact of Diaspora women through the lenses of community organizing, advocacy, culture and spirituality in order to claim, explore, and honor our experiences and strategize for our future.

  • Museums Connect trains middle-school students in Harlem, NY and Jamaica, West Indies to research their local histories, create related works of art, exchange experiences and present their work via digital media.

  • Community Arts University Without Walls (CAAUW) is a two-week intensive certificate program launched with Inter-American University in Puerto Rico that educates next generation cultural and community advocates through service-based learning.