New York is a cultural mecca for people who enjoy the experience of various entertainment options. Promoters seeing the big picture will market their events to wider audiences thus offering greater visibility to artists and performers.
One team of enterprising and motivated young men from Africa has realized that the market for entertainment from the Continent is in demand. Cedric Ajavon, Antonio Bakoniarivo and Armel Maganga have been promoting parties that feature African music on a regular basis through their company - MADE IN AFRICA – NYC.
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The cultural life of Africa in New York City is extremely diversified and varied, as big as the continent itself. With so many different cultural offerings in art, fashion, film, music, spoken word or theatre it can be helpful to have some guidance in making choices. The MIA – NYC team provides this in events that allow both the aficionado and the neophyte to develop a love for the aspects of Africa not often seen here in the USA.
In the areas surrounding New York City, there are many artists and performers of African heritage waiting to be promoted. Through their work, this trio hopes these events will help provide artists with new opportunities that will lead to greater success for them and eventually, their mainstream acceptance. As Mr. Ajavon says: “Creativity has to be paid for and artists must eat; are you willing to pay for and support art?”
His goal is to see that artists are financially supported by these events.
The efforts undertaken by MIA - NYC are essential for another reason. The broadcast and print media often paints the picture of Africa in a negative light. It is through cultural programs that the misconceptions and negative images can hopefully be wiped away.
With a regular schedule of monthly events, the sounds and tastes of Africa are only a subway ride away. Once you make the first trip, it is almost a guarantee that you will be making that journey on a regular basis.
by Robert Bernstein, Events Editor.