Virtual performance series highlights Latinx voices
Amplify Latinx, Hyde Square Task Force, Cojuelos’ Productions and Ágora Cultural Architects — have come together to celebrate art
Four Latinx organizations in Boston — Amplify Latinx, Hyde Square Task Force, Cojuelos’ Productions and Ágora Cultural Architects — have come together to celebrate art and community through their online performance series “Cadencia Latina,” running through July 5. Every Sunday and Thursday at 7 p.m., an artist sponsored by these organizations livestreams a performance on Facebook meant to uplift spirits during the pandemic and celebrate Latinx culture.
“We’ve been doing this outside of the series for over a year, and we’ve noticed really how much Boston and Massachusetts needed this kind of space for our own population to feel at home, for our own public to feel like they’re represented,” says Beba Rivera, co-founder of Ágora Cultural Architects. “They can have a good time being themselves with people who have had the same experiences.”
The performances span a spectrum of media from song and dance to poetry and monologues. All of the artists are Latinx and working in Massachusetts and they represent countries from all over Latin America. Rivera says about 1,000 people watch each performance on average and a large contingent is often from the country of the artists’ background. In that way, the series transcends physical borders to bring people together.
The transition from physical events to livestreams has been a learning process. Though viewers can interact in the comments section during the piece, Rivera says it has been an adjustment for artists to adapt to a medium without the typical audience feedback.
“In the industry, everyone is really just figuring it out,” says Rivera. “We decided to raise funds between all of us and provide the arts sector with a platform that they could use to still reach their audience.”
The artists are compensated for the performances by the organizations, and viewers are also encouraged to support the artists directly if possible. Rivera says, “We want to support the focus of the funds to the artists because they are the ones showcasing their work.” Artists often present a way to do that during their performance, whether it’s via Venmo, merchandise sales or another channel. Previous performances by the artists can be found on the artists’ Facebook pages and on the Ágora Cultural Architects YouTube page.
Though the series is currently scheduled to wrap up in July, Rivera says that high interest may lead to an extension. Many artists who weren’t able to participate in the first wave have seen the impact and want in. “Culture is a healer,” she says. “It’s the healing effects of seeing music, of seeing dance, of seeing art. I think it’s important to keep showcasing that.”