Raíces Women in Culture Initiative

In this initiative, Raíces Cultural Center will develop arts, history, and humanities programs and research projects exploring the role of gender and highlighting contributions of women practitioners in folkloric expressions and cultural traditions from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the diaspora.

Gender & Folkloric Expression in Latin America & the Caribbean: Research & Planning Panel

This project, supported by an Incubation Grant from the NJ Council for the Humanities,  connects Raíces Cultural Center staff with a team of academic scholars, researchers, and cultural practitioners to undertake the planning process for a program and research initiative exploring the role and impact of gender in folkloric expressions and cultural traditions from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the diaspora. For this pilot project, Raíces Cultural Center will work with a select group of scholars who research the history and social impacts of a variety of cultural traditions, as well as cultural practitioners who perform, teach, preserve and share the traditions highlighted in this initiative. This project fulfills a growing need for scholarship and public programming exploring the impact of gender on cultural arts in a diversity of cultural and folkloric expressions which have historically been male dominated. By including an array of scholars, researchers, cultural practitioners, and teaching artists in this planning project, we can engage some of the female artists whose voices the project intends to amplify.

Panel Participants

  • Jana Burton
  • Nancy Friedman
  • Melanie Maldonado
  • Yvette Martinez
  • Sarah Town
  • Elizabeth Sayre
  • Bring together scholars and cultural practitioners of diverse backgrounds in a series of group planning meetings to explore a variety of potential program and research formats.
  • Produce an action plan and calendar for public programs, research, and the creation of publications for the year following the planning period.
  • Create a set of sample materials for the initiative made publicly available through the Raíces Digital Archive, including oral history interviews and sample writings from each of the project participants.

Project Updates

2020: A series of 3 meetings of the Gender and Folkloric Expression in Latin America and the Caribbean research and planning panel were held and the group decided to continue to work together collaboratively, in partnerships, and in support of one another’s individual work. The participants featured in this planning project will form be the core founding members of the Raíces Cultural Arts Collaborative which will continue to expand in size and in scope of topics explored within the arts, cultural preservation and the public humanities.