BRONX, N.Y., Nov. 16, 2018 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education in partnership with Pregones Theater are proud to present “We Have Ire: Afro-Cuban in the United States.” This exhibition and multi-disciplinary theater project will be produced by Cuban-American writer, performer, Doris Duke Artist and San Francisco resident Paul S. Flores, with collaborating Puerto Rican filmmaker and photographer Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi. “We Have Ire” documents the stories of four Cuban artists, focusing on their influences and dreams.

Casita Maria Arts - We Have Ire
The exhibition will be on view in the Casita Maria Gallery from December 13, 2018 to March 9, 2019. To kick it off, please join us for a Celebration and Artist Talk on December 13 from 5-8 p.m.

Our audience can also see a live performance of excerpts of the We Have Ire theater project on Saturday, March 9, 2019 from 2 – 2:45 p.m., in combination with a Family Storytelling Workshop from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Throughout the “We Have Ire exhibition,” a companion exhibition of paintings created by Casita Maria Summer Campers, entitled “REACH!,” will hang in The Young Artist Gallery. The young artists used imagery of astronauts exploring the cosmos as a powerful metaphor that there is no limit to success– we can all reach for the stars and beyond!

All events are free and open to all ages.

“The Casita Maria Gallery is a powerful teaching tool and welcoming space of cultural celebration for the Young Artists of Casita Maria, their parents and caregivers, and the community. Through ‘We Have Ire’ we are thrilled to share Afro-Cuban and Cuban-American stories through so many artistic disciplines,” said Gail Heidel, Director of Creative Arts Programs, Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education.

Casita Maria Gallery, 928 Simpson St, 6 fl.
Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., (718) 589-2230

Artist Bios:

Paul S. Flores’ deep dive into themes of transnationality and citizenship comes at a crucial time in contemporary history. Flores creates plays and oral narratives that spur and support societal movements that lead to change. Flores’s last play “On The Hill: I Am Alex Nieto” brought together San Francisco communities that had been divided by gentrification and police violence. Flores’ ability to paint a vivid picture of bi-cultural Latino experience is shaped by his personal background and experience growing up near the Mexican border. He began presenting spoken word as a founding member of Youth Speaks and Los Delicados in 1996.

He performed for the first time in Cuba in 2001 while working at La Peña Cultural Center, and has since presented multiple times in Havana, Mexico and El Salvador. His comprehensive body of work touches on the immigrant story in all its complexities: from the violent—forced migration, gang life, war, incarceration and separated families—to zooming in on intergenerational relationships and the struggle of preserving important cultural values. Paul Flores’s newest play “Pilgrim Street” premieres September 13-16, 2018 at Z Space Theater in San Francisco. His next play, “We Have Ire,” about Afro-Cuban traditions, immigration and artists in the United States, premieres in 2019. He is an adjunct professor of theater at the University of San Francisco.

Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi is a graduate of UC Berkeley and received his MA degree from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Eli is an award-winning filmmaker and currently directs FistUp TV, a production company that documents people’s stories from around the world as a way to expand community awareness around issues of social responsibility and cultural identity. His work has circulated through the National Broadcast: Free Speech TV, Teaching Channel and PBS. He is the co-founder of Defend Puerto Rico, a multimedia project designed to document and celebrate Puerto Rican creativity, resilience, and resistance. Eli is curating his ninth Annual Fist Up Film Festival in the Bay Area, California. His dedication to his craft is deeply connected to his commitment to social justice and the belief in the transformative power of film.

Casita Maria Arts - credit: Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

About Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education:

CASITA MARIA CENTER FOR ARTS & EDUCATION is the first and oldest Latino 501(c)(3) charity in NYC, founded in 1934. The South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts and education programming for all ages. Learn more at:

About Pregones Theater:

Following years of enterprising activity on stage and in the community, Pregones Theater and Puerto Rican Traveling Theater recently merged into a single Latino arts organization with performance venues in The Bronx and Manhattan. The transformation builds upon congruence of mission, values, and programs, and sustained engagement of a growing network of diverse artists and audiences throughout and beyond New York City. Moving forward, Pregones/PRTT champions a cultural legacy of broad impact through (1) creation and performance of original musical theater and plays rooted in Puerto Rican/Latino cultures, and (2) presentation of other artists who share our twin commitment to the arts and civic enrichment.

Supported by: NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and NYC Department of Youth and Community Development

Learn more about upcoming events at:

Follow on social media at: @casitamariabx

Media Only Contact:
Luis Pagan
Marketing and Media Manager,
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Culture
+1-718-589-2230 x 6091 (media only)

*Image links for media:
*Image Caption: Event poster for “We Have Ire.”

*Image Caption: Photo without event text. Photo credit: Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi.

News Source: Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education