El Museo del Barrio will celebrate its 36th Annual Three Kings Day Parade on Friday, January 4, 2013, at 10:30am. The time-honored holiday procession will include Honorary Kings, Madrinas, Padrinos, thousands of school children, real camels, gigantic hand-made puppets, and performers who will bring lively music and colorful dancing to the streets of El Barrio.
At the helm of the parade will be the Three Honorary Kings: award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa; Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs for New York City, Fatima Shama; and Activist Angy Rivera. The Three Kings, Madrinas, and Padrinos participating in the parade were chosen to lead our parade because of their meaningful service and commitment to El Barrio and Latino communities throughout New York City. These three specially appointed Kings will be dressed in costumes created exclusively for the event by the renowned Dominican designer Emilio Sosa, of Project Runway fame. Sosa's striking designs were inspired by Taíno cacique Anacaona, Miguel de Cervantes, and Arturo Schomburg, symbolizing the influences from Pre-Columbian, Spanish, and African traditions that are the roots of Latino culture.
This year's central theme, "El Barrio Unido," pays homage to the Puerto Rican community who has paved the way for new communities who call El Barrio their home. As old and new communities come together, they continue to keep El Barrio's history alive by celebrating the traditions of its people, and the annual Three Kings Day parade is among the most vibrant. An estimated 3,000 schoolchildren will be participating this year, representing 45 New York City schools. Also included in the procession will be local talent and community groups. Prior to the parade, El Museo will host an insider kick-off breakfast at 9:00am including the Kings,Madrinas, Padrinos, and Elected Officials. Confirmed to attend are Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Senator Jose M. Serrano, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Council Member Gale A. Brewer, and Council Member Jessica S. Lappin.
Among the great lineup of talent participating in the festivities are AbyaYala Arte y Cultura, BombaYo & Friends, Junio Alvarado, Bean Bloco, RokaFella, and Benito Bravo's Ballet Folklorico.
The parade will begin at 10:30am on 106th Street and Madison Avenue, head north on 3rd Avenue to 116th Street and then west to Park Avenue where it will end. A full route map is available in the "Parade Details" link at http://www.elmuseo.org/threekings.
JESUS "Papoleto" MELENDEZ is a poet, playwright, performance artist, and long-time El Barrio resident.
MARIA HINOJOSA, is an award-winning journalist and correspondent for PBS, CNN, NPR, CBS Radio, and Latino USA. She is the founder The Futuro Media Group, a multiplatform, community-based journalism that celebrates the richness of the Latino experience.
FATIMA SHAMA, the Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs for NewYork City, has developed reforms in the areas of healthcare services, language accessibility, and other challenges faced by immigrants in the city. She has also been involved with organizations including: the Research, Action, Information, Network for the Bodily Integrity of Women (RAINBOW), and the Arab-American Family Support Center in Brooklyn
ANGY RIVERA, is a Colombian-born New York-raised activist and undocumented immigrant. A tireless advocate for immigrant rights, Angy is a student at John Jay College and a core member of the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC), where she created the first-ever advice column for undocumented youth called Ask Angy.
Nadema Agard, (Winyan Luta/Red Woman), artist, curator, educator, and specialist in Native American arts and cultures
Cecilia Gastón, Executive Director of the Violence Intervention Program, Inc.
Christine Licata, Associate Director of Visual Arts at the Boston Center for the Arts
Sandra Morales-De León, Deputy Director of the East Harlem Business Capital Corporation
Tanya Torres, Puerto Rican artist and writer living and working in El Barrio, New York City
Father Fabien Aria, Reverend, Zion Lutheran Church
David Calvert, Executive Director, Youth Action Programs and Homes, Inc (YAPH) and Founder of Jóvenes Constructores de la Comunidad (JCC)
Pedro Juan Hernández, Senior Archivist, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY