Our profile -Since 1979- at a time when the neighborhood was confronted with violence, drugs, gangs, and poverty- Loisaida, Inc. has provided critical services to the residents of the Lower East Side. As the oldest and only Puerto Rican/ Latino community-based organization in this community, Loisaida’s principal activities are in the areas of youth education and development, with particular emphasis on academics, arts, leadership, employment and community service. With a commitment to develop the community through developing their youth, Loisaida, Inc. continues to be a guidepost for the Latino community in the Lower East Side.
History – Since 1987, the Loisaida Festival has been celebrated on the Sunday before Memorial Day. This is the largest ethnic community pride festival in the Lower East Side and grows annually in impact, attracting between 12,000-15,000 people each year. It is presented along the Avenue C Commercial corridor, renamed “Loisaida Avenue” in 1989. The Loisaida Festival includes diverse manifestations of the Puerto Rican and Latino cultures expressed through music, cuisine and the arts. Besides delivering a top-notch entertainment and providing a venue for local and citywide artists and talent, the festival also serves as a vehicle to disseminate critical educational and wellness information and services for the community and visitors. Through the festival, we raise funds that support the growth of Loisaida’s youth programs, which we strive to make as eclectic and colorful as the Lower East Side community itself.
Mission – In 2014 the programming of the Loisaida Festival will update the relevance and distinct character of this 28 year-old event and will be integrated with the launching of the very first LES History Month, celebrated during the whole month of May. Our hope is to become the landmark event that celebrates Latino historical and contemporary contributions to the Downtown by serving Puerto Rican and Latino families and bridging cultural and generational divides. With a strong commitment to re-generative practices and sustainable culture, the Loisaida Festival intends to be a minimal-waste event and ensure 100% of waste is reused, recycled or disposed of by providing proper receptacles on site. Green and sustainability organizations, will also be on site at the festival offering information on best practices.