The epicenter of an exquisite blend of culture and art, New York City is constantly bursting with artistic events that are sure to amaze and inspire anyone whether artist or art lover. The perfect example of such an event would be La Casita.

La Casita is Lincoln Center Out of Doors’ annual celebration of community, showcasing urban poetry, spoken word, and musical expressions that represent the diversity of traditional and contemporary cultures across New York City.

Event goers can look forward to the experience of an incredible group of artist-activists giving voice to the movements working to uphold and extend LGBTQ, women’s, civil, immigrant, and human rights.

A new, rich and vibrant hand-painted structure serves as the 2017 event’s centerpiece. This year’s Casita was designed and created by acclaimed “Byzantine hip-hop” visual artist Manny Vega.

This year’s MC will be renown New York spoken-word, hip-hop, and experimental performance artist Baba Israel.

La Casita is curated by Melody Capote, Caribbean Cultural Center; Lillian Cho, consultant; C. Daniel Dawson, arts and media consultant; LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs, writer, vocalist, sound artist and curator; Cady Gierke, Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian; Claudia Norman, Claudia Norman Management; and Rich Villar.

American Sign Language interpretation will be provided.

Dates and locations:
This literary event takes place on Saturday, August 5th at 12:00 pm at Lincoln Center’s Hearst Plaza.
The events then continue on Sunday, August 6th at 2:30 pm at Teatro Pregones in the Bronx.
This event is free to attend and open to the public.

You can find out more about the event here.

Who will be attending?

Crystal Valentine 

Crystal Valentine is a writer, activist, and educator. She is the three-time Grand Slam Champion of NYU’s poetry slam team. Crystal is the 9th ranked Woman Poet in the world by way of the Women of the World Poetry Slam and has had work featured on CNN, MSNBC, and Blavity. Crystal has written one book, Not Everything is a Eulogy.

Quraysh Ali

Quraysh Ali is the editor of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill’s African American Literature Reader and I Represent and Dream in Yourself, which are two anthologies of literary works from Chicago’s award-winning youth arts employment program. His works have been published internationally as well as in journals and magazines around the country.

Safia Elhillo

Safia Elhillo author of The January Children, is a Pushcart Prize nominee, co-winner of the 2015 Brunel University African Poetry Prize, and winner of the 2016 Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets. She currently works as a teaching artist with Split This Rock.

Urayoán Noel

Urayoán Noel is an associate professor of English and Spanish at NYU and a poet. Noel has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Howard Foundation, the Bronx Council on the Arts, and CantoMundo, and is currently completing a bilingual edition of the poems of Pablo de Rokha.

Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones is the author of several poetry collections, a recipient of The Jackson Poetry Prize, a Pushcart Prize winner, and a Paterson Poetry Prize finalist. In 2010, she was named by as one of the 40 poets they love.

Denice Frohman

Denice Frohman is a poet, writer, performer, educator, and speaker. Her work looks at the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. She is the 2013 Women of the World Poetry Slam champion. She has been featured at over 200 colleges and universities and had the honor of performing at The White House in 2016

Be Steadwell

Be Steadwell is a singer-songwriter with an MFA in Film from Howard University. She was selected to be a Strathmore Artist in Residence and the DC Commission on the Arts awarded Be the artist fellowship. Be is currently touring her music and screening her film Vow of Silence.

Haleh Liza

Haleh Liza is a musician, poet, and translator. She has shared the stage with such artists as Reggie Watts, Hugh Maskela, Salif Keita, Teebs, Odetta, and Blonde Redhead. Haleh’s poems have been published by Columbia University Press and Rattapallax Press.

Melvis Santa

Melvis Santa is a singer, composer, pianist, Afro-Cuban dancer, actress, and educator. Her album Santa Habana was nominated to The CUBADISCO Awards in 2012, the same year that it debuted. Melvis also starred in 7 days in Havana.

Baba Israel

Baba Israel is a musician, director, and educator. During his time living in Australia, Baba co-founded Meta Bass ‘n’ Breath, an infamous and theatrical Hip Hop band. His career began as an arts educator in Australia. He has since become a leading educator and consultant working with organizations such as Urban Word, BAM, and the University of Madison. Baba is also the Co-Artistic Director of the Performance Project based at the University Settlement and Curator of Performance for HI-ARTS.


Do you know of any cool literary events? Let us know in the comments!

Alicia Jackson

Alicia Jackson

Social Media Manager & Content Writer at NY Literary Magazine
Alicia graduated from Auburn University, with a degree in English Technical and Professional Communication. She is an avid blogger and enjoys writing as well as outdoor photography. Alicia has a non-fiction piece published in The Auburn Circle.
Alicia Jackson