We are a producer of diverse poetry and performing arts events in New York City, formed using the philosophies of the most progressive intellectual and artistic movements of the last century (i.e. The Harlem Renaissance, the Beat Poets, Black Arts Movement & most notably the Nuyorican Movement). We were founded in Brooklyn in March 2007 as an Open Mic & made our presence felt immediately by featuring both veterans as well as up-and-coming performers of spoken word, prominent visual artists, comedians, and select musical guests covering the genres of salsa, bomba y plena, progressive hip hop, and more. We have taken our brand to major academic institutions like New York University, Hunter College and Long Island University, and we have also taken our brand to major international corporations like National Grid Energy and Pepsi.
Capicu Cultural Showcase began as a partnership between two award- winning social media innovators, each with over a decade of experience in community building: Creative Director Juan “PaPo Swiggity” Santiago and Social Media Cultural Curator, George “Urban Jibaro” Torres. The community we built of advisors and artists is known as #TeamCapicu and they are driving forces behind New York City’s arts realm. Among them are ‘Boricua Goddess’, George Luis Acevedo, Jani Rose, Keith Roach, Jennifer Vanessa, Albert TainoImage Areizaga, Sue Reyes, Eric Cocotaso Ocasio, Erik Toral and Cat Lajara.
Our popular monthly “People’s Open Mic” series has also become a rite of passage for anyone looking to step into the realm of of cultural expression in New York City as our stage and audience welcomes newcomers during every show. Each showcase attracts internationally renown artists as well as up and coming talent. It is also supported by many of NYC’s local artistic community. Although inspired by themes and artists who emerged in the Nuyorican Poetry movement, all styles of performances from diverse cultures are showcased. We have featured acclaimed authors and poets such as Piri Thomas (Poet & Author of “Down these Mean Streets”), Ernesto Quinones (Author of “Bodega Dreams”), Felipe Luciano (original member of The Last Poets, 1st Chairman of the Young Lords Party), Lemon Anderson (Tony- Award winning Playwright, Poet & Actor), Willie Perdomo (award winning Poet & children’s book author), Mayda Del Valle (National Poetry Slam Champion recently performed at the White House Poetry Jam), Hebrew Mamita (nationally recognized Poet, Playwright & Actress) Flaco Navaja (nationally recognized Poet, Actor & Singer), and Bonafide Rojas (Poet, Author & Musician), among others.
The aim of the showcase is to provide a culturally diverse exhibit of artistic expression combining elements of spoken word, visual art, dance, music and community. We also utilize the principles of Edutainment to culturally enrich and empower our communities through our involvement with programs such as the American Diabetes Association’s Feria De Salud health initiative, the CASA Ana Orphanage Project in the Dominican Republic, and local initiatives like our “Pa’l Pueblo” Holiday Drives for a Brooklyn Headstart Program, and supporting XMental Incs annual fundraiser for the Coalition For The Homeless.
In March 2014, we unveiled our latest project “The Capicu School of Poetic Arts” (#LaSopaNYC) through a partnership with Boricua College. This educational workshop series for ages 17 & up was born from the need for a communal space dedicated to the development of artistic skills that allow artists to express themselves creatively while learning core principles that foster the longevity of their crafts. The series will be taught by some of NYC’s most seasoned teaching artists. Led by Dean Papo Swiggity Santiago and Dean Jani Rose, La SoPA is a movement to nourish our generation of writers and performance poets of color and our friends in New York City and the surrounding areas. Our first performance poetry instructor is legendary Nuyorican Poets Cafe Slam Team coach and #TeamCapicu member Keith Roach.
Our audience predominantly consists of 18-34 year old bi-lingual / bi-cultural, social media saavy tastemakers who dominate the “New Generation Latino,” demographic. This group consists of predominantly U.S.-born second-, third-, and fourth-generation young adults who consume mostly English-language media and represent over $300 billion in purchasing power.
Our showcases are promoted via opt-in email lists, internet radio and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. We have partnerships with Hispanicize, WebCityGirls and Lifestyle Remix to help leverage access to our core audience utilizing print, online and video content.