Sustaining Cultures

FolkCOLOMBIA Sustaining Cultural Initiative

Years of activity: 2010–2015

FolkCOLOMBIA is dedicated to promoting and nurturing the diversity and vitality of Colombian traditional arts in New York City. The initiative was led by a committee of master artists and cultural advocates in New York’s vibrant Colombian community and focused on revitalizing Colombian music, dance and theater traditions and helping them continue to hold contemporary significance. 

Founded in 2010, FolkCOLOMBIA connects Colombians living in NY with their extraordinary heritage and presents public programs that share the artistry of leading Colombian performers with the general public. We currently have two core public programs: The FolkCOLOMBIA Festival and FolkCOLOMBIA Escuela/School of Dance and Music.


The FolkCOLOMBIA Festival

An annual showcase programmed in partnership with Queens Museum of Art that featured established Colombian composers, musicians, dancers and actors with a new generation of upcoming artists. Special guests included legends such as Latin Grammy Award ‘Los Gaiteros de San Jacinto’, Maria Mulata, Las Alegres Ambulancias, Laura Kalop, and many others.


FolkCOLOMBIA Escuela/School of Dance and Music

The Escuela reconnects local Colombian youth with their heritage and performing arts traditions. Providing instruction in the diverse regional music and dance forms of Colombia, the Escuela develops a new generation of young artists to participate in the continuing evolution of unique South American arts now resident in New York City. While preserving culture, the school provides a safe space for the students to build bilingual language skills, develop their creative talents within a group context and explore cultural identity.

Related Event Series

Related News & Articles


Moris Cañate – percussionist and co-founder of Grupo Rebolu

Johanna Castañeda – four-stringed cuatro and singer

Sebastian Cruz – guitarist, composer, director of Coba

Daniel & Ana Fetecua-Soto – dancers and founders of the folk dance ensemble Pajarillo Pintao

Alejandro Florez – guitarist, composer and director of Tibaguí Trio

Rafael Gomez – guitarist and director of Grupo Latino Son

Gabrielle Hamilton – folklorist, CTMD Project Director

Andres Garcia – Andean music guitarist

Rafael Leal Ramirez – percussionist and author

Anna Mayor – flutist and co-founder of Encuentro de Músicos Colombianos en Nueva York

Pablo Mayor – pianist, composer, director of Folklore Urbano and co-founder of Encuentro de Músicos Colombianos en Nueva York

Diego Obregon – marimba maker and director of Grupo Chonta

Guillermo “Willie” Peñate – percussionist with Los Macondos and Insignia Vallenata

Ronald Polo – vocalist, gaita player, and co-founder of Grupo Rebolu

Camilo Rodriguez – gaita player and member of Maku

Albor Ruiz – leader of the Ruiz family group, Los Bambuquitos

Martin Vejarano – gaita player and founding director of La Cumbiamba eNeYé

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