‘Music Matters’ Gathers Children & Families in Celebration of the Bronx’s Cultural Diversity

Families from all over NYC, but particularly the Bronx, participated in two outdoor musical performances featuring Bronx-based dance and music ensemble ¡Retumba!



At Music Matters on Saturday, June 11, at Mill Pond Park, ¡Retumba! performs alongside some of our youngest New Yorkers as they move to the sounds of the Caribbean.

 

Bronx Children’s Museum turned Mill Pond Park into a cultural hub with Music Matters, the Museum’s newest program for children and families. Featuring live musical performances by Bronx artists that celebrate the rich, cultural diversity of the Bronx, and the contemporary forms of music that have been created as a result, Bronx-based dance and music ensemble ¡Retumba! led our program for two consecutive Saturdays in June (6/4 and 6/11).


¡Retumba! is a multi-ethnic music and dance ensemble founded more than 40 years ago that bases its work on the music and dance of Africa, Europe, and its expressions in the Americas and the Caribbean, namely Puerto Rico, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Brazil. The company interweaves traditional rhythms and beautiful ancient melodies into their own unique interpretation that results in a feast of folkloric music that is musically soulful, passionate, and visually fascinating. Their participatory performance at Music Matters not only educated children and families about the African-inspired rhythms and sounds of the Caribbean, it energized everyone to get up and dance and shake maracas provided by the Museum.


Support for the program was provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and

through a Cultural Immigrant Initiative grant from New York City Council Member and Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala. DCLA Commissioner Laurie Cumbo stopped by on Saturday June 11 to enjoy some of the festivities.


“I am so happy to support Bronx Children’s Museum in presenting Music Matters through the Cultural Immigrant Initiative fund,” said Ayala. “My predecessor, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and I helped to establish this funding in 2015 which has been supporting institutions like Bronx Children’s Museum in providing valuable access to cultural resources. Programs such these are an important and necessary celebration of the diverse cultures that are the very fabric of the Bronx and New York City.”



Music Matters attendees enjoying a fun-filled afternoon.

 

“Young children benefit from positive exposure to cultural programs created especially for them that celebrate their heritage and those of the communities around them,” said the Museum’s Deputy Director of Arts and Exhibits, Natalie Wood. “It enriches their lives through the arts and gives them a sense of pride.”


“With our building located right here in Mill Pond Park,” said Nicole Wallace, Director of Education and Public Engagement, “we consider the park our backyard. We are looking forward to hosting a variety of regularly scheduled activities for children and families to come and play in the park once we open our space just next door.”