In spite of the fact that every other surname in the “phone book” is a Portuguese one, there are surprisingly few cultural events throughout the year. The first ones that come to everyone’s mind are the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament and Day of Portugal. Outside of those, two there is occasional live fado and that’s about it. Of course, there’s a huge variety of restaurants and bakeries, even two museums, but between these there is little else that hearkens back to the “old country.”
LusoCentro, an education center that promotes Portuguese-speaking people through educational programs, language training and cultural activities is hoping to change that. Located in the Eileen t. Farley Learning Resources Center of Bristol Community College, LusoCentro will be hosting the first annual “Uma Noite Folclórica,” to showcase the long tradition of Portuguese theater, dance and music.
The night will feature a variety of folklore groups and ranchos from throughout New England including Rancho Folclórico Escola Portuguesa de New Bedford, Grupo Folclórico de Sociedade Cultural Açoreana of Fall River, The Taunton Portuguese Folklore Group of Taunton, MA, Grupo Folclórico de Cranston Portuguese Club of Cranston, RI, Rancho Folclórico da Nossa Senhora Fatima of Cumberland, RI, and of course, the hosts, Bristol Community College’s LusoCentro.
Each organization involved has its own staff with years, even decades of experience performing or teaching in each and every group; either in the United States or back in Portugal; either in folklore groups, fado groups, or event Portuguese bands. Many of the group members have participated and competed in hundreds of performances and competitions on a local, national or international level. From local parades and feasts to international championships at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
The goal is to introduce a new annual event to the South Coast – one that will benefit cultural dance and music organizations, and help preserve the Portuguese culture through children involvement. By attending the annual event you not only enrich yourself by 100% of the funds from ticket sales (and raffle) go back to groups that assist children to be involved in the culture as an historic education tool. It’s a positive activity that keeps kids off the streets, away from drugs, crime and dangers that they can easily get tangled into.
The future, safety and success of any culture, heritage, nation or family is only determined by the enrichment of our children through our culture and heritage and through morals and ethics.
Sound, which will be provided for by Underground Sound; lighting, tickets, promotional items, scholarships and raffle prizes will be provided for by Mr. Brian Martins, making it possible to have all funds raised from ticket sales and the raffle to be equally divided amongst the folklore groups/ranchos in attendance and LusoCentro. The event will close with a performance by Mauricio Morais, the awarding of the raffle winners and several scholarships, including four $150 scholarships and one $1000 scholarship to be awarded to an active participant of one of the attending folklore groups.
In addition, and to help fill the theater; organizers will be raffling off 2 tickets for one lucky supporter to go to Portugal with the internationally acclaimed Portuguese Kids! All tickets sold are automatically entered into the raffle, but additional raffle tickets will be sold that night for purchase. This trip for two includes round trip airfare from Boston to Ponta Delgada, São Miguel, Açores, Portugal via Açores Airlines, 4 star hotel accommodations, 12 meals, tours of several historical villages (Sete Cidades, Furnas, Nordeste), guided tours and dinner entertainment provide for by the Portuguese Kids.
Tickets are $15 each. 100% of ticket sales go back to the folklore groups in attendance and LusoCentro. Tickets can be reserved by calling Brian Martins at 774-417-1295 or by email at Brianma1977@yahoo.com. Tickets can also be purchased online at:eventbrite.com/e/a-night-of-folkloreuma-noite-folclorico-tickets
Margaret L. Jackson Arts Center Theater
BCC Main Campus
777 Elsbree Street
Saturday, April 1st at 6:00pm
Event Page: facebook.com/events/1066245560159038/