The tarmac of the Holy Family Church on Flatlands Avenue in Canarsie came alive with the sound of music, dance, and activities, thanks to Assemblywoman Monique Chandler-Waterman, District 58, and Assemblywoman Jamie Williams, District 59 who brought the colorful Caribbean community together for the district’s first Folk Festival, which is expected to be held annually.
The Aug. 20 celebration that started at 3:00 p.m., created an opportunity for the elected officials to network, and share resources, at the same time celebrate Caribbean culture as the borough readies to celebrate WIADCA’s Labor Day costume parade on Sept. 4.
Chandler-Waterman, an activist and advocate, and the co-founder of East Flatbush Village, Inc., a non-profit to address limited youth services, thanked voters for their support, as she continues to be inspired by the work of retired Assemblyman, Ambassador Nick Perry, while working to enhance the livelihood of residents, and building a stronger, vibrant community.
The celebration opened with a disciplined advice to children by Kamla Millwood, who read excerpts from her best-selling book series Peach the Duck. She also announced that a mascot is being created to represent the character to inspire children to read.
Emceed by Minister Nicole Langlaise, the cultural afternoon also celebrated the Siren Protectors of the Rainforest, featuring the Glenwood Senior Center Folk Dancers, led by choreographer Mafor Mamo Tse, who told of the history of the dance movement.
Maryann Carrol Kerr-Barnes, in turn sang “Long Time Wi Noh Have Vice Time,” making way for the melodious voice of Ellan Neil, who wowed the crowd with a medley of songs recorded by Bob Marley, and Boris Gardner. Maryann Carrol Kerr-Barnes of the Sundance Old Adult Center also shared a taste of her homeland Jamaica.
Popular Braata Folk singers founded by talented Jamaican-born artiste Andrew Clarke whose brilliant performance continues to inspire audiences everywhere they go, garnered loud applause for their choreography, skit, and chorus.
Hosted in partnership with, Senator Roxanne Persaud, Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse, the Brooklyn Lions Club Inc., Jean Joseph, Canarsie Merchants Association, Norine Medas, Palatial Publishing, and My Time Inc., Lucinda Clarke — the energetic Chandler-Waterman, who joined performers and constituents for a dance off, expressed her appreciation to voters. She also applauded her staff members, Chief-of-Staff, Chinua Duke, Vivienne Bent, Dalton Robinson, Rosnelle Nelson, and family members, who were on hand to engage the gathering. She also expressed gratitude to Father Kane for the use of the facility.