Brooklyn Sen. Roxanne J. Persaud on Thursday, Nov. 16 visited Tropicalfete Inc.’s new cultural space on New York Avenue in Brooklyn, presenting a $20,000.00 check in endorsing the work of the major Caribbean cultural group.
“I am pleased to support the work of the Tropicalfete organization because of its commitment to teaching and showcasing Caribbean culture across the community, regardless of an individual’s cultural association,” Sen. Persaud, the Guyanese-born representative for the 19th Senate District in Brooklyn, told Caribbean Life on Monday.
“Over the last few years, the program’s participants have participated in Senate District 19-sponsored community events for all ages,” she added. “This grant funding that I am providing will allow the organization to expand its work and bridge cultures, as it continues to engage the greater community.”
Alton Aimable, the St. Lucian-born founder and president of Tropicalfete, Inc., also told Caribbean Life that he was “very thankful to receive the check from the senator that will greatly help in our activities.
“We cannot thank her enough,” he added, disclosing that his cultural group has inaugurated its new cultural space at 850 New York Ave., Brooklyn.
“This vibrant hub, strategically located at the corner of Linden Blvd. and New York Ave., aims to become an iconic tourism landmark, showcasing a diverse array of programs and initiatives,” continued Aimable, stating that the check presented by Persaud is “earmarked for educational programs benefiting youth and seniors.”
Aimable accepted the check alongside board members Patricia Meschino, an award-winning journalist, and Keran Deterville, an artist.
The Board of Directors of Tropicalfete said the new facility provides the cultural group with “tremendous opportunity to educate our community about Caribbean culture, preserving it through various programs, as well as provide employment.”
Aimable said the extensive programming at the Tropicalfete encompasses “a rich tapestry of activities, including musicians, mentoring musicians, authors connecting, the art of masquerade, artist resource center, body of vibration limbo, dance and theater, among others.
“These programs are not only enriching the cultural fabric of the community but also actively engaging youth and seniors across New York City,” he said.
During her visit, Aimable said “Persaud expressed admiration for the innovative approach of Tropicalfete and its dedication to fostering talent.”
“Tropicalfete’s commitment to inclusivity is underscored by its initiatives targeting autistic kids,” he said. “Discussions are underway with officials to enhance their experience and highlight their talents, particularly in technology.
“The organization, having previously worked with autistic kids, recognizes the importance of showcasing their skills and providing a platform for their development,” he added.
Looking ahead, Aimable said Tropicalfete “aims to position its cultural space as a tourism landmark, engaging the New York Tourism Industry in this endeavor.”
He said plans include a café, sourcing local and Caribbean products; “recognizing our cultural forefathers, featuring heroes; along with highlighting natural attractions from various Caribbean countries.
“This initiative aligns seamlessly with Tropicalfete’s mission to celebrate diversity and pay homage to those who have contributed to Caribbean culture,” said Aimable, adding that “those undertakings will be unveiled in different phases.”