Pachamama Peruvian Arts- Press Profile

2010 Union Square Arts Award Recipient

35 East 35th Street, #3D
New York, New York 10016

Media Contact: Luz Pereira, Executive Director
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Peru has been called a “dancing nation” since some 1,500 musical genres are performed throughout the country. These forms are expressed in Peruvians’ everyday lives in both Peru and New York City at house parties, community and religious gatherings as well as at national festivals and competitions. Pachamama Peruvian Arts (PPA) was launched in 2004 in response to a concern that young Peruvians in the U.S. were losing the connection to their cultural heritage. PPA is the first arts education program in the country to offer free instruction in Peruvian music and dance traditions. PPA’s main program is based at a public school in Queens, home of the City’s largest Peruvian population.

PPA is committed to strengthening the practice of traditional Peruvian music and dance, and promoting cultural interchange and understanding to empower Peruvians with pride through youth education, workshops and collaborative presentations. The main program provides weekly classes for children, 6 to 17 years old, encouraging them to succeed musically, academically and personally. Students learn instrumental and dance skills, instrumental styling, and technique as well as the social and historical context of various cultural forms. Summer classes offer students an opportunity to refine their skills. Teaching staff consist of master artists who grew up in the traditions and trained with community elders, family leaders, and at professional schools. 

PPA parents play an important role including designing and sewing costumes, helping make instruments, preparing traditional foods, recruiting additional members, and assisting with presentations, rehearsals and fundraising.  In 2010, Pachamama launched a pilot program for parents and adults that offers classes in cajón (Afro-Peruvian drum) and Marinera Norteña (a traditional Peruvian dance) allowing parents to learn and share the same dance forms as their children.  Two main concerts a year present PPA’s work and have become major community events attracting over 300 people each.

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