By Ingrid Alvarez

Hello! My name is Ingrid Alvarez and I am thrilled to share my blogging debut with all of you.  I am the State Director of Hispanic Federation in Connecticut.  Hispanic Federation (HF) is the nation’s premier Latino nonprofit membership organization. Founded in 1990, HF supports and works in the areas of health, education, philanthropy, immigration, economic empowerment, civic engagement, civil rights, and the environment. I am excited to share with you the inaugural FUERZAFEST Connecticut – the first and only LGBTQ+ Latino Arts Festival in the Northeast.  FUERZAfest Connecticut joins LGBTQ members, straight allies, community leaders, and artists for a 2-day celebration of LGBTQ Latino culture with workshops, panel discussions, networking events, art exhibits, film screenings and dance performances.

The LGBTQ community has won important victories in recent years that have dramatically expanded civil rights in the U.S. Despite these successes, the Latino LGBTQ is still struggling for full acceptance within the broader society. The issues of homophobia and anti-gay violence also carry special resonance in the Latino community.  In the aftermath of the Pulse Club tragedy in Orlando, in which 36 of the 49 victims were of Hispanic origin, and almost all LGBTQ, FUERZAfest will serve as an opportunity for Connecticut’s Latino LGBTQ community to stand in solidarity, educate and sensitize others through the arts around the impact of anti-gay stigma, homophobia and transphobia.

The arts play a critical role in telling stories that are often hidden. At a time when Latinx and LGBTQ communities are under massive attack, FUERZAfest creates a safe space where queer and trans brown people can come together to celebrate one another, enjoy each other’s brilliance in art, dance and cinema and engage in much-needed political and social dialogue. The festival will provide opportunities for dialogue and awareness of the systemic barriers and threats faced by the Latinx communities.   Our hope is that by bringing these issues to light we spark a necessary conversation about what our communities value, who we are, and how we need to stand with one another to fight injustice.

FUERZAfest highlights stage and film work, art exhibitions, workshops, panel discussions and all of the scheduled events on August 25th are free and open to the public and on August 26th we debut the theatrical performance Seis at Hartbeat Ensemble Theatre. To purchase tickets to the August 26thperformances of Seis, click here.

For more information, visit: http://www.fuerzafestct.org/ or https://hispanicfederation.org/events/fuerzafestct/

Hope to see you there!

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