Media contact:
Viola T. Johnson Blunt

Ashé, through a Diverse Arts Spaces Grant, presents Cuban Artist La Mora with Oyu Oro
Drum & Dance Troupe to Bring Afro Cuban Flavor to Maafa Activities

New Orleans, LA; June 7, 2017 - As part of a multi-year Diverse Arts Spaces grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), Ashé Cultural Arts Center (Ashé) presents Danys "LaMora" Perez-Prades and Oyu Oro Experimental Dance Ensemble from Cuba. They will perform at Ashé June 29 and 30, 2017.


Oyu Oro is the brainchild of "La Mora," an international Afro-Cuban folklore performer, choreographer, teacher and dance ethnologist from Santiago de Cuba. The company is committed to the preservation of Afro-Cuban folklore as well as the encouragement of cross-cultural understanding of dance and music forms derived from African culture. While Oyu Oro's traditional repertoire pays tribute to African lineages derived from the Yoruba, Congo, Carabali, Arará and Dahomean cultures of West Africa and Haiti, the popular dance choreographies also celebrate national popular Cuban heritage (

Focusing on ties between New Orleans and Cuba, the NALAC project, One People, Many Voices: Afro-Cuban Connections, seeks to promote discussions leading to relationships between the two cultures. The public is invited to attend events which are components of the grant project and, simultaneously, a part of the annual Maafa commemoration. Maafa, which happens this year on July 1, 2017 at 7:00 AM in Congo Square, is a sacred ceremony in remembrance of ancestors who were victims of the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, also known as the Middle Passage.

LaMora and her troupe will bring their Afro Cuban Flavor to this year's Maafa activities, leading a drum and dance workshop and performing at the Maafa concert. The events are free and open to the public.

Community Dance & Drum Workshop with LaMora and Oyu Oro
Featuring Bill Summers and Alexey Marti
June 29, 2017; 6:00-9:00 PM
Ashé Too, 1724 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA

Maafa Concert
Featuring LaMora, Oyu Oro, Bill Summers, Alexey Marti, and others
June 30, 2017; 7:00-9:00 PM
Ashé Power House, 1731 Baronne Street, NOLA

One People, Many Voices: Afro-Cuban Connections is supported in part by the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, through a grant from the NALAC Diverse Arts Spaces Grant Program. Support for these activities also comes from the National Park Service, the City of New Orleans - Office of Cultural Economy, and New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, Southwest Airlines and the Ford Foundation.


About Ashé Cultural Arts Center
Ashé Cultural Arts Center, located at 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. in New Orleans, is an effort to combine the intentions of neighborhood and economic development with the awesome creative forces of culture, community and art. We use culture and art to promote individual, community and economic development. Central to this mission is the recognition that American society has a marginalized view of African-Americans and their participation in the social and culture of the nation. Our primary goal is to interrupt that view, and to promote social and cultural equity. Operating since 1998, Ashé is a gathering place for emerging and established artists to present, create and collaborate in giving life to their art. The campus of this multi-faceted institution contains a dedicated art gallery, three event halls and often houses concerts, banquets, seminars, theater, a year-round youth program and more. Visit or call 504.569.9070 for more information.

The National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) is the nation's leading nonprofit organization exclusively dedicated to the promotion, advancement, development, and cultivation of the Latino arts field. In this capacity, NALAC stimulates and facilitates intergenerational dialogues among disciplines, languages, and traditional and contemporary expressions. Visit for more information.

For more information or to schedule an interview, call Viola Blunt at 504.813.9008 or 504.569.9070.