From Staten Island to Chile, Brooklyn via the Afro-Diaspora, seasoned Staten rock scenesters to teens, afrobeat to poetry, illuminated solar art pieces, a community promenade and gallery, not to mention a skatepark, public pool and bridge views – La Isla Bonita returns to Faber Park for the 3rd year, growing with each installment and transforming like our communities. Let us learn, let us revel, let us rise together and let us fly!

La Isla Bonita Festival

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, NYC Teens Connection, SICPPStaten Island Arts, Richmond Hood Company, IslandVoice, [the end], Making MemorEase

Underground System
Brooklyn, NYC born female-fronted group of modern afrobeat deconstructionists, Underground System is a singularly original and undeniably exciting group who bring the Funk.

Nani Castle + Udachi Music
NYC borough thorough – Bronx-born, Staten Island-raised rapper, dancer & vocalist Emiliana Castillo aka Nani Castle – is the daughter of a Chilean-exile father and rebellious Irish-American mother from Queens. Supported by the intrepid style of Staten-bred producer Udachi, Castle offers up introspective and experiential lyrics about surviving in NYC as young teacher and artist. In a style coined “working-class dance music,” Nani keeps it real and rugged like the streets she commutes through everyday to work with her timbs and ballet shoes in tow, spewing lyrical venom with intelligence and singing towards hope for a higher future.

Captain Ahab and the Sea Crackens
Surfin’ down the Arthur Kill! Sounds like water crashing against the South Beach boardwalk, sea shells, mermaids, and beer. Lots of beer. Sounds provided by the following: Matt Wilson (bass), Rory Merola (guitar and slammin’ amps), Jessica Manger (drums), Sean Kuhl (guitar)

Jordan Barone
Jordan Barone, an artist, producer, audio engineer, and Staten Island native, celebrates his 23rd birthday at Isla Bonita! With music described as Drake meets Billy Joel, Jordan plans to serenade the listener with fingers latched to the piano, or through space with synthesizer-infused production, granting access to the subconscience and how it interacts with the creative city environment.

DJ H20
Coming up as Staten Island’s youngest DJ, H20 makes sure to rock it in the classroom, in his community and on the turntables as a teenage DJ! Catch him on the 1s and 2s rocking the party right!!

Hosted by Caesar Vargas
Caesar is New York’s first undocumented lawyer and a pillar in our community. Read about him here: Learn about his work with (DRM) Dream Action Coalition! We’re so thankful to have him host!!!!

“Mariposas Amarillas” Art Installation Unveiling by Lina Montoya
Inspired by Gabriel García Márquez’s Cien Años de Soledad, Montoya’s illuminated sculptures will redefine the monarch
butterfly as an icon of migration and freedom. This work will be part of the series La Isla Bonita, a beautification project that seeks to transform public spaces through public art and community engagement. This project was made in part by Uniqlo‘s “Park Expressions Grant”!

Community Solidarity Outdoor Promenade
Peruse the park and engage with dozens of organizations from across Staten Island and New York City who want to connect with you!

Outdoor Art Gallery
Sign up to set up a canvas and paint in the fresh air while the music plays. Donate your pieces at the end of the festival or gift. Past artists have included Kwue Molly, FemmeFox and more!

Skatepark + Activities + Community + Picnic + More
Bring a blanket or a chair. Bring a picnic or see what taco truck we’ll have there!

Festival Herstory
“La Isla Bonita Summer Festival” was born as a series of public art developed by Colombian-born, Staten Island-based artist Lina Montoya under the LMProject. The series aims to transform public spaces around the Island by involving community members in the process and continues to exist, with more than 10 pieces on display throughout the North Shore of Staten Island.

LMProject and local arts collective ISLA, partnered up in 2015 to create a Summer Festival in the North Shore of Staten Island with the help of the NYC Parks, Partnerships for Parks and California organization Sol Collective – naming it “La Isla Bonita Summer Festival.” With the goal of building a yearly cultural happening which would celebrate Staten Island’s diverse and vibrant community, La Isla Bonita highlights Faber Park’s beautiful waterfront park, while promoting accessible and family-friendly local & global arts and culture for everyone to enjoy.

“People don’t think Staten Island is beautiful, but we want to celebrate the beauty that is here, in ourselves, our friendships and our community relationships. The ultimate goal for all of us is to create something that reflects us,” ISLA founder Nati Conrazon told the Staten Island Advance.

The festival’s inaugural event included live music performances, spoken word, dance, active sports, education, arts and crafts, marking an exciting development for cultural programming in the heart of Staten Island’s rich immigrant community of Port Richmond and particularly at Faber Park, where the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and Partnerships for Parks have been concentrating their community engagement efforts.

Programming for the festival is intentionally chosen to reflect global and local sounds, with bands and DJs who are mixing international urban sounds like past performers Latin Grammy winners Flor de Toloache – Mariachi Femenino, Dolltits, Gingee, Dj Jigüe, Run P., Consumata, Yeti, Dizzle, International Dub Ambassadors and others.

Community organizations from throughout the island and New York City are invited to participate in a day of summer fun – setting up tables to engage the public while they peruse the park and connect with others – while artists set up throughout the park, creating an open-air gallery to explore as giant shipping boats float by Kill Van Kull.

Future installments of the festival aim to further demonstrate that “Local is Global” – that our futures are interconnected – and through open dialogue and expression between different cultures, we can inspire new imaginations and solidarities.