63 3Arts supporters
$6,865 raised of $5,000 goal
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Funded on December 10, 2022
    • 137% contributed

I am creating the first-ever musical devoted to Bomba, Puerto Rico’s oldest surviving music and dance form established by the island’s African descendants. Drawing from the Congo word that means “re-remember,” BÁMBULA will be an inspired history lesson come to life through song, dance, and storytelling. With your support, this musical will be developed and staged in collaboration with Chicago’s Urban Theater Company and Agua, Sol y Sereno in late 2024.

About This Project

Taking place in the early 1900s, BÁMBULA will focus on the lost narratives of Bomba matriarchs, women who were foundational in creating the song and dance tradition of Bomba. Not only do these women deserve to have their stories and influences celebrated, but current and future generations also deserve to gain the guidance of these great ancestors.

As executive director of La Escuelita Bombera De Corazon, I believe strongly in the preservation of Bomba music, dance, and history.  By developing this musical, the first of its kind, I am taking my practice onto a larger stage and bringing my community into the process with me to learn and be part of this ambitious undertaking. I feel it’s so important to give a fuller picture of our history, to document this in a major new musical production, and amplify these prominent women and their story.

In addition to co-writing the musical, I will be arranging live music as this will include live drumming of ancestral floor drums. and choreographing the Bomba performances throughout. A project of this scale is much bigger than me or our school can develop alone. While $5,000 is our initial goal, we will make every attempt to raise that quickly so we can announce a stretch goal that reaches even higher. Contributions to this campaign will help cover critical costs including writer fees, production crew, cast, costumes, research, equipment, documentation, and promotion.

I’m excited to work on collaborating with historians, elders, and educators who are deeply knowledgeable about Bomba history and committed to its preservation and survival. I hope to continue building existing relationships and producing partnerships with Chicago’s Urban Theater Company and Agua, Sol y Sereno, a 35-year old theater company  in  Puerto Rico.

BÁMBULA is part of the work to elevate beautiful Black music and history. This deserves to be out in the world and available for us to use as a tool to continue learning and amplifying these amazing stories of Matriarchs that also helped  shape what Bomba was then and  is today. Thank you for helping me make this dream a reality.

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $25
    Shout-out on social media ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50
    La Escuelita t-shirt and a shout-out on social media ($25.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100
    1 ticket to BÁMBULA, a shout-out on social media, and access to a playlist of favorite Bomba songs ($70.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250
    2 tickets to BÁMBULA, your name acknowledged in the program, complimentary admission to one Bomba class at La Escuelita (in-person or virtual), plus social media shout-out and access to the playlist ($170.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500
    All of the above, plus exclusive invitation to an online meet-and-greet with the BÁMBULA creative team about the development of the musical ($420.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $1000
    Private Bomba lesson taught by Ivelisse Diaz, invitation to a private opening night reception with the creative team (in Chicago or Puerto Rico), plus shout-out on social media and your name acknowledged in the program ($500.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $2500
    All of the above plus name or logo recognition as a Funding Partner in the BÁMBULA program ($2000.00 is tax deductible.)

Ivelisse Diaz

Community Awardee

Ivelisse “Bombera de Corazón” Diaz was born and raised in Humboldt Park, the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community. At the young age of five, she began studying Bomba under the mentorship of her beloved uncle Eli S. Rodriguez, a …

View Ivelisse Diaz's profile
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