Artist Xiomara Fortuna Joins GFDD and the Dominican Diaspora in NYC for an Evening of Music and Reflection on her CareerApril 17, 2015
This year’s second Dominican Get-Together (DGT) took place in New York before a packed auditorium at the Dominican Commission of Culture in the United States, in the presence of Dominican artist Xiomara Fortuna. With over 38 years of experience as a singer, songwriter, composer and researcher of Dominican culture, Xiomara reflected on her career as an artist and gave a live concert, during which she performed some of her most famous songs.
event was opened following words of welcome by Carlos Sanchez, Dominican Commissioner of Culture in the United States, who thanked the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development for organizing the event and praised Xiomara Fortuna for the beauty of her voice.
GFDD Executive Director,
Natasha Despotovic, next took to the podium to introduce the Foundation with a short video presentation of its programs and areas of work before transitioning to another presentation celebrating the artistic career of Xiomara.
Following the two presentations, the artist was invited on stage for an informal discussion with Despotovic and the audience during which she reflected on the influence of her home town and Dominican roots over her extensive career. Growing up in
the midst of feminist movements, Fortuna stated that traditional music had always had a profound impact on her life, stressing that even in 8th grade when asked by her teacher what profession she would like to pursue she responded: “I want to be an artist”. Fortuna explained that in order to do meaningful music, she needed to create her own style, stressing “This is why all my music proposals are very traditional”.
The audience was
particularly engaged in the discussion, praising the artist not only for the fact that her music was transcendent, thanks to its Afro-American roots, but also for her actions as a committed feminist who fought for gender equality at all levels in the Dominican Republic and throughout the rest of the world.
To thunderous applause, Xiomara Fortuna concluded the discussion by performing several of her most famous songs before a delighted audience.
The evening closed with free drinks and food offered to all guests who were then given the opportunity to exchange words with the artist.
About Xiomara Fortuna
Since 1981, Xiomara has devoted herself to the research of Dominican
traditions, undertaking a risk by distancing herself from what is strictly commercial to work on an original musical proposal based on the uniqueness of the original Dominican rhythms, which has earned her international recognition.
As she explains in her biography, her professional career is a commitment to spiritual elevation and to bring the core of what is Dominican to the highest standards of excellence. She is recognized as an independent artist who has managed to
remain faithful to her ideas in her poetry, giving voice to the popular demand for social justice and to the feelings of the most disadvantaged, creating a product of subtle and unusual beauty.
She has been awarded UNESCO’s Gandhi Medal for her contribution to peace and tolerance, and the National University of Colombia recognized her for including the gender perspective in her work. She was declared a national treasure at the International Living Art Festival.
Fortuna presides over the Culture and Development Initiatives Foundation, which manages the El Campeche Ecological Ranch project and, in this context, organizes a music festival that sings to life and in favor of the Verde Limón natural resources.
In the various locations in the United Sates where there is a Dominican community present, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) creates opportunities for a diversity of
audiences to gather around Dominican-related issues, enjoy a Dominican movie, meet a Dominican prominent figure, and participate in discussions on topics of interest for the Dominican community in the United States and in the homeland.