The Pittsburgh Foundation

Zuly Inirio

Zuly Inirio. Image credit: Dominic Bordelon.
Zuly Inirio. Image credit: Dominic Bordelon.

2023 grant amount: $50,000

This project will be the first season of The Afro-Latinx Song and Opera Project which will include recitals, multidisciplinary performances and performance art for the Pittsburgh community. In 2020, there were about 6 million Afro-Latino adults in the United States, and they made up about 2% of the U.S. adult population and 12% of the adult Latino population. The Afro-Latinx Song & Opera Project aims to commission new works that tell the stories of the Afro-Latin and Afro-Latinx communities, as well as decolonize the classical music canon by uplifting the existing contributions and stories of Afro-Latinx composers. This project is part of Instituto Cimarrón (Institute of Marronage) which she founded and named after Latin American and Caribbean Afro-descendants who engaged in marronage, the process of extricating oneself from slavery and forming your own settlements. Instituto Cimarrón is modeled after the ancestral need and desire for freedom and agency and believes that our culture is freedom. 

"My target audience is the Afro-Latinx community and Black Diaspora," says Inirio. "While Blackness is an integral part of Latinidad and its history, it is rarely highlighted in a mainstream way. What my project and these performances will do is center Black Latinidad which inherently challenges the definition of Latinx as it stands today."

Season for Afro-Latinx Song & Opera Project: 
Performance: Requiem for Black Grief Pittsburgh Debut (Workshop) with a talkback with the audience (part of the SOY NEGRA Performance Series) (November 2023)- This performance piece collaboratively conceptualized by performance artist Eva Margarita and operatic soprano  Zuly Inirio explores the possibilities available for respectively working with the black female subject as we continuously navigate collective mourning. Using spect-actorship (Boal), breathwork, and opera, Requiem for Black Grief asks audience members to hold space for the survivance of black women to highlight how agential grief manifests by feeling, singing, and being with one another.

Community Discussion: Livestreamed Roundtable about Afrolatinidad (February 2024)

Recital- Negritude: Classical Music of the Black Diaspora (February 2024)
This recital is a curated multidisciplinary concert experience uplifting Black Diasporic classical art song and opera centered around African-American, African, Afro-Latin, and Afro-Latinx identities and cultures. Following the concert, there will be a talkback with the community.