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The Brownsville International Flamenco Festival was indeed a memorable experience! The BSPA and many of its friends and supporters had been talking of founding this festival for quite a long time and it was well worth the wait.

We know that Brownsville counts on one of the most advanced classical guitar music education programs in the country, we have supported it for nearly two decades. We’ve also witnessed our very own, locally-trained dancers consistently win regional and state Flamenco championships and even compete favorably at a national level.

Why was it, we wondered, that it was often difficult to book a real live Flamenco troupe in Brownsville… a working ensemble of resident artists that, together, practiced the three performing arts disciplines that Flamenco requires: dance, guitar and voice.

If we had the artists with the skills and the demand from the public then the problem, we surmised, must be us… yup, it was probably our lack of support and, if that was the case, then we knew how to fix it. The BSPA has done it before, with your help of course.

We’ll need to invest in more Flamenco clinics and master classes, support competitions, maybe fund a few scholarships, produce more Flamenco events and identify the opportunities that will make it happen. It will take a while but a good start will be this year’s Brownsville International Flamenco Festival, the first of hopefully many. It should last generations, just like the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival and the Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival have.

Brownsville treasures its diversity and knows that the cultural variety of the community makes us individually richer. We are proud of all of our parts but our Hispanic heritage, in particular, is a keystone of our cultural assets. So let’s get passionate about Flamenco… you, your friends and your family can start by just coming to the shows.

We are also pleased to welcome our partner: the Brownsville Beer Fest who’ll be hosting their Paella Cookoff Competition during our Saturday December 8 show at Market Square! Contestants will offer samples of their culinary creations starting around 6pm. Get there early before the paella runs out… Flamenco performances begin shortly after 7pm. Enjoy!