The Albany Latin Festival Association (ALFA) is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to promote and develop Hispanic cultural events in the Capital Region of the State of New York, for the purpose of acknowledging the contributions of Hispanic performing artists and promoting an appreciation for multi-cultural diversity. ALFA's initial efforts have resulted in the successful establishment of the Albany LATINFEST as an annual free performance event in Albany New York's Washington Park since 1996. This is a significant achievement considering, the event is entirely produced by a voluntary board of directors who have other primary professional obligations. The Association's success can be attributed to our ability to mobilize support on many levels, including the local Hispanic community and small businesses, corporations, various elected officials, and other local non-profit organizations as well as the City of Albany Office of Special Events.
The LATINFEST event is a full day, family oriented festival with musical performances highlighting the diversity of Hispanic musical genres, a diverse representation of food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, government and business information booths, and children's amusement rides. The event is staged in Albany's Washington Park at the end of August. LatinFest 2009 is scheduled to take place August 29th from 11am to 6pm.
As a cultural event, LATINFEST celebrates the beauty and diversity of the Hispanic cultural heritage and acknowledges the contributions made by Hispanic Americans to the local, state, and national cultural scenario. It has established a hallmark, traditional cultural event for a burgeoning portion of the local community that is currently under served and under represented, as well as for the larger Albany community. Past festivals have displayed talents such as Ismael Miranda, Jose Alberto 'El Canario', Puerto Rican Power, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, Frankie Negron, Kevin Ceballo, Luisito Carrion, Nestor Torres, Jimmy Bosch, Brenda K. Starr, Choco Orta, Larry Harlow and the Latin Legends, Joe Cuba, and many others.
Since 1996, the Albany LATINFEST has achieved increasing attendance and popularity. Additional achievements include:
- Inclusion as a highlighted event during the Albany Bicentenary Celebration in 1997
- acknowledgment and support from the Mayor's Office of Special Events as an Albany summer event
- Showcasing local, as well as nationally and internationally renown artists
- Attracting an increasingly multi-cultural audience, with an attendance of more than 10,000 people during last year's event
- Establishing alliances with various community organizations for the provision of volunteers for the event
- Obtaining grant support over successive years from the Albany Community Development Agency (CDBG) and the Albany/Schenectady League of Arts (Connection Grant)
- Securing persistent financial support from local community members, small businesses, and corporations
- Securing the Capital Region CW television network as media sponsor