Press Releases

Purchase College Presents "Downtown Cabaret" at Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, NYC, April 10-12

Date Released: 3/31/2008

Purchase College, State University of New York, presents Downtown Cabaret, a downtown arts festival in lower Manhattan, in collaboration with the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, April 10-12. Admission is free for all students and by donation for all others.

Downtown Cabaret is a concert/floorshow with visual art installations. It is the combined work of young professional musicians, dancers, filmmakers, visual artists and art historians associated with Purchase College. 

The Clemente Soto Vélez Center is a Latino cultural center located at 107 Suffolk Street (between Rivington and Delancey) in New York City.

“I am excited that we are bringing Purchase to New York again in this interdisciplinary display of our talented students,” said Purchase College President Thomas Schwarz.

The Cabaret will feature three visual art exhibitions. The First Floor Gallery will host a printmaking exhibit by four seniors curated by Art+Design Professor Murray Zimiles. An exhibition of Andean textiles will be on view in the Second Floor Gallery curated by Art History senior Nina Cancel. The Flamboyan Theater will showcase an exhibit of sculpture curated by Art+Design Professor George Parrino.

In addition to the visual arts exhibitions, Film Professor Iris Cahn is curating a selection of film screenings, Dance Professor Stephanie Tooman is producing eight dance performances, and Professor Jim McElwaine is producing a series of six concerts with over 50 bands and musical acts in all styles of music.
Each of the three evenings includes a reception from 6-7 PM featuring live performances. The April 10 reception will launch the film program; April 11 the Art History program; and April 12 the Art+Design programs. The concerts begin at 7 PM in the smaller Milagro Theatre, followed by dance at 8 PM. At 9:30 PM, concerts will begin in the larger Flamboyan Theatre.  For a complete schedule of events, visit

Downtown Cabaret has been organized by Professor McElwaine of Purchase College’s prestigious School of the Arts, Conservatory of Music. It was inspired by several university summer tours conducted by Professor McElwaine with some of these same artists, performing and exhibiting in the cafés and nightclubs of Burgos, Spain, as well as in the historic medieval Monasterio de San Juan. “Downtown Cabaret contains a rich variety of accomplished music from rock ‘n’ roll, to blues and hip-hop, with many of our student and alumni artists already having produced gold records, Hollywood scores and international tours,” he explained.

The event co-producers are School of the Arts professors Joel Thome, Conservatory of Music, and George Parrino, School of Art+Design. “The work has been created by some amazingly talented young artists of every kind,” said Parrino. “I think the evenings will be a real eye-opener for the public.”

Clemente Soto Vélez, for whom the center is named, was a celebrated Puerto Rican poet, journalist, and activist, who mentored many generations of Latino artists in New York City until his death in 1993.

Support for this event was provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and Councilmember Domenic M. Recchia; and Purchase College: Office of the President, the Purchase College Foundation,  the Purchase Student Government Association, the Conservatory of Dance, the Office of Student Affairs, and the Purchase College Association.