We Come Out to Rant and Rave

title taken from “Rant and Rave” by Tambu

5 Things You Didn’t Know About WIADCA

DysChick, WIADCA Members, and SocaSaySo

Didn’t make it to DysChick & SocaSaySo’s “Rant and Rave” event on May 22nd?  Well, you missed out on a great discussion with members of Brooklyn’s carnival association WIADCA.  Panelists Angela Sealy (Chairperson), Rhea Smith (Cultural Diversity Professional and WIADCA member), and DJ Spice (Teamsoca Founder and WIADCA member) were on hand to answer pressing questions from the community, bloggers and journalists.

About the panelists:

Trinidad-born Angela P. Sealy is the current Chairperson and former Treasurer of WIADCA and has been involved in carnival activities since the 1970s. She became active with a small group of carnival cultural enthusiasts who focused on developing strategies to relocate the Harlem Carnival parade to Brooklyn in the late 1960s. She became an official WIADCA member in 1967.
Sealy describes WIADCA as “an institution that is the largest Caribbean voice in North America.”

Rhea Smith is a Brooklyn-based Publicist and Founder/CEO of FUNSATION4 Media - a special events/media management and production company.
Her experience includes work with the Caribbean Cultural Center of New York, WIADCA and the Brooklyn Borough President. She also facilitates Bridging the Gap Caribbean Youth Initiative, which "bridges the gap" between international companies based in the Caribbean and non-profit organizations that service youth by funding, supporting and strengthening educational programs and outreach throughout the Caribbean.

DJ Spice has been rocking parties since age 3. His style has been influenced by his father, the late DJ Rocking Mills Brothers Disco, hip-hop deejays Red Alert, Grand Master Flash, Kid Capri, Mr. Cee, Caribbean deejays Mad Man Maddy, the late Glenn Brathwaite (DJ GB Productions), and his grandfather Trinidad All-Stars pioneer; Neville Jules.
 DJ Spice is the creator of TeamSoca.com: the #1 Soca radio station & clothing line in the world, CEO of the Mills Brothers Sound System DJ Service, and a proud member of WIADCA.

Angela Sealy, WIADCA Chairperson

Rhea Smith, Diversity Catalyst and WIADCA Member

DJ Spice, Teamsoca Founder and WIADCA Member

Although the panel discussion was meant to last only one hour, our inquisitive attendees peppered the panelists with so many questions that it ran almost twice as long as scheduled.  Aside from finding out that the West Indian American Day Carnival brings in over $300 million USD to the city, there were other key takeaways.

  1. WIADCA is NOT responsible for j’ouvert, the early-morning street party that has been marred by violence and controversy.  That is managed by J’Ouvert City International Inc. and all inquiries about policing and oversight should be directed to that committee and not WIADCA.

  2. WIADCA is a 501c non-profit organization and they rely on donations and sponsorships to create their events.  The group is made up of volunteers who do not earn a salary from their work with the association. So all of the chatter you hear about them wanting to keep their money to themselves is not true.

  3. If your band was not able to participate in the Carnival, don’t blame WIADCA.  Mas bands are given specific participation requirements including truck height and ensuring that the band has costumes so that it is clear who belongs on the road.

  4. Number 3 is important because… WIADCA pays New York City the $85,000 insurance required to simply operate the parade. Yes, $85,000 USD!

  5. Each band has Marshals who are responsible for keeping stormers out of your mas band.  The police are there to keep people safe, not to ensure that the people behind the truck are wearing costumes.

Our chat with WIADCA was informative and eye-opening. We need to keep asking cultural leaders to speak to the community so that the community can be advocates. WIADCA is currently seeking volunteers to help them continue to grow their organization.  If you or someone you know is able to assist with marketing, social media, event coverage, or if you just want to help preserve we ting, contact them today!

West Indian American Day Carnival Association
323-325 Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225
P: 718-467-1797  |  E: wiadcainc@gmail.com 

Check out the full video recap!

Get tickets for upcoming “Rant and Rave” events at BKRantandRave.eventbrite.com!