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El Barrio Week Kicks Off

By Jeff Mays | June 1, 2011 11:35am | Updated on June 1, 2011 11:34am

By Jeff Mays

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

HARLEM — The first-ever El Barrio Week kicks off Wednesday and will feature 14 days of art exhibits, cooking demonstrations, spoken word performances, restaurant tastings and dance performances.

The East Harlem International Film Festival starts screening tonight with a showing of "Adrift," a film out of Brazil that stars Vincent Cassel of "Black Swan."

Other higlights include:

On June 3, Taller Boricua will kick off "BARRI-O-RAMA!" a group exhibit exploring socio-cultural issues of East Harlem.

On June 4, AFC Gallery will sponsor "Poetry Unleashed! Spoken Word Performances from 9-11 p.m. Earlier in the day, El Museo del Barrio will host a walking tour of the historic neighborhood.

On June 7, "El Barrio Eats!" will be a cooking display at La Marqueta featuring chefs from three East Harlem restaurants: Creole, Agua Fresca and La Fonda Boricua.

The festival ends on June 14 with the annual Museum Mile Festival on Fifth Avenue from East 105th to East 82nd streets.

Sponsored by the El Barrio Today Arts Cluster, a group of East Harlem organizations that have banded together to bring attention to the neighborhood's rich history, the festival is designed to share the area's culture with the rest of the city.

"Enjoy our museums, shop, discover our many restaurants offering discounts, acquaint yourself with our neighborhood with evening walking tours, come to a block party, view our beautiful murals, visit our lush gardens or come dance some Salsa," East Harlem Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito said in a statement.

The full lineup of El Barrio Week events can be found here.