History of the
Bay Area Brazilian Club
The Bay Area Brazilian Club is the oldest Brazilian social/cultural non-profit organization in the United States. Founded in 1965 under the name "Friends of Brazil Club," our membership is made up of Brazilians, Americans, Latinos, Europeans, Asians, and anyone else interested in bringing the best of Brazilian art and culture to the San Francisco Bay Area.
When people think of Brazil the first word that often comes to mind is "Carnaval". Our organization has presented 49 Carnaval Balls without interruption. For 15 years we staged our balls at Galleria Design Center, then we moved to Gift Center, for 4 years at Cocomo Night Club and in 2014 we moved to a new venue, Roccapulco Night Club, the Latin Vibe in San Francisco, which will be held on February 6, 2016.
500 Year Anniversary
In April of 2000, we had a memorable party at San Francisco's Union Square to celebrate the 500 year anniversary of the Portuguese discovery of Brazil. It was a full day of music, dance, capoeira, children's activities, Brazilian food, arts and crafts, and a parade of flags from all the states of Brazil. There were special performances by the SensaSamba Big Band of São Paulo and the group Cascabulho of Recife. A crowd in excess of 5,000 came to sing and dance on a beautiful sunny day on the Square, which was all decorated in yellow and green.
Brazilian Independence Day
In addition, we have presented several celebrations of Brazilian Independence Day. In 2012 the event drew thousands of people to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco to enjoy Brazilian entertainment, food, children's activities, and arts and crafts. We joined forces with the Brazilian Consulate and had Mayor’s Office of Protocol representative was our honored guest at our Brazilian Independence festivities.
BABC and SF MOMA
The Bay Area Brazilian Club has participated in two evenings of Brazilian music and culture at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in San Francisco. We took part in the Exchange Art Show, exhibiting works of contemporary Brazilian and American artists at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Along with this exhibit we sponsored an "amostra" of Brazilian film, a varied sampler of videos and classic films.
We have presented to the Bay Area top-flight Brazilian performing artists like João Bosco, Beth Carvalho, Emilinha Borba, Paulo Belinatti, Originais do Samba, Elza Soares, Carlinhos Brown and Sergio Mendes. We have also co-produced the Bay Area performances of Djavan, Jorge Benjor, Gal Costa, Elba Ramalho, Geraldo Azevedo, and Marisa Monte.
The Bay Area Brazilian Club originated a Brazilian Children's Day celebration with "October Children - a Festival for Children" at the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. Music, singing, children's capoeira ,demonstrations, face painting, games, puppets, contests and prizes made it a day of adventure and fun for "children" of all ages. But "October Children" had a serious purpose, too. Those who attended brought used clothing and toys for children in Brazil, flown there in 22 large air-cargo cartons courtesy of the former VARIG Brazilian Airlines, which used to be the Club's most constant supporters.
For several years we have held a traditional Festa Junina. In 2010 our event was at Golden Gate Park where for the first time in San Francisco we had an authentic Forro musical group (Trio Virgulino) from the Brazilian Northeast presenting a typical country-style Festa Junina. Later on we brought direct from Brazil another forro group, Forrofiando, which played in San Francisco and Las Vegas, Sacramento, San Jose, and Hawaii.
For 2016 we are planning a Brasil Fest, at the Golden Gate Park in association with the Brazilian Consulate in San Francisco, to celebrate the Olympic Games – Rio 2016, which will be played in Brazil. A day full of music, dance, typical food, display of arts and crafts, photography and much more. More information coming soon.
If participating in the planning of any of these events appeals to you, or if you would like to display your art, crafts, or other products, please let us know. Whatever the Club's activities, they are all unified by a single goal - to create a more positive image of a fascinating country and its wonderful, warm and generous people. This is the aim and growing commitment of the Bay Area Brazilian/Friends of Brazil Club. If you share these interests with us, we welcome you to contact us and become part of who we are.
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