Sueños Music Festival is all about having a lasting impact on the community of Chicago, and not just by producing an all-Latin music festival in the Windy City. Sueños, produced by C3 (Lollapalooza) and La Familia (Baja Beach Fest), is committed to giving back to local organizations across the city that serve predominantly Latino neighborhoods.
On Thursday (May 25), just days ahead of the second edition of Sueños — which will be headlined by Wisin Y Yandel, Feid, Nicky Jam and Grupo Firme — the two-day music event has announced $50,000 donations to four organizations, including the Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (SRBCC), one of the city’s longest-standing cultural centers that celebrates Puerto Rican and Afro-Latino traditions offering percussion classes, dance and culinary lessons and community workshops to both children and adults.
It’s the second year Sueños donates $50,000 to SRBCC. Last year, the money donated went towards the newly-renovated youth media center that includes a recording booth, radio and podcasting studio, and two performance spaces for music and dance programs. The center provides Latin youth access to instruments, recording tools, film equipment and performance space at little or no cost. This year, the donation will go to the center’s performing arts theater.
“This donation allows us to dream big,” Omar Torres Kortright, executive director of Segundo Ruiz, said during the presentation of the new $50,000 donation. “We’re always trying to get the attention of corporate donors to support this very important work but many times we’re invisible. We don’t speak the same language as the big corporations but Sueños did their homework. They found us.”
“When we were coming out to Chicago with the festival, the plan was always to be involved in the community,” Aaron Ampudia, co-founder of Sueños, tells Billboard. “We want to have a positive impact, it’s not just about the festival. It really comes from the heart and the desire to want to help these places that are doing great work for the community, especially for the youth because they are the future of these communities.”
As Ampudia spoke to Billboard, one of the students was already busy in the recording booth working on new beats. “The kids love it,” Torres Kortright says about the new media center. “Everything that we can do to have them spend more time here is huge for us. It keeps their imagination going. It helps them find their voice. They know there’s a place that will use their resources to take them to the next level.”
Other local organizations that will benefit from the donations, each will get $50,000 according to festival organizers, are The National Museum of Mexican Art, Pilsen Neighbors Community Council and the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance.
The lineup for the Sueños Music Festival — which will take place over Memorial Day Weekend (May 27-28) in Chicago’s Grant Park — will also host reggaeton icon Ivy Queen, as well as Becky G, Eladio Carrion, Chencho Corleone, Junior H, Gera MX, Ryan Castro, Young Miko, paopao and more.