Totally free "Carnival de Resistance" opens today

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The Carnival de Resistance is coming to Area 15, and everything about it is free. No, really. And that’s the point.

Branded as a “traveling carnival, village, and school for cultural transformation,” organizer Carlos Espin says it’s really about introducing Charlotteans to the idea that “money is not the answer – we are the answer to the world’s woes,” he says. “The wealth we seek is each other, it’s coming together,” he added.

With that in mind, everyone participating in the festival is volunteering to offer food, education, services (see Elegance with Excellence Event Planning), or as entertainment (see Brown Eyes Music  and JustHis League).

While it’s not specifically described as a Christian event, many of the organizers and volunteers are Christians and the event’s description has religious undertones that run counter to the exasperatingly popular “prosperity gospel.”

“It’s an anomaly. It’s different from what you’re fed every day,” says Ivan Mendez, a local Christian artist and carnival volunteer who says Espin is his mentor.

Here’s how the carnival’s Charlotte stop is described on Area 15’s website:


The Carnival de Resistance is coming to town Sept 18 – 20, 2015. This multi-talented Carnival crew, made up of artists and activists, will converge at Charlotte’s own Area 15 to reconstruct the big top and midway, village and school. On the lot of this colorful compound the Carnival will weave the worlds of art, activism and faith and all events are free to the public! The days will be filled with thought provoking performance, playful engagement in the midway, sacred space for song and theological reflection, and learning spaces which feature grassroots efforts, community artists and local businesses.

Espin says the performers arrived in North Carolina about a week ago and have been hard at work practicing their performances.

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