Members of the organization bringing unique colors to the Los Angeles Carnival. Photo courtesy of the organization.

International Eye Los Angeles

Colors and costumes in movement

About the Organization

The International Eye Los Angeles (IELA) 501(c)3 corporation is an arts and cultural organization which supports underserved artists and underrepresented communities. Through arts advocacy, community education and creative productions, IELA more specifically focuses its efforts on supporting the cultural traditions of the Caribbean, Africa and the Americas. IELA is also the main sponsor of the Los Angeles Carnival, a Caribbean performance street event and touring ensemble which provides arts education workshops and entertainment.

Living Cultures


History, Artistry and Practice of Jamaican Jonkanoo

With support from ACTA’s Living Cultures Grants Program in 2021, the organization will curate a multidisciplinary exhibition and performance consisting of costume displays, an online broadcast, and a live experience highlighting the art and practice of Jamaican Jonkanoo over time, through music, movement and costumes.


Jamaican Jonkanoo Costume Production

In 2020 International Eye Los Angeles received a Living Cultures Grant from ACTA to create 10 traditional Jamaican Jonkanoo costumes to be used in performance and displayed at public events in an effort to showcase the Jonkanoo practice. Jonkanoo (also known as John Canoe or Jonkunnu) is a masquerade tradition developed by enslaved Africans of the Caribbean. When these slaves were given a few days of freedom during Christmastime, they used those days to dance, as well as to create characters and costumes based on their African traditions. While the practice of Jonkanoo eventually became part of the larger fabric of Jamaican culture, it is less practiced today. This project will help to preserve the tradition through research, performance of a Jonkanoo band at public events, and the creation of 10 traditional Jonkanoo costumes.

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