Maraca Workshop

Saturday, September 14 – SOLD OUT
9am – 12pm
$45 per person

Ages 10 and up. Children must be accompanied by a paying adult.

Learn the entire process of making maraca from the common calabash (higüera), used for Puerto Rican bomba, and leave with your own handmade maracas that you can use right away!

The workshop includes a step-by-step demonstration led by Taller Kenuati, who is coming to the Bomba y Plena en el Museo festival directly from Puerto Rico! Kenuati is the premier maraca artisan in Puerto Rico, and is the favorite of bombero and bombera maraca players in Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican diaspora.  During this this three-hour workshop, you’ll turn you into a maraca artisan, creating your own beautiful handmade vegetable instrument by converting this raw material into a maraca, from the harvest of the calabash and the seeds, to its assembly .


Puerto Rican Moonshine Workshop

various corked bottles of preserved fruits

June 22
 – 12pm

Advanced ticket sales have ended. No walk-ins.

Puerto Rican Moonshine (pitorro) rum is a distilled spirit made from sugarcane molasses, and is an integral part of the island’s culture. Often much stronger than commercially produced rum, and made in hidden distilleries, pitorro is traditionally buried in coconuts in the ground and flavored with fruits such as raisins, dates, mangos, and pineapples.

Pitorro specialist Angel and Crystal Rivera will talk about the history of pitorro, including why the spirit is also known as lagrimas del monte (tears of the mountain) and why pitorro is the true Puerto Rican rum, while guests sample several flavored varieties of pitorro.  The history of pitorro will be followed by a one-of-a-kind moonshine workshop on how to flavor pitorro and will end with you taking home your own 750ml bottle of pitorro! With its rich tradition of personalized recipes, participants will learn to mix the coconut, almond, or coffee flavorings that give pitorro a smooth texture and delicious taste.  Let Angel and Crystal teach you these artisanal techniques.  And remember, this workshop will include tastings of pitorro and all participants will go home with their own bottle of pitorro flavored to their personal taste.

Angel and Crystal belong to Cultura Plenera, an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of Puerto Rican culture and performing arts, and are a father-daughter team that is also starting a family business, Puerto Rico Distillery, which will be located in Frederick County, and will feature classes and other community outreach events.

Plena Percussion Workshop

bomba y plena en el parque

June 22
 – 12:30pm
$15 – $20

Advanced ticket sales have ended. Walk-ins welcome.

In this workshop, master percussionist Tito Matos teaches a basic plena workshop suitable for all levels. Students will learn basic rhythmic patterns from the traditional to the contemporary style of playing the hand held drum known as pandero or pandereta.

Hector “Tito” Matos is a 2014 Latin Grammy Awards Nominee, a founder of Viento de Agua (one of the top Plena and Bomba bands), and is one of the most impressive requinto players of the plena tradition, an Afro Puerto Rican musical genre. Tito also plays other percussion instruments (such as Bomba drums and congas) and has recorded, played and toured with Eddie Palmieri, David Sánchez, Miguel Zenón and Ricky Martin among many others. With these artists, Tito has traveled the world playing plena. Despite residing in Puerto Rico, he is still a member of New York’s iconic Bomba and Plena ensemble Los Pleneros de la 21. Among his many contributions to the Plena genre, Tito is the founder of Plenazos Callejeros, a movement that revived Plena by taking it to street corners in almost all 78 Puerto Rican towns over a number of years.

Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba (Dance) Workshop

Woman performing Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba dance

June 22
 – 10:30 pm
$15 – $20

Advanced ticket sales have ended. Walk-ins welcome.

One of today’s most noted dancers, Julia Gutierrez-Rivera, teaches the basics of bomba accompanied by live drummers.  This monthly program is known to sell out so register early.

Tap into one of the oldest dance and music practices of the Caribbean – Afro-Puerto Rican bomba with Cultura Plenera Bomba means “the act of cooling down by heating up” and is a 500-year old tradition for self-expression and emotional and spiritual release.

After some stretching,  get ready for high and low impact movement, dance sequences and more. This  90-minute workshop is for adults (age 18+).

*Please wear comfortable, loose clothing (i.e. dance wear or dance skirts) and comfortable shoes (no boots).  If you don’t wear a traditional skirt, we will have ones for you to borrow.


Secrets Revealed at Behind-The-Scenes Historic Holiday Home Tour of Headwaters Farm

Largest, custom-built Sears and Roebuck mail-order home, now RowanLark B&B, has hosted U.S. Presidents, is site of Sandy Spring Museum’s Historic Holiday Home Tour.

(Sandy Spring, MD) Do you love HGTV’s If Walls Could Talk? Missing Downton Abbey? Love Sears Kit Homes? If so, on Saturday, December 10, 6:30pm-9:30pm enjoy a rare opportunity for a behind-the-scenes tour of RowanLark, a Bed & Breakfast Inn that was once Headwaters Farm. Beautifully decorated for the holidays for your viewing pleasure, you and your friends will enjoy champagne, eggnog, and elegant desserts while you have a private tour of this historically significant home. ($45.00 members, $50 non-members, )

Built in 1927 by Lionel C. Probert, Head of the Washington Bureau of the Associated Press and Vice President of the C&O Railroad, it is believed to be one of the largest, custom-built Sears and Roebuck mail-order homes. In 1937, it was purchased by Harold Ickes, then Secretary of the Interior for President Franklin Roosevelt and architect of the “New Deal”.  In fact, FDR was known to attend several events at the home so one of the current bedrooms is named for him. (

QUOTE: “The Sandy Spring Museum provides a powerful combination of history and the arts while offering incredible opportunities to expand one’s knowledge and build lifelong connections through dynamic, cultural events.  From live music to art workshops, exhibits to lively discussions, there’s something for everyone, every season.” Allison Weiss, Executive Director, Sandy Spring Museum

ABOUT: The Sandy Spring Museum is a seven acre participatory cultural arts campus in Washington, DC region where people can develop meaningful connections by exploring community history through the visual, literary, and performing arts.

CONTACT: Rachelina Bonacci, Director of Marketing & Sales
Sandy Spring Museum, 17091 Bentley Road, Sandy Spring, MD 20860

# # #