Presenting Venues and Collaborators of Puerto Rico Fest 2009

Logos: Presenting Venues and Collaborators of Puerto Rico Fest 2009

Presenting Venues and Collaborating Institutions

Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center:

Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center is a Puerto Rican/Latino cultural institution that has demonstrated a broad-minded cultural vision and a collaborative philosophy. While Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center's mission is focused on the cultivation, presentation and preservation of Puerto Rican and Latino culture, it is equally determined to operate in a multi-cultural and inclusive manner, housing and promoting artists and performance events that fully reflect the cultural diversity of the Lower East Side and the city as a whole. Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center


Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños:

The Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños/Center for Puerto Rican Studies is a university-based research institute whose mission consists of two components. One is to collect, preserve and provide access to archival and library resources documenting the history and culture of Puerto Ricans. The other is to produce, facilitate, and disseminate interdisciplinary research about the diasporic experiences of Puerto Ricans and to link this scholarly inquiry to social action and policy debates.
Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños


Society of the Educational Arts, Inc./SEA:

The Society of the Educational Arts, Inc. (SEA), a Bilingual Arts-in-Education Organization & Latino Theatre Company for Young Audiences, is dedicated to the empowerment and educational advancement of children and young adults. SEA creates educational theater and arts programs specifically designed to examine, challenge and create possible solutions for current educational and social issues affecting our communities. Society of the Educational Arts, Inc./SEA


Teatro LA TEA:

LA TEA is one of New York's premier and reputable Latino theaters run by well-known professional actors who are committed to fostering, preserving and promoting the richness of their cultural heritage. LA TEA provides access to Latinos and others traditionally excluded from the enriching experience of the performing arts, a challenge to persistent negative portrayals of Latino Images, opportunities to young artists, writers, directors, and performers, and a socially responsible artistic environment where the arts are both integral and relevant to the life experiences of its multicultural audiences. Teatro LA TEA


El Museo del Barrio

El Museo del Barrio, New York’s leading Latino cultural institution, welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic and cultural landscape of the Caribbean and Latin America. The richness of Latino cultures is represented in El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions, complemented by performing arts events, cultural celebrations, and educational programs. A dynamic artistic, cultural, and community gathering place, El Museo is a center of cultural pride on New York’s Museum Mile. El Museo del Barrio


Caballero Films

Caballero Films is a non-profit organization registered under the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The mission is to generate film projects that promote and enhance the development of Puerto Rican cinematography which simultaneously creates new workshops for local talents. The latest production by Caballero Films is La Gringa, written, directed, and produced by Luis Caballero. This new film project relates the circumstances of the so called "Nuyoricans" (Puerto Ricans from New York City.) La Gringa is designed for the general public, and eventually, will be given to Puerto Rico in an attempt to help the Bilingual Program in demonstrating a film which is both entertaining and visually didactic. Mr. Luis Caballero is a well acclaimed Puerto Rican Director, recently known for his excellent work on the Off-Broadway Musical Play LA LUPE, mi vida, mi destino. The New York reviews granted superb critics for his direction on this Off-Broadway Musical.


O.P. Art

O.P. Art is a not-for-profit organization which was founded in 1993 by a group of New York based Puerto Rican artists who felt the need for an organization dedicated to exposing and showcasing their under recognized talents and contributions. Uniting their individual creative talent, members of the group have aspired to and succeeded in functioning as a grassroots artists collective which serves and promotes emerging, as well as established Puerto Rican artists, internationally. Taking art outside of traditional venues such as museums and galleries, O.P.Art provides a unique platform and an unparalleled medium for the public to encounter, be exposed to and interchange with art and with Puerto Rican culture. O.P. Art


Boricuation Cultural Foundation

Boricuation.com's online mission is to expose all aspects of Puerto Rican history and culture to our youth; providing an unbiased central online source of our rich culture. Through articles, research, current news and contributions from fellow educators, researchers and artisans help in the construction of an impartial informational online resource. Our Cultural Foundation's mission is that of the same and includes empowering communities through "live" events: Utilizing collaborative community linkages to bring a cultural introduction of community information and networking to the underserved communities. Boricuation Cultural Foundation


International Coquito Federation/SoulFrito Nuevo

SoulFrito Nuevo/ International Coquito Federation was founded by Debbie Quinones in 2000 as a special events and catering company. As a graduate of the Cordon Bleu Cooking School of New York, Ms. Quinones was exposed to various experiences and initiatives to preserve and promote culinary practices and preparations. The International Coquito Federation/SoulFrito Nuevo was created when Ms. Quinones realized that she had lost her coquito connection. The first event started in her house as a holiday party with friends and family. The event traveled and was held at various sites in El Barrio, ultimately finding a home at El Museo del Barrio.


Teatro Pregones

Pregones Theater is a Bronx-based ensemble whose mission is to create and perform original musical theater and plays rooted in Puerto Rican/Latino cultures and to present other performing artists who share our twin commitment to the arts and civic enrichment. Teatro Pregones


Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre

The mission of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre (PRTT) is to educate and acquaint the general public with important contributions by playwrights from Latino or Hispanic extraction; to present and produce truly bilingual professional theater; to offer artistic development to emerging and established artists; and in these ways to contribute towards the diversity of American theater and national culture. Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre


Council Member Alan Gerson

Council Member Alan Jay Gerson is a lifelong New York City resident. Gerson began his civic activism as an aide to Assembly Member William Passannante. He practiced law with Kelley Drye & Warren for 18 years, during which he devoted countless pro bono hours to indigent individuals and not-for-profit organizations. For over two decades, Gerson served in many leadership capacities including President of the Chelsea Housing group, President of the Village Reform Democratic Club, and President of Congregation Emunath Israel. As an officer of the Consumer Council of the Health Insurance Plan of Greater NY (HIP), Gerson issued one of the earliest critiques of managed care abuses. A committed environmentalist, he is a longtime Sierra Club member and has worked with the League for the Hard of Hearing to promote noise reduction efforts. Gerson has also contributed to the lives of young people as a member of the Board of the Chinese-American Planning Council, the Advisory Boards of the Puerto Rican Family Institute's New Arrivals Youth Group, and the St. Anthony of Padua after-school program. A longtime supporter of the Project Open Door Service Center and the Caring Community, Gerson contributed to a better quality of life for senior citizens. As Chair of Community Board 2, Gerson launched an unprecedented number of initiatives including: a new youth swim team, an evening teenage center, new emergency shelters for homeless (runaway) teenagers, a new Public Safety Committee and a Community Court Proposal, among many others. Council Member Alan Gerson


Council Member Rosie Mendez

Rosie Mendez took office as the Council member in Manhattan's Second District in January 2006. During her first two years in office, Rosie is proud of many accomplishments, some of which include introducing legislation to provide legal assistance to low income seniors who are threatened with eviction or foreclosure, improving local enforcement of zoning and building codes in order to preserve the mid-rise character of her district and to ensure the safety and peaceful occupancy of residents, and actively fighting for civil rights by defending members of the LBGT community from unlawful arrests and stopping overly restrictive proposed Police Department rules for parade permits. Rosie's entire working and volunteer life has been dedicated to community service. She began as a tenant organizer, and then became a housing specialist at the Parodneck Foundation. In 1995 she graduated from law school and went to work as an IOLA Legal Services Fellow at Brooklyn Legal Services. As a legal staff worker she became a member of the United Auto Workers Union. Prior to her election to the Council, Rosie was the Democratic District Leader for her community and served as the Chief of Staff to her predecessor in the City Council. Council Member Rosie Mendez



Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito

Melissa Mark-Viverito was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico and attended Columbia College at Columbia University in New York City where she earned her B.A. majoring in Political Science in 1991. Melissa was later selected to attend the National Urban Fellows Program and earned her Master of Public Administration from Baruch College, City University of New York in 1995. Melissa is the first Puerto Rican woman and Latina elected to serve as Council Member for the 8th Councilmanic District of the City of New York. In the New York City Council, Melissa serves on the following committees: Aging; Civil Service & Labor; Community Development; Contracts; State and Legislative Affairs; Waterfronts; Youth Services, and serves as Chair for the Senior Center Subcommittee. Council Member Mark-Viverito is a strong advocate for the creation and preservation of income-targeted housing and is staunch advocate for our city’s public housing. Legislatively, Melissa is the primary sponsor of some key legislation that has been signed into law. In 2008 Melissa formed part of a delegation of labor representatives to Bolivia to observe the August 10 referendum called by President Evo Morales Ayma. Besides her professional life, Melissa has been very active in community affairs. She is a founding member of Women of El Barrio, served as Chair of the Violence Intervention Program, and is a Board Member representing New York for the Boricua Initiative. Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito


Council Member Joel Rivera

Majority Leader Joel Rivera has already made his mark in history by becoming the youngest New York City elected official at the age of 22. At the age of 23, he was unanimously selected by his colleagues to become the Council's youngest ever Majority Leader. Rivera is the Chairman of both the State and Federal Legislation and the Charter Revision committees. Elected in 2001 in a special election, Rivera wasted no time in building relationships with his constituents. He has constantly been involved in community activities, such as The People's Convention for Housing, the first "Not in My Neighborhood You Don't" Anti-drug Campaign, of which he is still a member, among many others. He was active in the struggle to remove the Navy from Vieques and has participated in toy drives to benefit the less fortunate in both the Bronx and in Puerto Rico. Rivera was also re-elected in November 2001 and November 2003, and he continues to work hard to insure that the 15th Council District continues on a progressive path. Council Member Joel Rivera


Assembly Member Naomi Rivera

Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera proudly represents the 80th Assembly District. Since being elected to the New York State Assembly in the fall of 2004, Naomi has worked tirelessly to improve her district. She strives to make her district one in which parents choose to raise their children; where lifelong residents want to retire; and that everyone is proud to call home. Naomi is, and always has been, a staunch supporter and vocal advocate of issues concerning women and children. In recognition of her hard work and steadfast commitment to children, Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver recently conferred on Naomi, the Honor of becoming the Chair of the Subcommittee on Foster Care. Although relatively new to politics, Naomi has always been active in her community, working to help preserve the arts in Bronx schools. In her capacity as Chair of the Angelo Del Torro Youth Institute, Naomi has perennially shown her devotion to issues facing the youth of New York State. While in office, Naomi has worked hard to insure the health, safety, and happiness of her aging community. Naomi has worked hard to foster a solid relationship with local organizations, and agencies, including the Bronx Central Council for Economic Development (B.C.C.E.D.). Committed to creating unity and a family atmosphere within her district, Naomi continues to launch her free summer concert and film series which has quickly become a Bronx tradition. Assembly Member Naomi Rivera