Chicago's Puerto Rican Community Makes History: Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture Becomes a Museum In The Park!
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Puerto Rican Agenda Sponsors First Ever Research Study on Puerto Ricans in Chicago


Members of the Puerto Rican Agenda participated in the first focus groups documenting the demographics and the socio-economic conditions of Puerto Ricans in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The project looks to engage participants to identify needs of the Puerto Rican community. A research team headed by Professor Dr. Ralph Cintrón and Dr. Maura Toro of Illinois State University is conducting this study, the first ever to be led by a Puerto Rican community.


The content of the study is intended for use by the general public, as well as agencies looking to serve the Puerto Rican community in Chicago. No such study has ever been conducted to document the movement of Puerto Ricans throughout Chicago since Puerto Ricans first arrived here.


In order to participate in this study, you must be of Puerto Rican descent, over the age of 18, willing to be audio recorded, and sign a consent form. Members of the community are encouraged to participate in this study. For more information, call 312-996-6671 or email Ivis García at  


Music and Performance at the U.S. - Mexico Border 


Join the UIC Latino Cultural Center and the Latin American and Latinos Studies Program  (LALS) in a panel discussion centered on the book:

TRANSNATIONAL ENCOUNTERS Music and Performance at the
U.S. - Mexico Border edited by UIC professor  Alejandro L. Madrid.

The essays presented here seek to explore the trans-national connections and local significance of many of the musical cultures found along the border.

Thursday, February 9th, 2012
3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Latino Cultural Center
Lecture Center B2

Ignacio Corona, Ohio State University
Lillian Gorman, University of Illinois at Chicago
José E. Limón, University of Notre Dame, Ramón H. Rivera-Servera, Northwestern University

Moderator:  Alejandro L. Madrid, LALS. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Theatre and Music at UIC.

"Transnational Encounters explodes the soundscapes of this liminal zone, traces how its musical forms were culturally shaped and performed, and how they circulate and shape a host of personal and regional group identities.  This marvelously crafted and richly diverse anthology shatters the simple binaries of border studies, goes beyond the pat explanations of how music animates and morphs, offering instead a complex geography of music's meanings and embodiments."    
      ~ Ramon A. Gutiérrez, Preston & Sterling Morton Distinguished Service Professor of History and the College,
University of Chicago

Free refreshments and admission.
For more information please call the LCC  (312) 996-3095 or LALS (312) 996-2445
Friday, April 27, 2012
Excalibur Night Club - Tickets only $30!
632 N. Dearborn Ave., Chgo, IL

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 773.296.7193

Proceeds benefit the Hispanocare Scholarship Fund. Scholarships awarded Saturday, December 1, 2012 at the 24th Annual Gala
"Nuestro Compromiso"
Our Commitment at the Chicago Downtown Marriott Hotel.

Picture of the Week
Guess the year and occasion of the event above and win a Luis Rosa print Email your answer to  
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Puerto Rican Cultural Center (Over 30,000 pictures!)

Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos HS
(Over 13,000 pics!)

Move for Life!
Sat, April 7, 2012 

Planning committee now meeting, join us

Feb. 7, 2012 at 10:30am Block-By-Block, 2753 W. Division St.

Feb. 21, 2012 at 10:30am at Block-By-Block, 2753 W. Division St.

Mar. 13, 2012 at 3:00pm at the ALTF meeting  Bickerdick, 2550 W. North Ave.

Mar.  27, 2012 at 10:30am Block-By-Block, 2753 W. Division St.

April, 3, 2012 at 10:30am Block-By-Block, 2753 W. Division St.

For additional questions regarding Move for Life! Call Leony Calderón at 773-342-0855

Network National meeting to take place in Cleveland 


The National Boricua Human Rights Network will holding a national meeting on Saturday, February 18, 2012 in Cleveland, OH. The Network will discuss current events, in Puerto Rico as well as in the US, as well as the upcoming elections and work in the "swing states." In the works are the production and distribution of several multi-media pieces including a movie, several original songs and a new slideshow on Oscar. Network representatives from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Nashville, Providence, Philadelphia and New York are expected to attend. In addition, the Chicago Network chapter and a contingent from the Latin@ Coalition will also be attending. The Coalition plans to expand the campaign to free Oscar to more area high schools and colleges/universities this coming year.
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Program News
Chicago's Puerto Rican Community Makes History: Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture Becomes a Museum In The Park


Wednesday, February 8th marks a new benchmark for Puerto Rican Chicago. On that date the Chicago Park District Board voted unanimously to designate IPRAC as a Museum In The Park. This momentous event caps off nearly 10 years of struggle by community leaders to establish IPRAC as a Museum In The Park.


IPRAC now becomes the only museum in the United States exclusively dedicated to the artistic and cultural expressions of the Puerto Rican community; and joins the exclusive domain of such museums as the Museum of Science and Industry, the DuSable Museum and the National Museum of Mexican Art.


Ray Vázquez, Chairman of the Board of IPRAC, in expressing his gratitude to the board of commissioners of the Chicago Park District, stated: "This is a historic day for Chicago's Puerto Rican community, but more importantly, it speaks to Chicago's commitment to diversity. Today, all of Chicago should celebrate this momentous occasion."


There are many people who need to be thanked, too many to name here, but a special thanks must go out to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Pat Quinn, State Representative Cynthia Soto, Billy Ocasio and Carmen Lonstein. Without their efforts, this historic moment would not have been possible.


A celebratory event will take place in the near future for community residents to partake in a celebration of IPRAC's recent achievement and the major milestone it represents for the Humboldt Park residents and the Puerto Rican community.  

Café Society with WBEZ: Greening Humboldt Park's Rooftops


Join us for an intimate conversation with Carlos R. DeJesús, Assistant Principal and Director of the Urban Agriculture initiative at Dr. Pedro Albizu Campus High School. Last March the school opened its first rooftop greenhouse and produced 400 pounds of food within its first year. Come learn more about the urban agriculture initiative and how it is addressing health disparities associated with Humboldt Park's food desert. Space is limited.


Get the details here.
Reserve your spot now!
PRCC -IIT/IPRO Partnership Update  


The IPRO team met this week and was able to explore the contents of one box from the PRCC library. We proposed several different means of organizing the data. However, the one that we think will be the best option, after weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each method, is the method of "tagging." Tagging has been used by several search engines and websites to organize and categorize their resources. YouTube and Facebook both employ the tagging method. The IPRO team plans to employ a similar system. The advantage of tagging is that it will allow for documents and digital media to be recognized under several different categories. In addition, it will eliminate the hassle of presorting.  


The IPRO team was just granted a $1000 budget. We plan to use this money to purchase a few scanners so that the documents can be digitized. In addition, the IPRO team is looking into the different tags that it will have to create in order to incorporate all the documentation into the new digital library. The digital library will serve as a digital component of the physical library.   And, if anyone wishes to view the physical copy of a certain document, they can do so by visiting the PRCC Library.  

Batey Urbano to launch


An alternative youth space, Café Teatro Batey Urbano, will be launching their Kickstarter campaign on February 25th. Kickstarter is a website where individuals can fund creative projects. What is Batey's creative project? Restoring Batey Urbano to a powerful institution in the community that will engage and create alternatives for young people in Humboldt Park through the expression of art.

How will the Batey accomplish this?  By using our goal of $10,000 to buy on computers, microphones and software, we will create a fun, media-rich, educational, supportive and a lively atmosphere that encourages learning video and music production, graphic and website design.  All skill sets that can be put to great use when expressing oneself as well as lead to employment opportunities. Watch here for the link coming soon.
Memory Game Night!
Saturday, Feb. 18, 10:30am at Institute of Puerto Rican Art & Culture


Learn about the current exhibition Memoria (Memory) by Bibiana Suarez through playing the artist's rendition of the childhood card game Memory.  The artworks on view in the gallery have been transformed into several decks of cards for participants to handle and match in group play. The players who match the most pairs of images, wins the game. Here's the twist:  In Suarez's game, matches occur with images that are not only identical, but images that also relate to one another conceptually or historically.  And many of the cards have more than one match, leading to a lively and informative discussion.
Bibiana Suarez will use the group's matches and convivial conversation to explain the key points of her recent installation at the Hyde Park Art Center, ranging from the history of US immigration policies with Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico, to the marketing of exoticism of latinos in US popular culture. By the end of the game, participants will have an indepth understanding of topics like Latinidad, the Bracero Program, and Frito Bandito, and be able to recognize their importance in the shaping of contemporary American identity.  Who knew learning could be so much fun?
Closing Event for the
Photo-Exhibit Event


Friday, Feb 24, 2012 @6pm 

IPRAC, 3015 W. Division Street 

Food and beverage provided. 


The purpose of this doctoral research project was to unpack the meaning and role of "place attachment" in promoting the participation of Puerto Rican and Latino/a youth in activities that seek to improve the well-being of their peers and the Humboldt Park community. A sense of attachment or belonging may be critical in shaping the ways in which youth interact with their community, thus, fostering civic engagement for a community of wellness.

Batey Urbano reschedules Noche de Libertad II


After the snowstorm of January 20th that cancelled Noche de Libertad II, Batey Urbano is happy to announce that it has been rescheduled for February 25th! The Batey Urbano, a Latina/o youth space in Humboldt Park, is reviving our poetry open mic!  Doors open at 6PM, event starts at 7PM.


All poets, spoken word artists, rappers, singers, musicians are welcome - if you have talent, express it on the 25th!

This event is being sponsored by Latina/o-focused organizations on college campuses throughout the city. We are also encourage high school students from the 'hood in order to create a multi-generational cultural and educational experience.

Archibishop of San Juan holds Mass for Oscar 

On Sat. January 28, 2012, the Archbishop of the Catholic Church of Puerto Rico, Roberto González Nieves held a mass in support of the excarceration of Oscar López Rivera, and Avelino and Norberto González Claudio. The Catholic Church and virtually all the religious denominations in Puerto Rico and the US have added their voices to the growing clamor for the freedom of Oscar López Rivera and the González Claudio brothers. The campaign has been steadily intensifying its efforts for Oscar, who in May of 2012 will complete 31 years in prison. The church installed in one of its shrines, three roses for our three political prisoners, which will remain there until they are released.

On Valentine's Day
"A Gift of Love for Oscar López Rivera: His Freedom" 


Live transmission from the Puerto Rican Bar Association, Tuesday, February 14, from 3-5pm (ECT). Luis Francisco Ojeda's show, WKAQ 580AM


Special Invited Guests
Clarissa López, Daughter
Attorney Osvaldo Toledo, President, Bar Association
Dr. Luis Nieves Falcón, Spokesperson, Oscar Freedom Campaign, and former Puerto Rican political prisoners.