Batey Urbano's 10th Year Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, March 31 at Batey Urbano 
Upcoming Events

Recognizing Excellence Benefit Dinner

The Puerto Rican Parade Committee of Chicago will host its 2012 Benefit Dinner on Saturday March 24, 5:30 p.m. at the Casa Puertorriqueña (1237 N. California Ave). The event is being hosted by Angel "Tito" Medina, President of the Puerto Rican Parade Committee of Chicago along with State Representative Luis Arroyo. The event will be keynoted by Congressman Luis Gutiérrez.  


Individual tickets can be purchased for $100.  To have your questions answered or to purchase tickets call (773) 292-1414.   

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Condolences to the Kustra Family  
The Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School express their most profound condolences to the Kustra family on the passing of Stanley Kustra, owner of Joe's Hardware. Stanley passed away Saturday, March 17, 2012. A contingent from the Puerto Rican Cultural Center and Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos High School that included José E. López, PRCC Executive Director, Julio Urrutia Jr, Deputy Director as well as Board Secretary Alejandro Luis Molina and Matt Rodríguez, PACHS Principal and Dean of Students Judy Díaz attended the visitation and reminisced with the family.
Enjoy "Don Oscar" Coffee available at La Cosecha and IPRAC


Café Don Oscar can be purchased for $5.99 at:


La Cosecha: 2703 W. Division St.


IPRAC: 3015 W. Division St., 773-486-8345


$3300 Raised on the OLR Kickstarter Project

$200 left to raise. Donate now!   


As of Wednesday, March 21, the Kickstarter Project to fund the publication of the English translation of Oscar López Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance has raised $3281.00 out of $3500.00 needed to publish. 11 days are left to raise the remaining $200.00. Please go to the Kickstarter site (link at the end of the story) and donate what you can today. We must raise all of the money or we receive none of it. Between Torture and Resistance is the story of one of Latin America's longest-held political prisoners, a Puerto Rican pro-independence activist who was convicted of the political "crime" of seditious conspiracy, not of harming anyone. Lavishly illustrated with photos of his life and artwork (he has become a painter during his now over thirty years behind bars), the book is an easily accessible introduction to U.S.-Puerto Rico relations and contemporary prison issues.  

OLR puppet at 2011 Peoples Parade, Chicago 

Read more and DONATE at the Kickstarter site...
IPRAC to Participate in Museum Day Legislative Breakfast in Springfield 


Members of IPRAC will join legislators from throughout the state in Springfield to discuss critical issues affecting Museums throughout the state. The IPRAC delegation will look to meet with various legislators during the trip to explore ways to expand the programming and services already provided by IPRAC. On February 8, IPRAC was made a member of the Museums in the Park, an honor reserved for Chicago's  most prominent museums.
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Program News
Batey Urbano's 10th Year Anniversary Celebration


Café Teatro Batey Urbano will be celebrating its 10 Year Anniversary on March 31, paying homage to their past and present members and supporters. Come and attend this historic event.


March 31, 2012 *  5:00 - 8:00pm *  2620 W. Division Keynote Speakers: Michael Rodríguez and Judy Díaz


Museums in the Park Hosts Luncheon for IPRAC 


Last Thursday, March 15, Board President of the Museums in the Park, Gary Johnson, hosted a luncheon for leaders of IPRAC, the newest member of the Museums in the Park Board.  The discussion was an introduction on what it means to be a Museum in the Park, finding ways to promote the great work being done at IPRAC and how to foster future collaborations with other members of the group.  Mr. Johnson expressed how excited he was to have IPRAC as the newest member of the board and to be able to showcase the best of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture to all of Chicago.


The IPRO team at IIT is continuing to work on a way to manage all the documents and items that are currently stored in boxes in the PRCC. The team has decided to organize the data by means of a system of tags. At this point, the team has come up with four main categories: Date, Organization, People and Events. In addition to that, a "+" has been incorporated to include words that may serve to define the title, medium, or any other aspects that are not included in the four main categories.


Recently, the team split into four subteams: the scanning team, digitizing team, tagging team and documenting team. The scanning and digitizing team will be responsible for scanning all the materials into the computer and also taking photographs of objects that cannot be digitized via a scanner. The tagging team will be responsible for tagging all the scanned material. The team has already started working on a test bed of material. Currently, they are working on defining and establishing a controlled vocabulary that could help create uniformity between tags across all documents. The documenting team will also be responsible for physically storing and organizing all the documentation that has already been digitized. The team plans on creating a prototype box that staff at the PRCC will be able to look at and assess for the remaining documents/items and future documents/items.

Nuestro Tambó to Celebrate 10th Anniversary with Live Recording of "La Bandera Más Grande" 

On March 4, 2012 in La Casita de Don Pedro, Nuestro Tambó, a Chicago based Plena y Bomba group, organized a live recording of La Bandera Más Grande, a song written by Ramón López. The focus of the project was to bring together community members to participate in the recording of a song that has become to many the anthem of Paseo Boricua, which is the heart of the Puerto Rican community in Chicago. Nuestro Tambó will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on April 20, 2012 and as a symbol of appreciation, they will be giving a copy of the recording to the people in attendance. 

This is the story of Ilsa Martínez Ezpinoza, a middle age Puerto Rican woman who has been dealing with body image issues throughout her entire life. At this juncture of her journey in life she has "picked up" some other issues that have affected her life tremendously!

This is an extremely funny and touching show! A must see for those of us that are there, have been there or know someone that has! Don't miss it! Only for 4 weeks at La Bruquena Restaurant on Division & California. March 30-April 27. Hope to see you there!
Carlos Alberto Torres
Tours NYC

Carlos Alberto Torres, former Puerto Rican political prisoner, toured New York City last week in support of freedom for Oscar López Rivera, speaking at universities and the Left Forum conference. The National Boricua Human Rights Network, as part of a larger group of activists, helped organize the tour. View the YouTube interview below and read the accompanying El Diario/La Prensa article here.


On March 18, 2012, VirtualBoricua had the honor of sitting in on a discussion with former political prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres during his historic return to New York City after a 40-year absence. In this first series of brief clips, Carlos talks about his early political development and becoming self-aware of his identity as a Puerto Rican nationalist. Carlos Alberto Torres eventually became a member of the Puerto Rican  independence movement and one of the longest-serving Puerto Rican political prisoners, left federal prison on July 25, 2010  a free man after serving 30 years for seditious conspiracy and lesser charges .  

Carlos Alberto Torres On His Political Development
Carlos Alberto Torres On His Political Development