Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Puerto Rican Day Parade "RMIX" Exhibit

Celebrate a Virtual Puerto Rican Day Parade

All rights reserved.

The "Puerto Rican Day Parade, Remix on FLICKR" group is a companion to a live art exhibit titled: "Puerto Rican Day Parade, Remix" which is scheduled to open Wednesday, 6 June 2007 at the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center located on 107 Suffolk Street, New York NY 10002 (212) 260-4080 This group exhibit is being co-curated by art historian Dr. Yasmin Ramirez, and artist Luis Carle who is the Director of OPART, Inc., the arts organization that is presenting this exhibit.

In the spirit of the "real-time" exhibit in NYC, this online virtual "Puerto Rican Day Parade, Remix on FLICKR" represents an historical first. Not counting "live video-streaming" of actual parades, this may be the very first "virtual" Puerto RIcan Day Parade, ever!

Welcome to the're there! This cyber parade offers an alternative venue for articulating our cultural symbols and icons while celebrating the political, emotional and spiritual meaning that these symbols authentically bring forth in us.

For those of you who are nearby but unable to attend, or are part of the “Rican” Diaspora in far flung parts around the globe, this group invites you to participate by commenting and posting images of past and or future Puerto Rican Day Parades (PRDP). Those of you who will be attending PRDPs in your geographical area, please submit your images to this group and tell us how it was for you!

These images can be straightforward, reality based, whimsical or fantasies of alternative reality parades. Your sincerity, good humor and respect for diverse opinions will earn you extra participant points.

Though we are united in our ethnic pride, it is understood that within this unity there is also diversity. That having been said, there will be no ideological or artistic litmus test applied here though we ask you to use your best judgment based on your own personal sense of excellence and good taste. The idea is to have fun, think, laugh and celebrate our “Puertoriqueñidad”, not just among ourselves, but the world.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Originally uploaded by bajounpalmar.
Bronx Puerto Rican Parade
Community Calendar

Pregones Theater ends 27th Season with THE BEEP,
a new musical play featuring works by Pedro Pietri

New York – Pregones Theater closes its 27th theatrical season with the world premiere of THE BEEP, a Latino musical theater revue with texts by pioneering Puerto Rican writers Pedro Pietri, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Manuel Méndez Ballester, Jesús Colón, and others.
From the island’s mountains to New York’s barrios, the play gives life to a tapestry of Puerto Rican characters that leave messages from one generation of migrants to the next. Their stories are drawn from award-winning texts including Pietri’s legendary Puerto Rican Obituary and Out of Order/Telephone Booth poems, Ortiz Cofer’s Silent Dancing, winner of a PEN/Martha Albrand Special Citation, Méndez’s classic Don Goyito, and Colón’s The Way It Was. Their words are matched to a rich musical score that resonates with the sounds of our barrios, past and present. THE BEEP is both specific and universal, and the harmonized voices of a bright ensemble of actors and musicians are sure to captivate all audiences.
THE BEEP is directed by Rosalba Rolón with music by Desmar Guevara. Production design is by Harry Nadal (sets, costumes) and Jason Sturm (lighting). Starring Varín Ayala, Rosal Colón, Sol Marina Crespo, Elise Hernández, Omar Pérez, and musicians Waldo Chávez, Roberto Rosario, Desmar Guevara and guest artist José Rivera from Los Pleneros de la 21.
Suitable for the entire family, performances are in English and Spanish, with dual language supertitles translations. The show runs until June 3rd.

The performance calendar for THE BEEP is:

Thursday, May 31, 7:30 p.m.

Fridays, May 25, June 1, 7:30 p.m.

Saturdays, May 26, June 2, 7:30 p.m.

Sundays, May 27, June 3, 3 p.m.

Shows are at the new Pregones Theater, 575 Walton Avenue between 149th and 150th sreets, just south of Yankee Stadium, in the Bronx. To purchase tickets, get directions, or get additional information including special weekday group matinees, please call 718-585-1202 or visit Pregones Theater online at

source: Pregones
Featured story

65th U.S. Army Regiment is remembered
Puerto Rican unit in Korean War

WORCESTER— Scanning the faded black-and-white prints sitting on the table, Myles E. Geer, a veteran of World War II and the Korean War, paused and pointed to a photo of one soldier.
“He was killed,” he said.
Mr. Geer scanned the photos again. “But we had fun, too,” he said, pointing to two men wrestling with a football near a leafy tree.
Mr. Geer served in the Puerto Rican 65th U.S. Army Infantry Regiment, an all-volunteer unit that was among the biggest, best trained and most successful regiments to fight in the Korean War.
For more, go to
Community Calendar

Sunday, May 27
Loisaida Street Festival
Loisaida Avenue (Avenue C) from 5th to 12th Streets

Bassist Joe Falcón and poet Bobby Gonzalez will be mc'ing an Open Mic.
All poets, musicians and performance artists are welcome to join in

Place: "Avenue C Cafe"
5th Street and Avenue C
(near Adela's Restaurant)
Time: 2 - 8 pm

For information, call 212-477 5993 or visit

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Artist Opportunity

We are just over a week away from the beginning of the fifth annual Uptown Arts Stroll.

The Stroll Guides (which double as posters) will be inserted in the Manhattan Times this Friday. Additionally, there will be 25,000 or so that need to be distributed around town. Please volunteer to pick up a handful to hang up in your favorite businesses and street corners. We also need volunteers to distribute them at rush hour on the local subway stations. The guides are at the Manhattan Times office (5000 Broadway, entrance on W. 212th Street under the blue Manhattan Times banner).

“Visions of Northern Manhattan”
The group show of artwork by us about us will be hung at Alianza Dominicana on Fri., June 1. The exhibit will open during the day of Stroll activities on June 2 and remain open throughout the two weeks, serving as the Stroll’s central headquarters. Alianza is at 2410 Amsterdam Ave. near W. 180th St.

Artists who live in Northern Manhattan are invited to submit one (1) piece to the show that illustrates or conveys some aspect of life in Northern Manhattan. Please email me at if you plan to participate. I need the following info:
Your name:
Your phone, email, Website:
Title of work:
Price (15% of sales will go toward production costs) or “Not for Sale (NFS)”:
100-word artist statement:

Work should be dropped off at the Manhattan Times office during normal business hours on weekdays (5000 Broadway, entrance on W. 212th Street under the blue Manhattan Times banner) before Wed. May 30. (Or email me if you need to make other arrangements.) Work will be available to be picked up at Alianza beginning on Mon., June 18 during normal business hours. 212-740-1960 for additional info.

The following artists have made firm commitments to exhibit in “Visions of Northern Manhattan”: Stephen Beveridge, Sheryl Zacharia, Alexander Percy, Brian Skinner, Amy Ponce, Evelyn Fernandez, Demostina, Mike Fitelson. The more the merrier.

Amsterdam Avenue Sidewalk Art Fair
Another activity on Sat., June 2 will be an art fare. We are renting 30 tables from 1-6pm. Tables are free to artists (first come, first served). Please email me if you would like a table to display your artwork. Show up with your work by noon on Sat., June 2 and find Demostina by Quisqueya Playground on Amsterdam near W. 180th St. You are responsible for returning your table to the playground by 6:30pm.

The following artists have made firm commitments to reserve a table:
Casa Duarte (6 tables), Greta Herron, Dawn Chase, Stone Hubbard. The more the merrier.

Have a great Stroll.
Mike Fitelson

source: wahiarts

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

'Our Women, Our Struggles'

Originally uploaded by prsuncom.
Documentary filmmaker Melissa Zoe Montero speaks about her new project.

Filmmaker Explores 'Our Women, Our Struggles' for P.R.'s Independence
By Robert Waddell

Filmmaker and reporter Melissa Zoe Montero comes to history with a fresh eye where many of her subjects are still alive. She has seen close up the power of Puerto Rican women who have fought to be free. Her latest film project, “Our Women, Our Struggle,” depicts the trajectory of the independence movement and the struggles of some of its most dedicated women.

Montero also documents how the United States worked hard to suppress, silence and surveill the independence movement. She concentrates on historical Puerto Rican women because, in Montero’s view, women have been a powerful liberating force in the struggle for Puerto Rico’s freedom. There is more women warrior than post-feminism here, but Montero brings a clear sense of her subject while being sensitive to the complexity of Puerto Rico’s unique and rich history.

“This is an hour-long documentary on Puerto Rican revolutionary women specifically Dona Isabellita Rosado, Dona Lolita Lebron and Dylcia Pagan and we’ll also be including different historians, writer, professors,” Montero said.

The time periods that all three women lived through will be discussed and analyzed in Montero’s documentary. She wants to put the women and the history into perspective.

“I know that there are so many women,” Montero said, “but Dona Isabellita is one of the women still alive and it was key to speak to her since there isn’t much video on her. It’s time for someone to document her.”

Of course in the struggle for Puerto Rican independence, Lolita Lebron is key and for more recent history, Pagan represents New York Puerto Ricans, but there’s a continuity of history and of the island to the mainland.

“I wanted to connect the island born with New York born Puerto Ricans,” said Montero who grew up in Long Island City, Queens and attended Hofstra University.

Fortunate for Montero’s project is that her historical subjects are still alive. There’s also a connection between the filmmaker and her subjects.

“These women are my mothers and my grandmothers and sisters,” she said. “As a young boricua woman, I’m also half Ecuadorian, sitting there researching. I wanted answers. And the more I met people, the more intrigued I was,” she said.

Montero wanted history to come alive because she found there were several films on Puerto Rican history and the independence movement. She cites Rosie Perez’s independent film “Yo Soy Boricua Pa Que Lo Sepas,” but Montero wants to speak about the movement and the roles of the women. Montero also wants to concentrate on the theme of the surveillance of these women and the Puerto Rican independence movement.

Before George W. Bush’s anti-terrorist domestic surveillance programs, she said, the Puerto Rican independence movement could have historically been used as a testing ground for intelligence, counter intelligence and the watching of American citizens.

“It connects to what happens today in the U.S,” Montero said. “Puerto Rico has always been under surveillance so FBI surveillance is nothing new but this can connect to average Americans and the Patriot Act. It’s like Puerto Rico was a guinea pig for a lot of things.”

Montero is obviously not an objective observer or documentarian because her political ideas align with the women in her film. However, she is careful that no history or idea be lost in the translation from interviewee to film. She wants to be as truthful to her subjects, actual events and history as possible even though her politics bend in the direction of the independentistas. She also believes that she is filling that deep gap from public schools where students are not taught Puerto Rican history.

She states that her film will pick up the historical and educational slack by showing, “details of certain stories, specific feelings that were felt and talking with writers and telling of what hasn’t been seen or heard before.”

Without a doubt Montero will include the influence of nationalist Don Pedro Albizu Campos, but she is especially concentrating on women’s contributions to the cause of Puerto Rican independence in the already 20 plus hours that she has shot. Montero will have her documentary completed in the next year, but still looks for necessary funding, the biggest challenge of putting this film together.

Montero looks into the commitment and sacrifice of these political women and sees heroes bent on making Puerto Rico better for themselves, their families and for all Puerto Ricans. As she speaks, Montero is visibly moved and inspired by the subjects of the film who serve as role models and heroes for her life.

“When you have a child,” said Montero, “there’s a different connection than a man. When you’re separated from your child and don’t get to raise him or your children die while you’re in prison, can be torture for those women…These women are courageous because they sacrificed their child for the cause.”

To support Melissa Zoe Montero’s film “Our Women, Our Struggle,” interested parties can donate money for her film project to Women Make and can visit Montero’s website at

Robert Waddell is a Bronx-based journalist who contributes his writings to Puerto Rico Sun.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Featured story

Living wage becomes Md. law
Apology for slavery, ground rent bills among 205 signed
By Andrew A. Green
Sun reporter
Originally published May 9, 2007
Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a first-in-the-nation "living wage" law yesterday, setting a higher minimum wage for those employed by state contractors and putting Maryland in the forefront of a national debate over government's role in fighting poverty.

"What this bill simply says is, 'If you're working on a contract funded by the people of Maryland, we are going to treat you in a fair and just way so you can put food on the table for your family after a day's work,'" O'Malley said.

The living wage bill was one of 205 measures the governor signed into law yesterday, including a formal apology for Maryland's role in slavery - the second such action in the nation - and a series of seven laws designed to end the seizure of homes over unpaid ground rent. A Sun investigation last year found that some Baltimore residents had lost their homes over initial debts of as little as $24.
For more, go to,0,937378.story?coll=bal-local-headlines

Friday, May 11, 2007

Roberto Clemente Plaza in the Boogie Down

Felicidades. The plaza at 149th and Third Avenue (the Hub) in the Bronx is now also known as Roberto Clemente Plaza. The new street sign went up yesterday in honor of the legendary Puerto Rican baseball player and humanitarian.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Originally uploaded by clarisel.
The Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade '06
Community Calendar

The Bronx Puerto Rican Day Parade

Come out and celebrate Puerto Rican Pride!

Parade will take place at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 20
Along the Grand Concourse Starting at 176th Street and Ending at 167th St

For more information, please call: (718) 792-8797

Community Calendar

50 Years of the Puerto Rican Parade
A Pictorial Celebration

A photography exhibit depicting the most memorable moments in the half-century history of NYC's largest ethnic parade. Taken by some of the city's photographers, the pictures convey a resounding message: Puerto Rican Pride.

May 10-May 18
Reception: May 10, 5-8 p.m.
Atrium Gallery
Hostos Community College
450 Grand Concourse, the Bronx

Information: 718 518-4455

Monday, May 07, 2007

Community Calendar

East Harlem bassist Joe Falcon will perform musical accompaniment at "WORD - From the Barrio" Open Mic tonight. He is the leader of the Latin/Jazz combo Coco Rico.

WORDS - From the Barrio
Open Mic Every Monday
hosted by Bobby Gonzalez
produced by Jaime "Maestro" Emeric
1701 Lexington Ave. (bet. 106th & 107th Street)
Tel: 212-534-7168
Time: 7 - 11 PM

Suggested Donation: $5
No one turned away.