Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cemi Underground to close shop

I am sad to learn about the closing of Cemi Underground, a cultural haven in El Barrio in its short yet rich history. Luis Cordero led a store with nonstop events aimed at highlighting Puerto Rican writers, artists and cultural workers. The good news is that Cordero says the store is closing down, but that the mission of Cemi Underground to support boricua talent will continue.

This is the latest treasure catering to the Latino arts scene that closes in East Harlem. This is yet another setback and something has to be done to preserve EL BARRIO, SPANISH HARLEM!

Here is a letter from Luis Cordero on Cemi's closing:

To our many friends and supporters:

Unfortunately, after two years we are forced to close our doors at the end of April. Cemí Underground has hosted more that 150 cultural events and we have prided ourselves in being able to have added our voice and efforts to those entities engaged in maintaining the Boricua cultural identity and heritage alive and well in New York City. We hope others will continue the effort and they can surely count on our wholehearted support.

We are closing our doors at Lexington Avenue, but we will continue to promote our art and artists...You can help us by supporting our CEMI CULTURAL EXPO* a fundraising event scheduled for Thursday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m. at The Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center, featuring some of the talent that has graced our humble stage including Mariposa, La Bruja, Bobby Gonzalez, Arnold Acevedos El Boogie Down Comedy Show and many more surprise guests. The featured performers that evening will be none other than the foremost ambassadors of our culture worldwide: Los Pleneros de la 21!

You are welcome to our two last events at Cemí Underground on Saturday, April 25 and Thursday, April 30.

Continue to visit our websites: www.cemiunderground.com and www.galeriacemi.com as we will continue and double our online efforts...

Reciban un abrazo.

Luis Cordero

*Cemi Cultural Expo is a cultural event and collaboration between Cemí Underground, Boricuation, LatinosNYC, Ku Karey Spiritual Circle, Art By Mia, Taller Boricua, Los Pleneros de la 21 and many individuals who have supported Cemí Underground these past 2 years.

Editor's Note: Support the Cemi Cultural Expo. For more information, www.cemiunderground.com.

Listen to an interview I did with Cordero earlier this year at www.blogtalkradio.com/prsunradio about Cemi Underground.

Gente, feel free to leave comments right here on this news on Cemi Underground and what are your hopes. Do you see this as a blow to the Latino arts scene in NYC? What are your memories of Cemi? What are your thoughts on Spanish Harlem/El Barrio?
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