By ARNALDO J. LÓPEZ
– One year after Hurricane María and following its successful Relief Drive for Artists in Puerto Rico, Pregones/PRTT announces MásPorPuertoRico, a new multi-platform initiative to support the ongoing recovery of the arts community on the island. With leadership and contributions by all of its ensemble artists and staff, the initiative harbors a mix of multi-discipline presentations by Puerto Rican artists at our Bronx and Manhattan stages; partnership with National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures in the launch of its new NFA – Puerto Ricogrants for island-based artists; sponsored international travel by Puerto Rican artists seeking exchange and collaboration with peers in Cuba and Mexico; and participation in the national Take Action for Puerto Rico! campaign of the Hispanic Federation.
“We are transitioning from Relief to Recovery with caution, but also with great pride in the accomplishments of our sisters and brothers in Puerto Rico,” said Rosalba Rolón, Artistic Director of Pregones/PRTT and a 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award recipient. “The last year was fraught with challenges, but it also yielded evidence of extraordinary leadership, imagination, and resourcefulness — both from artists in Puerto Rico and from those of us in solidarity from the U.S. and elsewhere. MásPorPuertoRico marks a new phase, one where opportunity is again a horizon for artists and the diverse communities they care and create for.”
With MásPorPuertoRico, Pregones/PRTT once again leads by example, calling on its extended creative and professional networks to cast a wide net across the island’s arts community, provide more focused and tangible support, and help participants leverage additional opportunities.
Related fall 2018 artist presentations of variable scale and duration include the recent appearance by Noemí Segarra/PISO Proyecto as part of our Stage Garden Rumba series, co-presented with We Stay/Nos Quedamos; performances of FUERZAfest winning play, MR MR & DR DR, by Janilka Romero and Ian Robles of Desde Allá theater company, playing The Bronx on October 19, 20, and 21, 2018; and a visit by famed playwright, novelist, and essayist Luis Rafael Sánchez in December. A new musical based on La guaracha del Macho Camacho, one of Mr. Sánchez’s crowning achievements, is in development at Pregones under the direction of Ms. Rolón and composer Desmar Guevara. The announcement of subsequent spring 2018 artist presentations is forthcoming.
NFA – Puerto Rico Grants
Partnership with the NALAC Fund for the Arts brings new grant dollars to artists on the island. The opportunity is open to artists in all disciplines, with Pregones/PRTT committing to fundraise for two awards in the performing arts category. NFA – Puerto Rico is meant to shore up local creative activity one year after the storm, boost enthusiasm for peer-reviewed panel process, and grow professional networks at a national level. It is expected to serve as a viable model to other public and private philanthropies also looking to strengthen the arts in Puerto Rico. The call for proposals has a deadline of October 25, 2018. http://www.nalac.org/nfa-puertorico
Puerto Rico, Cuba, Mexico
The international component of MásPorPuertoRico will bolster relationships among artists in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and México. The opportunity grows out of dialogue with individual artists and groups who already have projects and partners in the two sister countries, and whose practice historically includes exchange and collaboration. Select travel support for the initiative is made possible, in part, thanks to Southwest Airlines, the official airline of Pregones/PRTT.
Take Action for Puerto Rico!
Now underway, the national Take Action for Puerto Rico! campaign and toolkit of the Hispanic Federation “brings together people and organizations to encourage discussion, germinate ideas, and take action around four critical pillars for Puerto Rico’s recovery: empowered citizenship, health care equity, climate change preparedness, and economic redevelopment.” Pregones/PRTT proudly joins the campaign’s cross-sector coalition knowing that the arts and culture will play a key role in its success. http://takeaction4pr.org
“MásPorPuertoRico is equal parts arts programming, direct support, and advocacy,” said Arnaldo J. López, Pregones/PRTT’s Managing Director. “In the aftermath of Hurricane María, Puerto Rico is a vastly changed place with new needs. This initiative is one way in which we can help shoulder and steward those needs. Like with our Relief Drive last year, we are in listening, resource-share, and rebroadcast mode. The arts community we hold dear, and which from day one provides vital labor towards the recovery of the island’s entire population, deserves no less.”
For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to MásPorPuertoRico, please email [email protected] or call 718-585-1202.