Puerto Rico Rising—Radical Leaders
Puerto Rico is an island steeped in contradictions—the idyllic tourist mecca is where unpredictable forces of nature, a stagnant economy, and a corrupt government complicate everyday life for locals.
After Hurricane Maria devastated Dominica, St. Croix and Puerto Rico in 2016, journalists compared Puerto Rico to Greece, Detroit, and New York of the 1970s, prompting myriad articles about its economic woes and the population’s resilience. The art scene became more visible as Puerto Rican artists stepped into the frey with their creative projects. Some institutions stepped up, too. Notably, El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC).
Sitting in the heart of the Santurce district of San Juan, the Museum of Contemporary Art became a beacon of hope for the surrounding community in the wake of the storm, serving as an educational resource and offering space for the performing arts, and channeling life-sustaining resources to residents.
In 2019, when we venture to Puerto Rico, we head to the Museum to meet Director Marianne Ramirez Aponte. She led MAC’s pro-active role following the hurricane. Early in 2021, the Museum’s contemporary art curator Marina Reyes Franco shares an update—revealing MAC’s sustained commitment to generate cultural opportunities for local artists and residents of all ages.
In this segment of our Puerto Rico Rising series, two community leaders share a few of the creative projects they generate to enable others to rise—both emotionally and physically—above the challenging everyday circumstances that limit opportunities for Puerto Ricans to survive and thrive.
Sound Editor: Anamnesis Audio | Special Sound: Live Performance at the Museum of Contemporary Art, September 27, 2019
Related Episodes: Puerto Rico Rising—Radical Leaders, Puerto Rico Rising—Resilient Artists, The Awakening, Juan Botta Makes One-Minute Movies in Puerto Rico, Edra Soto on the Architecture of Connecting Communities, Mapping Caribbean Cultural Ecologies
Related Links: El Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico (MAC), Marina Reyes Franco, ATLAS SAN JUAN: TROPICAL DEPRESSION, Art in America, Oct 1, 2018.
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