The Loisaida Center is proud to announce our ongoing project:

Production of Nabe

The Poduction of Nabe The Production of Nabe honors the breadth of achievements and resolve of the Loisaida community from the harsh times of disinvestment (1970-80s) to contemporary issues of displacement prevention and archival inclusion of Latino history and contributions. It does that through recording neighborhood oral histories, art exhibits, and talks. The different events and activities offered through The Production of Nabe are designed to introduce the neighborhood, build community, and preserve the history of the less recognized players and collaborations that shaped the Lower East Side to this day and continue to shape it presently.

Thematic emphasis on:

1) Exchange of Knowledge and History.

Discussions will include local campaigns, stories and photos that are just snippets of a much larger history. The talks are to incite conversation on good thinking, past victories and community collaboration with common goals of preservation and social justice.

2) Know Your Rights.

An overview of basic rules, regulations and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. Since many neighborhoods like the LES and South Bronx have seen a rise in displacement because of illegal tactics, it is important to document incidents and have the tools to hold management accountable.

3) Celebrating Seniors.

An ongoing collaborative calendar of workshops and events. Local and visiting artists will invite residents to participate in cultural and recreational activities encouraging intergenerational cross sharing.

Upcoming Productions:

Past Productions:

July 30th – Dec. 1st, 2015 – ¡PRESENTE! The Young Lords in New York

Bring this critically acclaimed exhibition to your School, University, Gallery or Museum. Download exhibition kit here!

“A truly inspiring look into the unknown history of NYC and Puerto Ricans living on the Mainland…this exhibition continues to illuminate the efforts and resistance of the Young Lords Party”.

-Exhibition visitor, August 9th, 2015

About the exhibition:

Loisiada Inc. focuses on the Young Lords’ founding and impact in the Lower East Side—displaying rarely seen photographs, posters, and audio and video recordings of live performances.  The exhibit begins with the announcement of the founding of the New York Chapter of the Young Lords at Tompkins Square Park on Saturday, July 26, 1969. The exhibition will feature lesser-known perspectives of the Young Lords legacy within the Lower East Side, and their cultural impact upon New York’s cultural scenes.  Some highlights include the organizing efforts of the Gay and Lesbian Caucus, the transgender activism of Sylvia Rivera, and innovative “artivism” generated by Eddie Figueroa, the founder of the New Rican Village, an influential multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary art space once located at 101 Avenue A.

by: Maximo Colon

Felipe Luciano and Tato Laviera in pre-production planning of the 1st Festival de Loiza Aldea in the LES. Photo by  Máximo Colón.

The exhibition is co-curated by Libertad Guerra and Wilson Valentín-Escobar and features many un-published photographs by Máximo Colón and Hiram Maristany, as well as poster art by Sandra Maria Esteves, and rare live video and audio recordings of some of the leading salsa and Latin jazz musicians, plus an art installation commissioned specifically for this exhibition by contemporary artist Adrian “Viajero”Román.

The overall collection of materials depict the critical role that YL members played in the environment that lead to Loisaida becoming a safe refuge for a community struggling for respect, belonging, political power, and public legitimacy.



“One of the 10 Best Art Exhibitions of 2015 by: The New York Times

-Holland Cutter, Art Critic

¡PRESENTE! The Young Lords in New York was co-organized by El Museo del Barrio, Bronx Museum of the Arts and Loisaida IncThe multi-venue exhibition is accompanied by an ambitious range of programs and events to build awareness of the Young Lords’ innovative contributions to the struggle for civil rights and influence on contemporary artists, and to spark conversations about grassroots community activism today. For a limited time only, the first 1000 visitors at each partnering organization will receive a commemorative button, inspired by the Young Lords. Collect them all! For more info, please visit our featured items page.¡PRESENTE! The Young Lords in New Yorkwas made possible with support from: Acacia Network, Raul Russi.

About the Curators:

Wilson Valentín-Escobar, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of American Studies and Sociology at Hampshire College. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies and an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in Sociology and Puerto Rican/Latin@ and Latin American Studies Studies from Fordham University. He was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Program in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale University in 2011-2012. A Brooklyn New York-native, Dr. Valentín-Escobar is currently completing his forthcoming book, Bodega Surrealism: The Emergence of Latin@ Artivists in New York City (New York University Press). The book examines the cultural activism, or “artivism,” of two community-based art communities and projects that originated in the 1970s within the Lower East Side neighborhood of New York City: the New Rican Village Cultural Arts Center and El Puerto Rican Embassy. His scholarship, which he regularly presents at national and international conferences, has been published in various academic journals and anthologies, and has received funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, among several others. He, along with the late Dr. Juan Flores, co-edited a special two-volume issue on Puerto Rican music for the Puerto Rican Studies journal, Centro. Dr. Valentín-Escobar currently Chairs the Five College Consortium Program in Latin@, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies.

Libertad O. Guerra is an urban anthropologist, educator, social researcher/historian, independent curator and environmental activist. Her academic research and publications have focused on Puerto Rican, Latino and Latin American social-artistic movements and cultural activism in urban immigrant settings. Publications include Uncommon Commonalities: Aesthetic Politics of Place in the South Bronx in Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, (2011); and ‘Building the Aura: a social aesthetics of placement in-the-making.’ in New York / Berlin: Kulturen in der Stadt, (2008). Ms. Guerra has organized numerous local and international exhibitions, panels and conferences among them:
Loisaida: the Visible/Invisible Body of Puerto Ricans sectors on the Lower East Side to the Downtown scene, PRSA Biennial Conference, (2010).
Spanic Attack: Living, Making, and Reading the Latin/o American City, LASA Conference, Rio de Janeiro, (2009).
Re- Membering Loisaida: Lure of the Retro Lens, and Visualizing Hindsight, sponsored by Council Member Rosie Méndez and The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, (2009).
Noricua: Performing the Living City, The House of World Cultures, Berlin, (2007).
Going Down for Real: Imagining the Estate of our Town, NYU’s Center for Latino and Caribbean Studies, (2006).
Constructivismo 2006, Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, (2006).
La Marginal, Centro Cultural España (CCE) Lima, (2004).
She is Artistic Director of Loisaida Inc., and current curator/event planner of the Loisaida Festival since 2014.

Sept. 24th, 2015 – “We refused to cave In”: Gender, Race, Class, and Decolonial Intersectionality in the Young Lords’ Liberation Politics & “The Look of Sovereignity: Style and Politics in the Young Lords”

Darrel Wanzer-Serrano & Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Based on a chapter from The New York Young Lords and the Struggle for Liberation (Temple University Press, 2015), this talk engages the process by which the Young Lords shifted from an organization rooted in the idea that “machismo” could be “revolutionary” to one that rejected machismo as a product of a racist/sexist/imperialist/capitalist system. The Young Lords advanced a nuanced and cutting-edge critique of the intersectionality of oppression and extended their analysis from the internal workings of the organization to society at large. The transformation ushered in by this “revolution within the revolution” was not instantaneous, however. Rather, there was significant struggle within the organization that first led to policy and leadership changes. Once the Young Lords advanced the rejection of machismo in their official platform, it opened space for the emergence of a gay and lesbian caucus and coalitional politics with lesbian, gay, and trans* activists, like Sylvia Rivera. Their intersectional perspective was central, I argue, to a kind of decolonial critical politics that eschewed a focus on rights in preference for attentiveness to and claims for liberation. In this framework, which is also advanced by most scholars of de/coloniality, liberation is an alternative to emancipation—the latter of which relies on claims to recognition that fortify the legitimacy of the modern/colonial system. Liberation, then, seeks a liberty delinked from classical liberalism, mindful of affiliations and fraternal connections, and guided by an ethic of decolonial love, even as colonial wounds can never fully heal.

Frances Negrón-Muntaner’s work focus on a comparative exploration of coloniality, primarily in Puerto Rico and the United States, with special attention given to the intersections between race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and politics.

Author/Speaker Short Bio:

Darrel Wanzer-Serrano is an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Iowa.

Frances Negron-Muntaner is an associate professor of English and Comparative Literature and Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University in New York City.

Oct. 15th, 2014 – Sense of the Lense: Regarding Urban Survival and Resurgence in the Photography of Lisa Kahane & Marlis Momber

Simultaneously but unknown to each other, Lisa Kahane and Marlis Momber documented the life of people and places caught in cycles of urban disinvestment in the 70s and 80s in shattered, depopulated neighborhoods in the South Bronx and in Loisaida, a self-defined neighborhood of the Lower East Side in Manhattan. Both women remain involved in each community to this day. However, both areas are rendered unrecognizable today, due to successful rebuilding led by community groups and churches, homesteaders, and federal, state, and city assistance; shifting immigration patterns; and a new influx of capital. Through the twin lenses of photography and social practice, this discussion and exhibit will explore the conditions that catalyzed their unique views and engagement with these two symbiotic neighborhoods.
Read Press Release here.


Sept. 17th, 2014 – InVisible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam



May. 24th, 2014 – The Loisaida Festival: Production of Nabe


In partnership with: GOLES