Loisaida Inc. presents
¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York.
Date: December 1st, 2015
Loisiada Inc. will focus 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.
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.
“I was involved with the Young Lords… it was a time of initiation -into ourselves, into the history of our people, and into the deep images of our culture”.
-Eddie Figueroa, Founder New Rican Village
¡PRESENTE! The Young Lords in New York is co-organized by El Museo del Barrio (July 22 – October 17), Bronx Museum of the Arts (July 2 – October 15) and Loisaida Inc. (July 30 – October 10). The 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.
At Loisaida Inc. ¡PRESENTE! The Young Lords in New York was made possible with support from:
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.