Institue Schedule

Institute Overview

The Somos Boricuas Institute will be structured around morning lectures and afternoon hands-on activities, demonstrations, workshops, field trips and discussions. Both the morning scholarly lectures and the afternoon activities will explore key humanities questions of belonging, conceptions of home, identity and citizenship in the lives of New York’s Puerto Rican communities. Somos Boricuas asks participants to consider how the geopolitical, linguistic, and economic landscape of Puerto Rican migrant communities affects these still largely marginalized American citizens. How are Puerto Ricans’ senses of identity, opportunity, belonging, and home explored, negotiated, shared, and conveyed through the arts? Finally, the Institute explores the central roles the arts have played not only in areas of education, community building, and identity formation, but also in the important realm of advocacy, protest, and promise for improved social conditions, educational opportunities, economic advancement, and political change. From a focus on a single community of Puerto Ricans in New York City, K-12 teachers will be guided to explore similar humanities issues within their own migrant/immigrant communities through the stories, music, visual arts, foodways and vernacular architecture in their midst. City Lore’s nearly half a century of experience presenting and exploring such humanities issues through a concentration on the everyday arts of the city will provide the framework for the Institute.

The pedagogical framework for the Institute will be overseen by City Lore’s K-12 education specialist, Dr. Amanda Dargan, who has over four decades of experience developing curricula and working in the public schools with programs that center traditional arts as catalysts for exploring key humanities and social studies themes in the classroom and Sahar Muradi, City Lore’s current Education Program Director and former director of our Poetry Program. Each day of the Institute will include a morning lecture and presentation, followed by a discussion of classroom applications. In the afternoons teachers engage in participatory workshops followed by late afternoon and evening fieldtrips and performances. Throughout both weeks, teachers will learn through lectures by scholars, whole-group and small-group discussions, workshops by City Lore staff and teaching artists, performances by artists, community fieldtrips, and visits to cultural and historical institutions in New York City. During both weeks, City Lore staff will introduce tools and skills they have used in researching and documenting New York City communities and history, and in teaching in K-12 schools. These include: interviewing, ethnography, documentation with digital media, analyzing primary and secondary resources, designing community fieldtrips, teaching with objects, and close listening, looking, and interpreting live and recorded performances.

Institute Schedule

July 14th – 27th 2024



Sunday July 14th

Introduction & Reception

Meet: City Lore
Performance: Los Piratas del Ritmo led by Bobby Sanabria

Monday July 15th

Who is a Citizen?

Meet: City Lore
Faculty: Dr. Suzanne Serif, Dr. Charles Venator-Santiago
Excursion: Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Jesús Colón and Evelina Antonetty collections

Tuesday July 16th

19th Century Beginnings

Meet: City Lore
Faculty: Dr. Virginia Sánchez-Korral                                                                   
Excursion: Washington Square Park walking tour—Dos Alas: 19th C. Puerto Ricans and Cubans in NYC: Dr. Orlando Hernández and Elena Martínez

Wednesday July 17th

Early 20th C. Migration

Meet: Bronx Music Hall
Faculty: TBD
Excursion: Pregones Theater, The Red Rose screening and discussion

Thursday July 18th

Afro-Antillian Poetry to the Nuyorican Poets movement

Meet: City Lore
Faculty: Dr. Nancy Mercado
Excursion/Evening event: La Sala de Pepe: Poetry & Foodways
Poetry by Mariposa and others.

Friday July 19th

The Lyrics of Migration Afro-Puerto Rican Musical Forms

Meet: Bronx Music Hall
Faculty: Dr. Cesar Colón
Excursion: Taller Boricua: the print workshop/demo Nitza Tufino and the Plena Portfolio

Saturday, July 20th

The Music of Bomba/Building Community

Meet: Bronx Music Hall
Faculty: Molly Garfinkel and Elena Martínez
Excursion: Bronx Casita Tour: end at Rincón Criollo with performance/lecture by Norka Hernández Nadal and Bambúla
Evening event: BMH: Bronx Rising!: El Que no Tiene Carabali Tiene Congo: Haiti and Puerto Rico—tumba francesa  OPTIONAL


Monday July 22nd

The History of the Harlem Hellfighters/West Side Story: Bridging the Gap

Meet: City Lore
Faculty: Basilio Serrano, Bobby Sanabria, Clara Rodriguez, Elena Martinez
Excursion: Lincoln Center: San Juan Hill Legacies and Puerto Rican Theater 

Tuesday July 23rd

Building Community: Parades, Parrandas & Protests

Meet: City Lore
Faculty: Elena Martinez
Panel and screening: Making the Impossible Possible: The Story of Puerto Rican Studies in Brooklyn College with Dr. Antonio Nadal and others

Wednesday July 24 th : Arts & Activism

Meet: Bronx Music Hall

Faculty: Dr. Nydia Edgecombe, Dr. Vanessa Perez Rosario, Dr. Wilson Valentin Excursion: Young Lord’s Church with Felipe Luciano and Dr. Johanna Fernández

Thursday July 25th

Sacred Roots of Afro-Puerto Rican Musical Traditions

Meet: BMH
Panel: Manuela Arciniegas, Melody Capote, Alex LaSalle, Bobby Sanabria
Excursion: South Bronx Latin Music tour: Casa Amadeo and 52 Park
Evening event: BMH:  Nuevas Voces: Emerging Voices in Latin Jazz OPTIONAL

Friday July 26th

Beyond New York: Puerto Rican Diaspora and Latino Immigrants

Meet: Bronx Music Hall
Faculty: Dr. Julia Torres

Saturday July 27th

Closing reception


For Questions Please Contact 
Elena Martinez