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The Clemente leads eight NYC Cultural Organization Form Latinx/POC Arts Legacy Consortium

July 9, 2020

As seen in ArtNews in June 2020, Eight New York City–based arts organizations have formed the Latinx/POC Arts Legacy Consortium in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The consortium—comprised of the Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance, Bronx Documentary Center, Caribbean Cultural Center and African Diaspora Institute, El Museo del Barrio, Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center, Repertorio Español, and Flushing Town Hall—will be dedicated to producing and promoting the work of living artists of color. The first collective initiative is fundraising for cultural organizations impacted by the pandemic, and will taper into a think tank dedicated to a reconfigured and culturally responsive multi-year reopening plan.
In a statement, Charles Rice-González, the executive director of the Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance, said “We need to mind our Latinx/POC arts legacy organizations for what they bring to communities of color now also disproportionately hit by COVID-19, and also make sure these organizations stay strong past the emergency point.”

“New York City is a tapestry of neighborhoods and cultures where individuals and communities grow, where they find meaning, health, and wellbeing,” says Libertad Guerra, Executive Director of The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center. She points to the heavy lifting still ahead for many Latinx/POC-serving organizations, especially as indignation over racial injustice and anti-black violence flares nationwide: “All that we do is essential, but we continue to absorb more than our fair share of cuts and losses. We can’t let structural invisibility and structural inequity render us expendable. We need holistic approaches to equity through a healing framework.”