El Corazón Cultural Center - home of Latino arts and culture in the Philadelphia area - celebrated on Wednesday that has expanded its facilities in El Barrio and claims to be the center of a resistance movement against intolerance against the Latino community.
El Corazón, a 24,000-plus-square-foot center that opened Wednesday after 12 years of planning, fund-raising, and building, finally brings Taller Puertorriqueño's work with Philly's Puerto Rican, Cuban, Spanish, Dominican, Mexican, and Afro Caribbean communities under one stunning roof. The open house on Saturday will welcome students, parents, and the public to see the fruits of this long labor.
The executive director of Taller Puertorriqueño, the entity that manages the center, Carmen Febo-San Miguel, also claimed that the space holds a "political position" in the face of attacks on minorities, including Latinos, in the country.
"For us, Taller Puertorriqueño is, and to some extent always has been, a movement of resistance and a political position of vindication. That is why this project goes further and uses the artistic representations to preserve our culture and to claim it," added Febo- San Miguel in an interview with EFE agency.
The director emphasized that, in times like the present in which intolerance has expanded, the representation of people and traditions is more important than ever, and that therefore the enlargement of its center is an additional reason for joy for the Latino and Puerto Rican community in Philadelphia.
Founded in 1974, the mission of Taller Puertorriqueño has been to preserve, develop and promote Puerto Rican artistic and cultural expressions, in addition to being committed to the representation of quality and support of other Latin cultures and their common roots.
To this end, the cultural center organizes education and training programs that promote wealth and beauty as a mechanism of progress to create an environment of opportunity with the arts.
The spokeswoman for the Puerto Rican organization also affirmed its concern for the future of projects such as his after the election victory of Donald Trump and his anti-immigration messages and hostile to the Latino community.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who attended the opening event of the center, defended his city as multicultural, multiethnic and multilingual, and said that it will continue to be a place of welcome for all cultures,as reported by EFE.
"Cities can lead, and New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington and Los Angeles, among many others, we are going to lead no matter what the Washington group is going to do, and we are going to take care of our people," Kenney added in reference to Trump's plans to deport undocumented workers.
Febo-San Miguel celebrated the fulfillment of a dream of many years of being able to expand its center in infrastructures and activities to continue bringing the Puerto Rican and Latin cultures, through the artistic expressions, to the new generations.
Also reported in The Inquirer.