Marcos Dimas, Jorge Soto, Gilberto Hernandez
and Fernando Salicrup
Serving the Community of East Harlem and Beyond
During the 1970s, social justice, democracy, egalitarianism, and critiques of capitalist excesses inspired artists to create conceptual, performance, and installation-based art. SoHo, Tribeca, and the Lower East Side became the primary meccas for artists, performers, and musicians involved with non-traditional work. These neighborhoods became populated with experimental and artist-run spaces that featured conceptual, video, performance, installation, and sound art, as well as artists’ books. However, for one group of Puerto Rican Latinos, East Harlem became their primary creative home stage.
Taller Boricua, founded in 1969 and incorporated in 1970 as the Puerto Rican Workshop Inc.—a 501(c) non-profit arts organization, by artists Marcos Dimas, Adrian Garcia, Manuel Otero, Armando Soto, and Martin Rubio. Instrumental in the cultural and social well-being of East Harlem’s neighborhood known as “El Barrio,” Taller Boricua’s earliest mission statement describes its purpose “to establish a cultural and educational center for the Puerto Rican community in New York City” and enhance the “aesthetic, historical and socio-economic experience of Puerto Ricans in New York.”
Taller Boricua began as an artist collective focused on disseminating art throughout traditionally underserved communities. The group held guerilla outdoor exhibitions and cultural events involving music, poetry, and the visual arts all around New York City. As an early collaborator within the Nuyorican poetry and art movement, Taller Boricua continued to be a catalyst for the spoken word as an adaptive expression into the evolving arts.
In 1978 Taller Boricua moved to the Heckscher Building, cofounding it along with Boys Harbor Inc. on Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, which now houses El Museo del Barrio. Taller Boricua’s Director, Marcos Dimas, served on the original Museo del Barrio’s Advisory board. In contrast, Fernando Salicrup, Taller Boricua’s former Director, served on its Directors Board.
Its historic-artistic engagement with the Young Lords Party, who once were headquartered neighbors on the same city block, infused the inspiration that gave rise to the socially political, cultural, and poetic Nuyorican movement.
In 2000, Taller Boricua relocated to its current location, 1680 Lexington Avenue, a 10-year community-based Latino Cultural Center development in East Harlem named after Julia de Burgos, a Puerto Rican independence advocate and civil rights activist for women and African/Afro-Caribbean writers.
51 years later, Taller Boricua continues gathering attention and relevancy to today’s marginalized and unrepresented artists while invoking a new renaissance in creative expressionism.
Taller Boricua Gallery / Artist Workshop / Event Space
All programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Taller Boricua is also funded in part by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, Consejo Grafico, the Puerto Rican Workshop Inc. and individual contributors
Taller Boricua Board of Directors
Chairman of the Board