Sunday, September 28, 2008

Viajeroart - The Metamorphosis of PASANDO

One of the great pleasures of having this blog is not only sharing the history of those who came before us but also to expose new artists contributing to our culture. One such artist is Adrian Daniel Roman, aka Viajero. I came upon him while searching the internet for more information on Rafael Tufiño, a great Puerto Rican artist.
You can visit his website for more information on this talented artist.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rita Moreno - Archive Interview Part 1 of 6

An interview with the Archive of American Television with the great Rita Moreno. Despite the stupidity of the interviewers first question, stating that Rita was not born in America (which Rita clears up with annoyance) it's a revealing interview about her professional life.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Pura Belpré -Writer, Editor and Librarian

Born in Cidra, Puerto Rico, circa 1899 and died on July 1, 1982 in New York City. Like many Puerto Rican women of the time, she moved to New York in 1920 and worked in the garment industry. Shortly after that, she became the first Puerto Rican hired by the New York Public Library. She was hired as the Hispanic Assistant in the Harlem branch on 135th St., while working at the library she studied to become a librarian and developed a passion for storytelling. She was transferred to the 115th Street branch in Spanish Harlem, in 1929, and became and advocate for the Spanish-speaking community. She instituted bilingual story hours, bought Spanish books and began programs based around traditional holidays. Her first book Pérez and Martina: a Portorican Folk Tale, based on a traditional children’s story from the Caribbean, was published in 1932. She was one of the first Puerto Ricans to be published by a major publishing company. She went on to write more stories and eventually compiled the first book of Puerto Rican folk tales published in the United States. She became an author, editor and translator, collecting children’s tales from all countries but she her primary concern was the preservation of Puerto Rican folklore.
She lived throughout her life in Harlem participating in cultural and civic organizations. In 1996, the Pura Belpré Award, was established by REFORMA, an American Library Association affiliate. The award is presented to Latino/Latina writers and illustrators whose work portrays and affirms the Latino experience in children’s literature.
The Center for Puerto Rican studies of Hunter College has her papers and archives. For more information on this great Puerto Rican woman, visit the Center’s website.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Edgardo Vega Yunqué (1936-2008)

On August 25, 2008, controversial writer Edgardo Vega Yunqué passed away. He was the founder of the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural Center in the Lower East Side. His obituary can be found here in the Daily News. One of the most honest obituaries I have read.
I have known Ed since the early '80s and it did not surprise me that it took two weeks for the news of his death to be released. He was one person I can truly say made up his own rules in life. He will be missed.
Here is a link to someone who had a recent encounter with Ed.
On a side note, it was approximately two weeks ago that I picked up his last published novel, Blood Fugues. Have not had a chance to read it yet but looking forward to spending some time with the book.