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An afternoon of poetry, music, art, food, and conversation honoring Puerto Rican culture. This event is free and open to the public.
Sat. Sept. 21 | 1:30–5 PM
1:30 PM: Artist Erick "Ck" Ledesma of Cosecha Creative Space will introduce the new mural on the Woodland Pattern façade, painted by Ck in tribute to the lives lost during 2017’s Hurricane María. The mural also incorporates poet Pedro Pietri’s famous work, “Puerto Rican Obituary.”
2 PM: Panel discussion on "Puerto Rican Identity: The Young Lords & Belonging" with Tony Báez, Frances R. Aparicio, Alberto Maldonado, and Jacqueline Lazú. Artist Tania M. Espinoza Bonilla will live-sketch the conversation. (The panel is part of the Milwaukee Rep’s Puerto Rican Identity series, organized in conjunction with their production of West Side Story.)
3 PM: Food will be catered by Sofritos Vega and plena music will be played
4 PM: Performance by poet Urayoán Noel
This is a family-friendly event and kids activities will be held all day long.
Presented in partnership with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and part of our series Unwriting Borders: Latinx Voices in the U.S., curated by Roberto Harrison. This event is supported in part by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and by a grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the state of Wisconsin.
About the poet:
Urayoán Noel is the author of eight books of poetry, including Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisférico (University of Arizona Press, 2015) and the forthcoming 24/7 (Catafixia, Guatemala), an anthology of 20 years of his poetry edited by José Miguel Curet. His other works include the performance/installation CONTRAERTE (Casa de los Contrafuertes, 2017); the critical study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (Iowa, 2014, winner of the LASA Latino Studies Book Award); and the bilingual edition Architecture of Dispersed Life: Selected Poetry by Pablo de Rokha (Shearsman, 2018, longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award). Based in the Bronx and originally from Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, Noel is an associate professor of English and Spanish at New York University, and also teaches at Stetson University's MFA of the Americas.
About the muralist:
Erick “Ck” Ledesma is an interdisciplinary visual artist from San Juan, Puerto Rico, who explores themes of identity by incorporating and integrating influences from personal culture. Ledesma acquired a BFA in Painting with a minor in Art History from the Peck School of the Arts at UW–Milwaukee. “Ck” works primarily with mixed-media using acrylic and spray paint to develop vibrant color palettes, as well as performance-based pieces and community engagement arts. Exhibitions include 31 Emerge at WPCA, CultureJam MKE #6 True Lies at Redline, and 30x30x30 at Var Gallery. Most recently Ledesma served as the Cesar Chavez Drive 2017 Artist in Residence and as the 2018 Artist in Residence at Milwaukee Public Library’s Mitchell Street branch.
About the panelists:
Frances R. Aparicio is currently serving as Marquette’s 2019–20 AMUW Women's Chair in Humanistic Studies. Aparicio is Professor Emerita at Northwestern University, where she taught in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and directed the Latina and Latino Studies Program. Her scholarship has examined popular music and gender, transnational musics, the cultural politics of language among U.S. Latinx communities, and more recently, the multiple nationalities of Intralatinx in Chicago. Author of Listening to Salsa (1998) and of the forthcoming Negotiating Latinidad: Intralatina/o Lives in Chicago (2019), she is currently writing a book about the Salsa singer, Marc Anthony.
Luis “Tony” Báez arrived in Chicago from Barrio Borinquén of Caguas, Puerto Rico, in 1969 and soon became Minister of Education of the Young Lords. In Puerto Rico, Báez was also active with the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), the electoral component of the broad movement in Puerto Rico, fighting for Puerto Ricans to regain back control of their nation. By 1970, Báez had moved from Chicago to Milwaukee and set up a Young Lords chapter. Báez has also been involved in major bilingual and desegregation litigation as a resource to community groups and plaintiffs. For the past 40+ years, he has been vigorously championed the equity and civil rights of Latinos and others locally and nationally, especially in areas of educational transformation, immigration, health, police-community relations, diversity, and civil rights. He has also been extensively involved in public education and is currently the representative for District 6 on the Milwaukee Board of School Directors.
Jacqueline Lazú is Associate Professor of Modern Languages, and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences at DePaul University, Chicago. Her work focuses on Latino and Caribbean literature and culture, aesthetics, communities, and social movements, and she is currently working on a manuscript titled Stone Revolutionaries: The Chicago Young Lords. Lazú previously directed the Community Service Program at DePaul and she now serves as co-founder and interim chair of Criminology. She received her PhD in Spanish at Stanford University.
Alberto Maldonado is the Executive Director of the Roberto Hernández Center at UW-Milwaukee and the Co-leader of the Chancellors Committee for Hispanic Student Initiatives (CCHSI). In his twenty-one-year trajectory at UW-Milwaukee, Maldonado has championed initiatives in the areas of Pre-College, Community Outreach, Admissions, Multicultural Recruitment, and Academic Advising. While at the Center, he has also created numerous opportunities for students including the Annual Bilingual Open House, a bilingual marketing campaign for families, the Milwaukee National Hispanic College Fair, the Undocumented Student Campus Task Force, and the “Excelencia en la Musica”, and PALM Emergency grant scholarship fund. Maldonado was born in Milwaukee, and his family moved to Utuado, Puerto Rico, when he was four years old. He returned to Milwaukee to attend college, earning both a BA and an MS from UWM.
About the live-sketch artist:
Tania M. Espinoza Bonilla was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1996. She trained as an art student from an early age, mostly in the field of drawing and painting, in various places of San Juan. She later focused her artistic effort at the Central School of Visual Arts in Santurce, PR. In the last five years she has been pursuing a BA in Art Education here in Milwaukee, and her own art practice has been concentrated in fibers: embroidery, fabric dye, weaving, and mixed media. She is also particularly invested in the creation of community-based art and conversation.