Labor Comes to a Close

Labor, the successful art exhibition inspired by holdings in the Centro Archives, will come to a close on Wednesday, February 29, at the East Harlem Art Gallery.  Don’t miss the chance to experience this exhibit that pays tribute to workers who helped pave the way for Puerto Ricans and Latinos in New York City. 

As Susana Torruella-Leval, curator of the exhibition wrote in the exhibit cata¬log: “Labor pays tribute to the nearly 600,000 workers who migrated from Puerto Rico to the United States dur¬ing the 1940s and ‘50s in search of work and a better life. It also cel¬ebrates Centro’s move to a new home in El Barrio, the portal of the Puerto Rican migration, which gave Centro its founding purpose.”

Labor originally opened as a highlight to the October inauguration of the Centro Library and Archives’ new location in the Silberman School of So¬cial Work in East Harlem. By popular demand, the exhibit was extended until the end of this month.

This Friday, February 24, attendees of the IUPLR’s Siglo XXI: Forging The Future of Latinos in a Time of Crisis conference at John Jay College will go uptown to El Barrio to view the Labor exhibit at the Silberman School of Social Work from 6:15 - 8:30 p.m. This event, which is open to the public, will also include book signings, a reception, and a tribute to Dr. Virginia Sánchez Korrol, a historian.

Community was always at the heart of the Labor exhibit.

The Community Education Program was conceived out of Labor. The program’s purpose was to introduce Centro’s Library and Archives to the community and its accessibility in El Barrio. 

Throughout January and February, artist-led community workshops were open to the public.  The free community workshops offered included photo tile making taught by Nitza Tufiño, sewing circle by Melissa Calderón, and printmaking by Antonio Martorell as well as a panel discussion on engaging the Nuyorican state of mind by Juan Sánchez, and a bicycle exhibition and sharing of oral histories featuring the Puerto Rican Schwinn clubs of New York, a Nuyorican Tradition by Miguel Luciano. The goal of the workshops and events was to connect the community at large with the artwork. 

The workshops concluded on February 18 with a screening of HITN’s Labor documentary, which was also inspired by the exhibit. A Q&A with the artists and curators followed the screening.

Labor has definitely awakened the community of the presence of the Library and Archives in El Barrio. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this amazing exhibit at the East Harlem Gallery, Silberman School of Social Work, 2180 Third Ave., 119th Street. The exhibit is open to the public weekdays from 1 to 6 p.m. 



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