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Centro TV Boosts its Multimedia Productions.

Centro is working on building its Centro TV as a standalone online education center with channels displaying events, films, and links to the Library and Archives.

“We see the web as a way to democratize information and celebrate our archives,” said Edwin Meléndez, Centro director. “We want to make those materials that are available more accessible to teachers for students in the kindergarten to twelfth grades as well as college students.”

Richard Unapanta, media production manager, said the focus for Centro TV is to educate through the use of multimedia tools, to better curate the rich content Centro has to offer ,and to share the information with a wider audience.

“We want to use tools in order to present full packages of content and topics in multiple forms,” he said. The vision is to help make it easier for researchers, educators, and others searching online for information related to the Puerto Rican diaspora. Centro’s Library and Archives is the only f its kind in the country solely dedicated to the Puerto Rican diaspora.

Meanwhile, Centro is also putting more of a focus on the production and screening of original documentaries. Meléndez said the documentaries serve as a way to highlight people who have made significant contributions in the Puerto Rican diaspora.

In November, Centro celebrated its Film Corner series to showcase Pioneros y Visionarios/Puerto Ricans Who Made a Difference. All of the pioneers featured in this Film Corner presentation have donated their papers to Centro’s Library and Archives.

The Film Corner kicked off November 9 with a screening of Antonia Pantoja ¡Presente! in the auditorium of the Silberman School of Social Work in East Harlem. Antonia Pantoja ¡Presente! is the story of a visionary Puerto Rican educator and activist who inspired multiple generations of young people across the country and Puerto Rico. Just after Pantoja’s death at the age of eighty, her Memoirs of a Visionary was published.

The Legacy of Frank Bonilla and Pura Belpré were screened November 10 at the auditorium at the Silberman building.  The Legacy of Frank Bonilla honors the life and legacy of Professor Bonilla, a pioneer in the fields of Latino and Puerto Rican studies and founder of Centro, and the Pura Belpré documentary honors the life and legacy of this multicultural educator and storyteller who wrote and reinterpreted Puerto Rican folk tales.

Clemente Soto Vélez: Revolt through Letters was screened November 17 at the Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural and Educational Center on the Lower East Side. The film highlights Clemente Soto Vélez’s contributions as a Puerto Rican nationalist, a poet, and mentor, as well as his achievements within the Puerto Rican community in New York.

The Pura Belpré and Clemente Soto Vélez documentaries, both Centro productions, are available for sale through Centro. For more information, call (212) 772-5688 or email centro@hunter.cuny.edu.

Those interested in the Frank Bonilla documentary, another Centro production, can get a copy with a donation to Hunter College’s Frank Bonilla Fund. The fund is dedicated to supporting Puerto Rican students in New York City who are pursuing their higher education and encouraging their interest in Puerto Rican studies. To donate online, visit https://onlinedonation.hunter.cuny.edu/. In Give To box:  click on Dr. Frank Bonilla Fund option.

Content credits Center for Puerto Rican Studies