Please stay connected to us through social media (Facebook/Instagram) to see our latest information, including online classes and concerts supporting independent music projects lead by artists of color.
All SRBCC programs receive partial funding from Arts for Illinois, Illinois Arts Council, Arts Midwest, Driehaus – MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Landmarks Illinois, and Field Foundation of Illinois.
Curated by Xavi Luis Burgos, Brenda Torres-Figueroa, and Dorian A. Ortega for Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center.
Puerto Ricans understand themselves to be racially tolerant and multiracial, while there’s still much to be done on anti-Blackness, the legacies of slavery, and the marginalization of Afro-Ricans in housing, health, education, and political representation. We’re grouped into an assumed Latin umbrella that is reckoning with its limitations, and citizens in/ from this country’s colony. From Puerto Rico to Chicago, we have a deep history and presence in movements for Black pride, national liberation, and cross-cultural solidarity.
In the context of global uprisings and new awakenings, we present Afrorriqueñes: Affirmation, Solidarity, and Healing – a four-day series devoted to Afro-Rican dialogue that invites fresh insight into Blackness and puertorriqueñidad as it is lived in Chicago.
Discussion circle with facilitators
May 24, 7pm-9pm (in-person/virtual)
An intergenerational conversation of afrodescendientes from Puerto Rico and Chicago on Art, Activism, and Affirmation.
What are the ways art responds to, and shapes, this newest awakening of Afro-Rican pride, activism, and outrage? What are the past lessons and afro-futures? What are our urgent tasks and how do we make sense of them – and act?
Join us for a unique dialogue between some of the best artists, activists, and educators of the islands and diaspora. Final list of panelists available soon.
Introduction/ Facilitators: Xavi Luis Burgos and Sarah Bruno
- Brenda Torres Figueroa (Chicago)
- Jaefkae (Chicago)
- Alyssa N. Villegas Rodríguez (Chicago)
- Ivelisse Díaz (Chicago)
Traditional panel discussion with facilitator
May 26, 7pm-9:00pm (in-person/virtual)
Alianza in a Racial City
Description: An intergenerational conversation on Community-building, Education, and Afro-Diaspora Solidarity in Chicago.
Where do our histories and current concerns cross paths and diverge? What do we mean when we say ‘solidarity’? How does Chicago as a segregated city shape alliances and agitate new educational possibilities?
Join us for a unique dialogue between some of the best artists, activists, and educators in Chicago.
Introduction/ Facilitator: Xavi Luis Burgos
- Carmen Flores-Rance, Former Young Lord & Church Council President at San Lucas UCC in Humboldt Park
- Juanita García, educator and community activist
- Jennifer Pagán, co-founder of Let Us Breathe Collective and Breathing Room space gardens & farms
- David Stovall, PhD, Professor of Black Studies and Criminology, Law and Justice at UIC
- Quincy Raggs – educator, Olorisha, & musician
Sounds of Solidarity
Friday, May 28th, 2021
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
A special live concert celebrating solidarity within Black and Brown movements in Chicago.
Curated and hosted by Rebel Betty
Jaefkae – Jalen Kobayashi
Amara “Rebel Betty”
Ámale – Isaura Flores
Youth dialogue circle with facilitator
May 29, 6pm-8:30pm (audience/virtual)
Unpacking the Future of Healing: Afro-Boricua Youth Voices
Introduction/ Facilitator: Dorian A. Ortega, LCPC
A Black and Brown Boricua youth dialogue on healing from systemic oppression, such as racism, colorism, privilege, and identity challenges. This dialogue will highlight the insightful social awareness of youth lived experiences in the age of social media, and our understanding of Blackness, whiteness, microaggressions, mental health, the future of racial healing, and ways to reach integrative awareness.
Arani K. Shearril, Cultural dance artist & book club curator
Naia Wakai, student
Coda Ruiz, co-founder of The HEAL Unacademy
Tonantizin Muhammad, Artist, Educator, Land nurturer
Recorrido Isleño: A Series of Online Cooking Classes with Chef Roberto Pérez of Urban Pilón
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Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center is celebrating 50 Years of work in the community with an exclusive screening of the critically acclaimed film: RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT. We will host a socially-distanced group of 50 supporters (symbolic of the 50 years of SRBCC) at our 6,000 sq. ft. home in Hermosa, Chicago (4048 W. Armitage Ave.) on Thursday, May 27th at 7:00 PM. Post-film Q&A with Director Mariem Pérez, and Producer Ilia Vélez included.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Evidence of COVID-19 Vaccination or Negative COVID-19 Test (72 hrs) required to attend this IN-PERSON event. Please consider buying ONLINE TICKETS if you can’t meet this requirement.
Over a 70+ year career, Rita Moreno defied both her humble upbringing and relentless racism to become a celebrated and beloved actor, one of the rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) Award Winners of our time. Born into poverty on a Puerto Rican farm, Moreno and her seamstress mother immigrated to New York City when Moreno was five years old. After studying dance and performing on Broadway, Moreno was cast as any ethnic minority the Hollywood studios needed filled, be it Polynesian, Native American or Egyptian. Despite becoming the first Latina actress to win an Academy Award for her role as Anita in “West Side Story” (1961), the studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent.
RITA MORENO: JUST A GIRL WHO DECIDED TO GO FOR IT illuminates the humor and the grace of Moreno, as well as lesser-known struggles faced on her path to stardom, including pernicious Hollywood sexism and abuse, a toxic relationship with Marlon Brando, and serious depression a year before she emerged an Oscar winner. Moreno’s talent and resilience triumphed over adversity, as she broke barriers, fought for representation and forged the path for new generations of artists.
About Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center
Celebrating 50 Years in 2021, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (SRBCC) is the longest-standing Latino cultural center in Chicago. Established in 1971, it was named in honor of Segundo Ruiz Belvis, a Puerto Rican patriot and member of a secret abolitionist society that freed slave children under Spanish rule. In that spirit, SRBCC realizes its mission to preserve and promote appreciation of the culture and arts of Puerto Rico with a focus on its African heritage.
SRBCC realizes its program philosophy by developing multi-disciplinary programs, with a strong focus on the youth, that highlight the presence of African cultures in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. SRBCC celebrates Afro-Puerto Rican and Afro-Latino cultural traditions through dance, music, theater, and visual arts.
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In keeping with their commitment to preserve and promote the arts, Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center (SRBCC) announced the launch of Abrazo Virtual, a new series of live shows produced and streamed from their home in Hermosa, Chicago (4048 W. Armitage). The concerts stream free of charge through the Center’s Facebook (Facebook.com/SRBCC) and YouTube accounts (@SRBCC). VIEW ALL EPISODES HERE.
SRBCC is Re-Opening!
Are you interested in attending one of monthly intimate in-person events? We have taken every precaution to make the experience as safe and comfortable as possible for everyone. These limited-capacity special events will feature local and touring talent as you have never experienced it before, with your own designated seating area at a safe social distance from everyone. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and stay connected to learn more.
Featuring Tito Matos y la Máquina Insular and Kily Vializ — two of the most representative artists of the island’s bomba and plena scene — this special edition of the Center’s Abrazo Virtual series was recorded live at the Taller Comunidad La Goyco in Santurce
Located inside the old Pedro G. Goyco School, the Taller Comunidad La Goyco is a community cultural center dedicated to the creation of programs, initiatives and opportunities for area residents while celebrating the street’s and the city’s rich history and culture. The center holds such programs as “Jazz Sundays,” “Movie Sundays,” health fairs and music workshops. The organization has also hosted COVID-19 testing and the distribution of masks during the pandemic as well as conversations with all the candidates for Mayor of San Juan, virtual music workshops and concerts (featuring the likes of award-winning saxophonist Miguel Zenón and drummer Henry Cole), and literary chats. The center recently served as the backdrop for Dominican rocker Rita Indiana’s epic music video “Mandinga Times.”
“We are proud to partner with the Taller Comunidad La Goyco for this special event. We share a similar cultural and civic mission and a common interest in empowering our communities through the arts while addressing some of their most urgent needs,” said Torres-Kortright. “Two years ago we invited Tito Matos, one of the Taller’s founders, and his Máquina Insular to perform at SRBCC and at UIC’s 24th Annual Pa’lante Conference in Chicago as part of our efforts to support Puerto Rico’s arts community in the aftermath of Hurricane María. As a musician, as a torchbearer for plena music and as a community activist, Tito is a role model for us.
“Kily will be joined by la creme de la creme of Mayagüez’s bomba tradition, including some of the genre’s top female performers, among them Ángela Vázquez, Bárbara Pérez and Mariela Mendoza. He will also be joined by Leró Martínez, who by now has become a fixture of Chicago’s bomba and plena scene with his performances at the Puerto Rican People’s Parade and Chicago Summerdance, among other local venues and events,” he added.
A plena maestro who has performed alongside Eddie Palmieri, Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan, Héctor “Tito” Matos is one of the leaders of a movement that, in the last decade, has revitalized this genre in the island through his celebrated group Viento de Agua and now through La Máquina Insular. Featuring the traditional instrumentation of tambourines, güiro, tumbadora and the back-up of a clarinet, La Máquina Insular plays a repertoire of classic and new plenas with the strength and rhythm typical of the best of the genre.
Kily Vializ is a bomba and plena musician and cultural activist from the Western municipality of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, where the Puerto Rican bomba. Vializ writes and performs his own material. Early this year, he released his first record, Boricua y de Mayagüez, thanks to a series of grants from the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, Cultura Plenera and the Flamboyán Foundation.
While this special event is free, for those who wish to continue supporting this type of programming, SRBCC has launched a Patreon account to raise funds for its diverse virtual arts and community initiatives as the city and the country battle COVID-19. SRBCC’s donation-based carefully-curated series of virtual performances, classes, podcasts, and workshops are designed to keep local artists and youth working in visible and meaningful ways while providing artists with resources to bring their projects to fruition. To donate, visit https://www.patreon.com/srbcc.