About Us

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 and Latin America, with a unique emphasis 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 Latin America. SRBCC celebrates Afro-Puerto Rican and Afro-Latino cultural traditions through dance, music, theater, and visual arts.

Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center and After School Matters partner to offer paid apprenticeships to teens (ages 14-18) to learn Afro-Latin Percussion and Afro-Caribbean Jazz. We also offer weekly and monthly percussion classes, live music events, and community workshops.

SRBCC evolved as a cultural organization from a community arts project developed by Association House of Chicago and community activists of the Latin American Defense Organization (LADO). These organizations supported the economic and democratic rights of the Puerto Rican and Latino community of Chicago, focusing on the areas of civic involvement, citizenship, cultural identity, public education, health, safety and security, housing, and economic opportunity.

SRBCC’s Youth Programs Promo Video

SRBCC is highlighted in the 2016 BPPR Documentary “De Puerto Rico para el Mundo”

Recent Grants: 2018, 2019 and 2020 MacArthur Funds for Arts and Culture at the Driehaus Foundation, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation Grant for Arts and Culture Organizations,  2016 and 2019 MacArthur International Connections Fund, 2018 and 2019 Field Foundation of Illinois Grant to Arts Organizations , 2017 and 2018 CityArts Grant, 2017 and 2018 Illinois Arts Council Grant for Arts Organizations, and the 2017 and 2018 Strengthening Artistic and Cultural Diversity Grant of the Chicago Community Trust.

Our programs would not be possible without the support of our generous partners.