All SRBCC programs receive partial funding from Illinois Arts Council,  MacArthur Foundation, Driehaus Foundation, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Chicago Cultural Treasures, Sueños Festival, and The Field Foundation of  Illinois.

De Coco y Anís

Un proyecto de amor para Rafael Cortijo

Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center presents a two-day series of workshops and talks in celebration of the legacy of Rafael Cortijo, guided/conducted by Ivette Chiclana Miranda, Gloriann, Sacha Antonetty Lebrón, Ahisamar Antonia “Toña” Rosario Romero, and Marissel Hernández Romero. The celebration concludes with El Cumpleaños de Cortijo, a musical tribute to Cortijo’s life and his critically-acclaimed masterpiece “Cortijo y su Máquina del Tiempo” by La Cantera, followed by a Cortijo-inspired Vinyl Dance Party.

This project was born from the urgency of rescuing and amplifying the cultural and intellectual production of Black and Afro-descendant people of the Puerto Rico archipelago. Also, as the title reflects, this project arises from our love for the work of Rafael Cortijo Verdejo (1928 – 1982), because we think that the emotional, the intellectual, the spiritual, the creative, go alongside; also, because Don Rafa left inscribed in his repertoire the love he had for his people and especially for his Black people. It is an interdisciplinary project. Or “undisciplinary”, which we like more. We know of the importance and vitality of Cortijo in our music and our culture. Aware that he has been left aside, we understood the obligation to make a project that recovers some of his legacy.

12/8 – Pintando la Negritud, Escuchando a Cortijo

Facilitator: Ahisamar Antonia “Toña” Rosario Romero

6:00 pm – This workshop, conducted in Spanglish with English interpretation, aims to engage the community, from jóvenes (young people) to the mayores (elderly), in an exploration of visual language and techniques related to the concept of Blackness in the Puerto Rican imagination. Participants will be encouraged to challenge the prevailing aesthetic norms and the historical exclusion of Blackness in the arts. A playlist will be created to be shared with the participants

12/9 – Pa’ ustedes que son los míos. A celebration of Cortijo’s legacy.

Speaker: Marissel Hernández Romero
1:00 pm – Rafael Cortijo, a visionary musician left a deep-rooted mark on the world of Puerto Rican music. This talk aims to celebrate his enduring legacy, tracing the evolution of his career and the profound impact he had on the musical landscape of Puerto Rico and beyond. We will examine the social and political context in which Cortijo created his music, studying how his compositions often conveyed powerful messages of identity, resistance, and solidarity. We will discuss the lasting influence of Rafael Cortijo’s music on subsequent generations of Puerto Rican and Latinx artists, as well as his role in fostering a sense of unity and pride among Puerto Ricans both on the island and in the diaspora. In Spanglish with English interpretation.

12/9Contranarrativas, contrasoneos y creación de historias desde las canciones de Cortijo.

Facilitator: Glorian Sacha Antonetty Lebrón
2:45 pm – This workshop seeks to empower individuals to actively participate in reshaping narratives surrounding Blackness and fosters a sense of community, creativity, and understanding through Cortijo’s music. This innovative and interactive workshop is designed to empower participants to reclaim and reimagine the stories and experiences of Black Puerto Rican people, communities, and culture through the medium of collage art. Participants will be guided through a transformative journey using collage as a vehicle for change and self-expression. This workshop is open to people of all skill levels, as it is centered on the universal themes of narrative change and creative expression. In Spanish with English interpretation.

12/9 Cortijo, el Griot Boricua

Facilitator: Ivette Chiclana Miranda

4:30 pm – “Del oído al cerebro” (From ear to brain) is a phrase that reflects the processes of learning that humanity has practiced for millennia. By listening to the narratives of our ancestors, genealogies, or significant events that shape communal life, these communities maintain cohesiveness, identity, and a sense of belonging. This interactive workshop will allow us to identify and understand the great Griot that was Maestro Rafael Cortijo. He not only got us to dance and enjoy his Afro-Boricua rhythms, which had been previously overlooked on the island, but he also confronted us with the socio-racial reality existing in Puerto Rico.

His songs are narratives of social events and, as such, they represent a historical record that deserves recognition and celebration. The goal is to decode these sung events as an endeavor to understand and acknowledge our own history. Conducted in Spanish with English interpretation.

12/9De coco y anís. Un proyecto de amor para Rafael Cortijo (2023).

6:00 pm – Join us for a celebration of the book and the life of Rafael Cortijo. The event will feature a discussion led by the editor, Marissel Hernández Romero, along with three of the book’s collaborators: Ivette Chiclana Miranda, Gloriann Sacha Antonetty Lebrón, and Ahisamar Antonia “Toña” Rosario Romero. This engaging conversation will delve into the creative process and explore the significance of Cortijo, both in his time and today. The discussion will be conducted in Spanglish with English interpretation.

12/9El Cumpleaños de Cortijo

Right after the book presentation of “De Coco y Anís. Un proyecto de amor para Rafael Cortijo”, join us for a celebration of the life of Rafael Cortijo. The event will feature:

7:30 pm – Tribute to Cortijo and His Time Machine by La Cantera

8:15 pm – Vinyl Dance Party with DJs Carlos Guate, Sonorama and Agúzate. Puerto Rican Menu and Cortijo-inspired drinks available for purchase.

Música Poética

Music by Carlos Carrillo

Performed by Third Coast Percussion with special guests:

Juan Horie, cello; Zachary Good and Katherine Jimoh, clarinets

Presented by Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center and Third Coast Percussion

Friday, January 19, 2024

7:30 pm

Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center

4048 W. Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL 60639

Música Poética takes listeners through kaleidoscopic musical contrasts: bright and dark, magical and sinister, surprising and pensive. This collection of works by Carlos Carrillo is inspired by different works of poetry, and combines the colorful sounds of percussion ensemble with cello and clarinet. Expanding the suite over nearly twenty years, Carrillo’s newest addition is “”Four Walls””, which features the percussion quartet navigating their way around walls of hanging instruments, creating shifting sound worlds across different physical materials.

Born in San Juan Puerto Rico, Carrillo is a distinguished composer and faculty member at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Opening act by SRBCC’s La Cantera.


Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival

Free Neighborhood Tour at SRBCC

Thursday, January 18
4:30 pm
Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center

Free Neighborhood Tour: Fostering an Appreciation of Puppetry Throughout the City

The Free Neighborhood Tour fosters an appreciation for puppetry throughout the city by bringing free, family-friendly performances to locations outside of Chicago’s theaters, but areas in the city where people may not have the chance to see puppetry very often. The tour offers a range of high-quality puppetry styles and this year Krystal Puppeteers presents Tears by the River, a beautiful blending of traditional Kenyan puppetry, artistry and vocals.

The Free Neighborhood Tour is presented by Chicago Puppet Fest, Navy Pier, and Chicago Park District Night Out in the Parks. Special thanks to One Lawndale Youth Advisory Council.