The CERF+ Board held its spring meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 22 and 23 at the Foundation for Puerto Rico and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico respectively. During their time on the island the board and staff met with artists and artisans, cultural and business leaders, government agencies, philanthropists, and journalists. They also had the opportunity to travel to artists’ studios, cultural facilities, museums, and universities. “Our board dedicated their time in Puerto Rico to listening to and experiencing the wonderfully diverse and rich cultural community of the island where CERF+ has done so much work the past year,” notes CERF+ Executive Director, Cornelia Carey.
During the four day visit, CERF+ hosted a reception with The Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos Dra. Josefina Camacho de la Nuez in Gurabo to honor Zulma Santiago for her dedication to and promotion of the island’s artisan community. We also co-hosted an artists’ panel discussion at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico facilitated by curator Marina Reyes Franco. The discussion featured four artists, including CERF+ Board member, Tanya Aguiniga, Cannupa Hanska Lugar, Marta Pérez-García, and Dhara Rivera, who all create multi-dimensional work addressing critical social issues affecting indigenous, migrant, and border communities, as well as gender violence and environmental degradation. Finally, the CERF+ Board was honored with a reception and exhibition hosted by Tito and Jaime Suarez Toro who invited 35 wood and ceramic artists to share their outstanding work with us.
In Defying Darkness: The Need for Creative and Cultural Responders CERF+ Board member, Barry Bergey, shares his observations of the cultural community and its importance to recovery in Puerto Rico. Barry is the former director of the Folk and Traditional Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts where he served for over 30 years. Click here to read more about Barry’s experience.