Jornadas Educativas: 2nd Conference on Art,
Research, And Multidisciplinary Creation

[des] aprender: arte y pedagogías creativas
2das Jornadas de Arte, Investigación y Creación Multidisciplinaria

Here is the Zoom Link:

Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico in collaboration with CENTRO

Join us on Thursday, June 16th at 4 PM and Friday, June 17th through Saturday, June 18th starting at 11 AM EST for Jornadas Educativas - 2nd Conference on Art, Research, and Multidisciplinary Creation. In this event, the applicants of our collaborative call with el Museo del Arte de Puerto Rico will come together to showcase their work surrounding community educational experiences inside and outside creative disciplines in Puerto Rico and throughout the diaspora. The themes included in our panelists presentations include education, multidisciplinary creation and pedagogy, art, learning, research, teaching and learning processes in and outside of museums, and educational institutions, exhibition design and critical pedagogies, education and curatorship, contemporary and experimental pedagogical processes, learning and ancestry, past, present and future methodologies, and other fields of research that sheds light on these issues. The conferences and panels of this 2nd edition, critically explore how creativity reformulates learning spaces and community experiences inside and outside the creative disciplines both in Puerto Rico and in its diasporas.

Tune into this 3-day long presentation to learn all about their work, impact, and influence across disciplines. Bilingual services will be provided!




4PM: Prologue to Creatives Pedagogies: A Manifesto by the Creatives Pedagogies Team of MAPR
This panel showcases the Creative Pedagogies Research, Teaching and Mediation team of the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico as they present their reflections on the year after its launch.


11AM: AmeRican: Paintings/Collages/Videos - Juan Sánchez
Juan Sánchez mixed media paintings, works on paper and videos are visually layered and loaded. They speak to issues concerning Puerto Rico, NeoRican identity, and the struggle against colonialism. They are cultural, political, historical, as well as autobiographical. Sánchez uses various painting, drawing and collage techniques through color, surfaces, photographic and appropriated images, and text with the complexity of abstract, formal, and conceptual visual language. His art is like streams of consciousness penetrating through the cries, angst, rebellion, and struggle for self-determination. They also celebrate our heart, breath, aspirations, and life affirming spirit. As an educator and as an artist, Sánchez will share with us his experience on learning and unlearning.


1 PM: Creating from Zero - Joseph Cáceres, Lois Elaine Griffith, Vallerie Matos
This panel will explore African American and Afro-Caribbean diasporic religious practices and their centrality in the construction of Nuyorican artists’ anticolonial aesthetics. The panel will be framed by Nuyorican Poets’ Cafe and the Nuyorican Arts Movement founder, Miguel Algarín’s 1981 essay, “Nuyorican Literature,” where Algarín defines Point Zero as the source of Puerto Rican literature’s vibrancy.

4PM: Landscape and Sovereignty - A Three-Part Presentation by Alexandra Meléndez, Marie Cruz Soto, Rafael Capó
Environmental Sensitivity as Pedagogical Practice
The works of Fred Wilson, Zilia Sánchez, and Poli Marichal create a dialogue as a way of teasing out the intricacies of some of the most pervasive environmental/political issues facing Puerto Rico today. These include: legacies of colonialism/extraction, toxicity, energy sovereignty, and the reclamation of ancestral knowledge. This talk will model a pedagogical approach that focuses on close looking as a way of co-creating meaning and building dialogue.

Visual Sovereignty in Vieques, Puerto Rico
This panel explores how photography can be used to open conversations and create a language for decolonization in Vieques. “Visual Sovereignty in Vieques” is based on a project that brings together community members through conversation about Vieques. Participants go on walks and take photographs of the Viequense landscape—however broadly or narrowly defined. Afterwards, the community members reconvene to retake the dialogue on Vieques through the sharing of experiences and images.

Disrupting the official curriculum: Colonial monuments as pedagogical resources
The purpose of this intervention is to promote anti-racist, inclusive, and diversity of our collective identity and historical heritage. I end by sharing appreciations on the pedagogical opportunities generated by the collapse of the statue of Ponce de León and how the interrogation of public art can stimulate new appreciations about the past, present, and future of Puerto Rico.


11AM: Displacements: Footprints and Memory -- A Three-Part Presentation by Melanie Maldonado, Ángel Iván Rivera Morales, Perla de León and Wanda Benvenutti

Coloring Outside the Lines: creating visibility for marginalized diasporic artists and Afrodescendant communities
Artists occupy the liminal spaces of society, both observing and reflecting it. This panel will discuss the experiences of elderly tradition bearers for Bomba who exist in the margins of cultural production often unseen and unheard in Puerto Rico. (Dis)Similarly, academically and self-trained visual artists struggle to be seen in the shadow of Central Florida’s theme park culture. Melanie Maldonado will share her work to center seniors on the Island who are the last linkages to traditional Bomba practices - including the spaces and places their ancestors drummed, sang and danced. She will detail her work to visibilize these Black history sites of Bomba culture through a Lugares Históricos project. Ángel Rivera Morales provides a parallel narrative of work in the Diaspora to highlight Puerto Rican painters, sculptors and multimedia artists who are living in relative obscurity due to the limited opportunities to showcase their work in Greater Orlando. Rivera Morales will outline the steps he has taken to gather local artists and connect their work with the institutions and gatekeepers that can help bring exhibition opportunities. Both these presentations will review unconventional ways in which they have been successful in helping these culture bearers and producers receive access and opportunity.

Arts & Education under Terrorist Policies
By the 1960s, New York City’s Puerto Rican population numbered 1 out of every 8 citizens yet Social Studies and History books never identify Puerto Rico, much less Puerto Ricans. By the mid-1970s, NYC was approaching bankruptcy, a crisis that politicians attempted to solve by implementing policies like closing over 50 fires houses in poor neighborhoods (most occurred in the South Bronx) where over 600 fires would create a ‘concentration camp of fires’ for Black and Puerto Rican working class families whose children were stripped of all arts and sports programs, at a time of most need for expression and release from communal trauma. In a war zone where 80% of South Bronx housing burned to the ground, Black and Puerto Rican youngsters created a revolutionary series of art forms through DJs, MCs, Grafiti, Rap, Beat Boys and Salsa, art forms that traveled the world and continue to the present.

American Boricua: Puerto Rican Life in the United States
For the past 20 years Bevenutti have been on the road, conducting research and making photographs of Puerto Ricans from all walks of life for her first book, American Boricua:
Puerto Rican Life in the United States, the first multidisciplinary document of the Puerto Rican Diaspora in all 50 of the United States. In a time when the forces of fear and ignorance threaten the safety and dignity of many of our communities, American Boricua’s message of cultural unity serves to celebrate our common humanity. The opportunity to educate by inviting audiences to see their world differently is a large part of her mission in creating this body of work.

1 PM: Caribbean Archives - Natalia Gulik, Ana Teresa Solá Riviere and Paula Roque
This table presentation will focus on the work Archivos del Caribe has done so far with community archival efforts in Puerto Rico and its diaspora, with a particular focus on its current oral history project in Cayey and how this youth-led creative effort has renewed public historical education and strengthened community documentation efforts. Archivos del Caribe is a collective dedicated to creating and preserving Caribbean culture by means of historical documents and contemporary material, seeking to encourage individuals to reimagine a Caribbean through the different intersections of colonial policies and political endowments.

4 PM: Arts of Catastrophe - Frances Negrón Muntaner
Artist, curator, and scholar Frances Negrón-Muntaner will share from her work-in-progress titled "Arts of Catastrophe." In this essay, she investigates how, why, and to what effects neoliberal coloniality has created the conditions for art and artists to become a more central part of what she calls the "arts of catastrophe," or the ways that people, communities, and networks foster joy, learning, and life in the ruins of disaster. In this formulation, Negrón-Muntaner defines art as a "mode of inquiry" rather than an aesthetic object or form and differentiates catastrophe--a moment of overturning--from disaster, defined as the alignment of circumstances that leads to the devastation of life, places, and relations. In this epistemic and political transition, what is at stake is not simply a change in curriculum, or a different way of seeing or making art. Instead, it is what is built or left to ruin; who dies and who lives.


wb.pngWanda Benvenutti is a freelance photojournalist, writer, and editor from North Philadelphia, PA and Salinas, PR. Her photographs have been recognized by The Society of Professional Journalists, The National Press Photographers Association, and The National Hispanic Journalists Association. In 2008 Wanda was named a City Artist by the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and her work is featured in the book 100 New York Photographers by Cynthia Maris Dantzic.

She received a B.A. in English and Latin American Studies from Oberlin College, and an M.S. from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she completed the first Photography Master's Thesis in the school's history.

Her work has been exhibited widely, including at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama and the Jacob Lawrence Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington.

Wanda is currently finishing her book American Boricua, the first visual history of Puerto Rican life in all 50 of the United States. American Boricua will be seen next in the exhibition ¡Presente! A Latino History of the United States, at Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC. Wanda will be the featured artist at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April of 2023 in Louisiana.

JC.pngJoseph Cáceres is a queer Puerto Rican writer from the South Bronx. His work has been published in Slice magazine, Cosmonauts Avenue, CURA, and Emerge: 2019 Lambda Fellows Anthology. An alumnus of the Yale Writers’ Workshop, Joseph is also the recipient of the Bronx Council of the Arts’ Bronx Recognizes Its Own (BRIO) Grant for Fiction, and LAMBDA Literary Writers Residency for Emerging LGBTQ Voices. He is a PhD Candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center’s English program where he studies queer American artists of African and Caribbean descent. Joseph is currently working with the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Founders Archive Project on several projects revolving around the works of Nuyorican Poets Cafe queer founders, Miguel Algarín and Lois Elaine Griffith.



Rafael Capó is a doctoral candidate in Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia. They have completed substantial research in migration, history, decolonization, and more. They have served as a lecturer at the University of Puerto Rico, University of Southern California, University of British Columbia, and the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.

MCS.pngMarie Cruz Soto holds a Ph.D in History from the University of Michigan. They is a professor at New York University and has extensive teaching experience at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. Marie has worked on several different initiatives exploring demilitarization, decolonization, community health, history, sovereignty, and self-determination.


PDL.pngPerla De Leon is a Nuyorican artist who is most famous for her photo series “South Bronx Spirit” (1970s - 1980s). Her work has consistently challenged the way mainstream media portrayed the South Bronx. She has exhibited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Grace Mansion.


LEG.pngLois Elaine Griffith is a writer/artist living in Brooklyn, New York. She is one of the founders of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and has been a professor of English at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY.


NGDT.pngNatalia Gulic de Torres holds a Masters in Design Studies with a domain of Studies in Narratives from Cambridge University. They have experience in architecture and has several publications on climate, infrastructure, and post-Hurricane Maria architecture.

MM.pngMelanie Maldonado is an artivist and educator with doctoral training in Performance Studies. With a background in theater, she has performed traditional Puerto Rican music for 20+ years. In 2005, she both started the biennial Bomba Research Conference (organizing and hosting nine to date) and received a Diaspora Research grant from the Center for Puerto Rican Studies. She is published through Cambridge Scholars Press (2008) and the Centro Journal (2008), served as a Boricua slang editor for HEY YO! ¡YO SOY!! (2012) and Obatala’s Bugalu (2013); and contributed to the Grove Dictionary of American Music (2013) and the Centro Journal (2019). In 2011, Melanie started a Lugares Históricos project which highlighted Black history sites in Puerto Rico. In 2018, she led a first-of-its-kind community tour of these ancestral spaces and in 2019 began placing historical markers at these locations of importance for African diasporic gathering and traditional practices. Forthcoming publications include two book chapters about the Lugares Históricos project including one in the conference proceedings of the second Congreso de Afrodescendencia en Puerto Rico. Her work in Bomba has received five mayoral proclamations and recognitions by Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives. In 2021, she started the Africa Habla en Mi Puerto Rican genealogy series featuring artists of varying diasporic disciplines. Melanie is committed to creating access, building commUnity and helping families re-member the legacies of their ancestors. Her bomba research explicates women’s agency, the importance of textiles, genealogy, lineages of learning, songs as critical records, placemaking and historic spaces of praxis. Melanie is an alumnus of the Smithsonian Latino Museum Studies Program and is a state appointed grant reviewer for arts and culture in Florida. She serves as a board member of the Escuela de Bomba y Plena Tata Cepeda in Kissimmee and Alianza Center in Orlando. She was one of the 2020 Women in Culture for the New Jersey-based Raices Cultural Center and in 2022 was a speaker for the Arturo Alfonso Schomburg Symposium in Philadelphia and served as an artist-in-residence at Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center in Chicago.

ATM.pngAlexandra T. Mendez is a graduate of Williams College where they received their BA in English and Society and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin where they received their  MA in Modern and Contemporary Art. They are a Fulbright Scholar and has given talks with artists like Francisco Gonzalez Castro and Michael Anthony Garcia.



AIRM.pngÁngel Iván Rivera Morales is a renown artist who was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He received his Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the University of Puerto Rico, and has since then been featured in various art galleries in recognition of his artwork. Ángel has substantially contributed his work to major metropolitan communities including Chicago, Illinois and Orlando, Florida.


RC.jpegVallerie Matos holds a Masters in Literature, Language, and Criticism from CUNY Hunter College. They are the Program Director of Inwood Community Services and Adjunct Professor at Boricua College where they teach American Literature through multiple perspectives.


JS.jpegJuan Sánchez Painter, photographer, printmaker, and video artist Juan Sánchez was born to immigrant working-class Puerto Rican parents in Brooklyn, New York. He is part of a generation of artists-such as Coco Fusco, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Pepón Osorio, and Papo Colo-who in the 1980s and '90s explored questions of ethnic, racial, and national identity in their work. Among numerous group exhibitions in national and international gallery and museum venues, Sánchez had solo exhibitions at BRIC Arts/Media House, P.S.1/MoMA Contemporary Art Center, El Museo del Barrio, Exit Art, Bronx Museum of the Arts, the 5th Havana Biennale, and El Museo de Historia, Antropologia y Arte, Universidad de Puerto Rico. Among several permanent collections, his art is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Museum of Modern Art, El Museo del Barrio, and The Smithsonian Museum of American Art. Sánchez has been awarded grants and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Sánchez earned a BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art and a MFA from the Mason Gross School of the Arts of Rutgers University. He is Professor of Art at Hunter College in New York City.


FNM.jpegFrances Negrón-Muntaner is a filmmaker, writer, curator, scholar and professor at Columbia University, where she is also the founding curator of the Latino Arts and Activism Archive. Among her books and publications are: Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture (CHOICE Award, 2004), The Latino Media Gap (2014), and Sovereign Acts: Contesting Colonialism in Native Nations and Latinx America (2017). Her most recent films include Small City, Big Change (2013), War for Guam (2015) and Life Outside (2016). For her work as a scholar and filmmaker, Negrón-Muntaner has received Ford, Truman, Rockefeller, and Pew fellowships. She has similarly received various recognitions, including the United Nations' Rapid Response Media Mechanism designation as a global expert in the areas of mass media and Latin/o American studies (2008); the Lenfest Award, one of Columbia University's most prestigious recognitions for excellence in teaching and scholarship (2012), an inaugural OZY Educator

Negrón-Muntaner served as director of Columbia’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race from 2009-2016.  She was also the director of Unpayable Debt, a working group at Columbia University that studies debt regimes in the world and lead collaborator in two of its main projects NoMoreDebt: Caribbean Syllabus (first and second edition), and Valor y Cambio (Value and Change), a storytelling and social currency project in Puerto Rico,


Orgullosamente naranjiteña, Paula E. Roque Rivera es escritora y gestora cultural en formación. Obtuvo un bachillerato en Estudios Hispánicos, con una concentración menor en Estudios de Mujer y Género de la Universidad de Puerto Rico en Río Piedras. Anclada en teorías feministas y decoloniales, ha investigado sobre la literatura puertorriqueña contemporánea en Puerto Rico, con énfasis en temas de genealogía familiar, feminismo, espacio doméstico y narrativas caribeñas. Sus textos han sido publicados en Revista Cruce, Pulso Estudiantil, Archivos del Caribe y Periódico Claridad.

Actualmente cursa una Maestría en Gestión y Administración Cultural de la misma institución. Como estudiante graduada y asistente de investigación, trabaja con la colección de catálogos de exposiciones de la Colección de Artes de la Biblioteca Lázaro. También, forma parte del colectivo Archivos del Caribe como escritora y gestora del proyecto de historias orales Nuestro Archivo. Entre prácticas de yoga, apuntes y escaladas, juega a imaginar nuevas formas de habitar este archipiélago.
Alexandra Méndez is an art historian, writer, and educator from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Williams College with her B.A. in 2017 and has an MA from the University of Texas at Austin in Art History. Her research focuses on contemporary art from Puerto Rico and its ecological subject matter. Currently she is the Linde Family Foundation Coordinator of Academic Access at the Colby College Museum of Art.



June 16, 2022 at 4:00pm - June 18, 2022
Virtual Event
Damaris Santiago Yecenia Torres Susana Praver-Perez Paola Capo Ines Capo Rafael Capo Sharon De La Cruz Karrieann Soto Vega Johnny Irizarry raquel ortiz Dasharah Green maura toro-morn Kesi Foster Yasmin RAMIREZ, PhD Adriana Zavala Johnny Vega Patria Marin Alexis Ortiz Perla de Leon Clarissa Santiago-Toro Viviana Prado-Núñez Manuel A Mendez Adam Farcus Barbara Lopez Jose Camacho Raquel Torres Arzola Miriam Padilla Carmen Mojica Wanda Benvenutti J Placide Sharifa Hampton Alex Lopez Krizia Vargas-Garcia George Malave Sonia Baez Hernnadez María del Arroyo

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