20 May A Look Back at 2016
Last year, AgitArte | Papel Machete traveled throughout the continental United States and Puerto Rico, collaborating and building with artists, organizers, cultural workers, and activists in San Juan and Santurce, Boston, Atlanta, Oakland, and New York, to name a few. As co-creators of the book When We Fight, We Win! Twenty-First Century Movements and the Activists That Are Transforming Our World, our creative network has expanded, along with our commitment to grassroots movement building.
Founded in 1997, AgitArte’s mission is to create projects and practices of cultural solidarity with workers and marginalized communities in grassroots struggles to protest injustice and propose alternatives that, in turn, generate possibilities for fundamental transformations in our world. We work in communities threatened by under-development, displacement and gentrification, using the arts and cultural work to educate and organize for social and economic justice.
Looking ahead to this year and continuing the success of When We Fight, We Win!, now in its 4th printing and recently featured in this list of 7 books to help prepare for Trump’s presidency, we are collaborating with People’s Collective Arts artist, Rachel Schragis to develop a scroll project on colonization and Puerto Rico. With our collaborators from SONG (Southerners On New Ground), we will continue art projects we started last year, along with developing a broader cultural strategy for the year. AgitArte | Papel Machete artist Dey Hernández and Brooklyn Quilt Girl, Sylvia Hernández are developing a quilt project based on the Movement for Black Lives Platform.
The Papel Machete Collective will present two new theater pieces: a Cantastoria and a tabletop puppetry performance. At Casa-Taller, our space in Puerto Rico led by Sugeily Rodriguez, resident artist Lío Villahermosa will offer two sessions of bomba classes, and Garden Coordinator Pluma Barbara Caribe will offer several workshops that engage community members with the Casa-Taller garden. Finally, in May, AgitArte will celebrate 20 years of grassroots cultural work. Stay tuned for details for our anniversary celebration! For years, our frontline communities have been struggling politically against the terrible oppression which has resulted in these challenging times. As we enter our 20th year, we are grateful for our collaborators and supporters, and energized to continue organizing and agitating with art for our liberation.
Thank you for your support in 2016 and we look forward to 2017!
Jorge Díaz Ortiz | Dey Hernández | Sugeily Rodriguez | Tina Orlandini