Puerto Rican Art Workers Demonstration at Museum of Modern Art Puerto Rican Art Workers Establish Taller Boricua/The Puerto Rican Workshop in East Harlem

Spring 1970

May 2, 1970 AWC, GAAG and the Black and Puerto Rican Emergency Cultural Coaltion  wage a demonstration at Museum of Modern Art demand the creation of a Martin Luther King and Pedro Albizu Campos wing

May 22, 1970 – Puerto Rican Art Workers participate in the Art Workers Coalition Artist Strike of New York City Museums .  PRAW  pickets the Museum of the City of New York for failure to recognize Puerto Rican and African American contributions to the City.

Late May 1970


PRWAC, together with African American artists Faith Ringgold and Tomas Lloyd stage a sit in at offices of Tomas Hoving, the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to demand  decentralize their art collections, hire museum personnel of color and exhibit works by African Americans, Puerto Ricans, Women and other minorities.   As a result of PRAW activism, The Metropolitan Museum of Art later hires Irvine MacManus (Puerto rican/irish descent) to serve as community liason in in Education Department.  MacManus becomes a champion of  Puerto Rican arts community at  Metropolitan Museum.

June 2nd, 1970

The PRWC  picket the American Association of Museums Conference.


Manuel Neco Otero

August 1970 

RGS/UPS political activism instigates  government pullout  of funding and disbanding of organization.  Manuel Neco Otero offers Garcia, Dimas, Soto and Rubio free occupancy of the RGS building lon 1673 Madison Avenue on the corner of 111th Street  and remains with group.    The artists initially name the space  El Taller de 111 and invite two prominent artists from the Society of the Friends of Puerto Rico to join them: Rafael Tufino and Carlos Osorio. The artists later changed the name of their collective to El Taller Alma Boricua/The Puerto Rican Workshop.

September 17, 1970.

El Taller Alma Boricua/The Puerto Rican Workshop incorporate as a 501C3 not-for profit organization on September 17, 1970.  In its first month of operation the artists set up a printmaking studio to produce posters for demonstrations and events.  The core members Taller Boricua during its first year were: Rafael Tufino, Carlos Osorio, Marcos Dimas, Manuel Neco Otero, Martin Rubio, Armando Soto, Adrian Garcia and Nitza Tufino.

Armando Soto

Armando Soto

October 30, 1970  

Taller Boricua creates posters for a march to United Nation in support of indepednece to Puerto rico.   Organized by the Young Lords, The Puerto Rican Independence Party, El Movimiento Pro Independecia and the Black Panthers, the march attracted thousands of demonstrators to picket the U.N

Focus: Rafael Tufino and Carlos Osorio

Co-founder of the island’s first artist collective, CAP, and director of the Puerto Rican government’s printmaking studio, DIVEDCO,  Rafael Tufino  was a towering figure in the history of Puerto Rican art. Called el pintor del pueblo, Tufino’s renderings of the island’s working class supplied generations of Puerto Ricans with primary pictures of their identity.  More than providing technical assistance, Tufino championed the younger artists’ desire to develop a visual language that reflected the root heritages of the Puertro Rico’s oppressed peoples:  the indigenous Tainos and enslaved Africans. The integration of African and Taino iconography becomes a stylistic feature in the work Taller Boricua’s core members.   Depictions of Puerto Rican Abolition and Independence leaders also become popular subjects.

Additional Events:

October 11, 1970   The New York Times publishes Felipe  Dante’s editorial,   But Where is Our Soul,” a critical responseo Bruce Davidson’s  representation of Puerto Ricans in “East 100th Street,” a photo exhibition at   Museum of Modern Art.   (The New York Times, Sunday, October 11, 1970)