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Ágora Cultural Architects receives grant for Boricua art project

Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Ágora Cultural Architects receives grant for Boricua art project
Elsa Mosquera Sterenberg, cultural manager, Ágora Cultural Architects. COURTESY PHOTO

Ágora Cultural Architects has received a $700,000 grant from The Mellon Foundation to develop a Puerto Rican “cultural corridor” amplifying the work of local Boricua artists in the Eastern United States. Elsa Mosquera Sterenberg, Ágora Cultural Architects’ cultural manager, will spearhead the project, dubbed “Bori-Corridor” and focused primarily on Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut.

“Bori-Corridor was created with two goals,” says Mosquera Sterenberg. “Firstly, to connect local artists with the important diasporic audience, which seeks to continue nurturing its connection to its cultural roots. We also seek to highlight the history and great work which Boricua cultural organizations have carried out across so many communities in the United States.”

The project is twofold. In the first piece, Ágora will put out a call for proposals from solo artists or ensembles. The selected artists will carry out a presentation tour across several different states about their work, supported in production and promotion by Ágora. The goal here is to spread the word about Puerto Rican artists working in the region and to connect them with cultural organizations for future collaborations.

In the project’s second piece, Ágora will create an online map identifying cultural centers that focus on highlighting Puerto Rican arts and culture. The map will provide historical and cultural context to foster a greater understanding of diverse Puerto Rican communities. It will also connect artists, cultural intermediaries and the general public with these organizations to encourage partnership.

Bori-Corridor is just as much for the public as it is for the artists and cultural organizations involved. The resources created will allow members of the Puerto Rican diaspora to find Boricua artists and events near them, keeping the culture thriving.

Ágora Cultural Architects is Boston-based initiative whose goal is to increase visibility of Latino arts and culture by empowering and supporting Latino artists in the United States through financial and community resources. Mosquera Sterenberg, a co-founder of the initiative, says her involvement in the Puerto Rican culture sector is informed by her time as director of the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts here in Boston.

“These organizations have carried out immense efforts to preserve our Boricua identity and share this heritage with the generations which have grown within the diaspora,” says Mosquera Sterenberg. “This effort seeks to acknowledge their work and enable new relationships between those who seek to promote Puerto Rican culture in the island and in the diaspora.”

Ágora Cultural Architects, arts, Boricua, Latino, Latinx, puerto rico