Photograph ca. 1991 depicting the Estampas Colombianas dance company, from the Estampas Colombianas photographs (PG380). Photo courtesy of Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Taller Puertorriqueño’s new building at 2600 North 5th St., Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Taller Puertorriqueño.
Tree planting ceremony, part of the revitalization of Philadelphia’s North Fifth Street El Bloque de Oro, initiated by the Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia during the 1970s. Photo courtesy of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s façade at night, with the digital wall in view. Photo by Vincent Fraley.
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (HSP) will collaborate with Taller Puertorriqueño to engage members of Philadelphia’s Puerto Rican community in developing new programming, inspired by the history preserved in both organizations’ collections. Inviting audiences to mine the organizations’ holdings that document the experiences of Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia, Audience Embedded aims to give community members an active role in how the city’s cultural heritage is interpreted and presented, and considers how economic forces transform a neighborhood’s characteristics over time. A team of technical and artistic advisors, including playwright/director Ain Gordon, visual artist Michelle Ortiz, public historians, and scholars, will guide the community cohort in their exploration of the two archives, as well as a creative process of program development. In year two of the project, HSP will present public programs based on the participants’ work. HSP says the project represents its newly re-envisioned strategic direction to “preserve, share, and interpret the stories of people who have typically been marginalized by the historical record.”