Neighbors: The Puerto Rican Philly Experience

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Neighbors: The Puerto Rican Philly Experience

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Philadelphia, PA— For the better part of a year, a group of educators, community activists, clergy, students, and genealogists have immersed themselves in Philadelphia's Puerto Rican cultural history as participants in a new collaborative program between the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and Taller Puertorriqueño (Taller). This summer, the project will launch a new online exhibition—and on Saturday, March 2, members of the public are invited to learn more about the work, preview the project, and offer feedback on the in-progress site.

Event: Neighbors: The Puerto Rican Philly Experience
Date: Saturday, March 2
Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Location: Taller Puertorriqueño
2600 North 5th St
Philadelphia, PA 19133
Details and registration: FREE and open to the public; RSVP at

High-resolution images available for publication:

The program participants did archival research drawing from the collections of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and Taller Puertorriqueño’s Eugenio María de Hostos Archives.

“It was important to us to allow the participants to identify the themes and questions that resonated with them as they connected with archival materials,” says Beth Twiss Houting, senior director of programs and services at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. “When the project began, the outcome was open-ended: would we create an exhibition, or a performance, or something else entirely? We wanted this group to tell us what sort of program they would want.”

For Carmen Febo San Miguel, MD—executive director of Taller Puertorriqueño—the project exemplifies Taller’s distinctive model of community programming, using art and education as a vehicle for understanding and preserving culture. “Stewardship of our archival records reflects our commitment to reveal and memorialize the history of the community we represent so all become aware of the events and people that have shaped the present within the neighborhood’s historical narrative,” she explains. “The focus of this effort has been to document those experiences through a thematic lens of neighborhoods, and more specifically, the role of economic forces that transform the neighborhood’s characteristics over time.”

This program has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

About Taller Puertorriqueño

Taller Puertorriqueño (Taller) is a community-based cultural organization founded in 1974 as a workshop to teach printmaking to youth. Taller’s primary purpose is to preserve, develop and promote Puerto Rican arts and culture, grounded in the conviction that embracing one's cultural heritage is central to community empowerment. Taller is also committed to the representation and support of other Latinx cultural expressions and common roots. For more information about Taller, please visit

About the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, founded in 1824, is one of the nation’s largest archives of historical documents. We are proud to serve as Philadelphia’s Library of American History, with over 21 million manuscripts, books, and graphic images encompassing centuries of US history. HSP serves more than 4,000 on-site researchers annually and millions more around the globe who use its online resources. HSP is also a leading center for the documentation and study of ethnic communities and immigrant experiences in the 20th century, and one of the largest family history libraries in the country. Through educator workshops, research opportunities, public programs and lectures throughout the year, we strive to make history relevant and exhilarating to all. For more information, visit