Faced with the collapse of the State and the abuses of FEMA in post-Maria Puerto Rico, we have organized ourselves in self-managed spaces around the Island known as Centros de Apoyo Mutuo (Mutual Support Centers + CAM). In addition to providing support to overcome urgent needs in the communities, we promote their empowerment and create discussion spaces to generate critical thinking and the understanding that we are facing a political disaster that is even more dangerous than the natural disaster.
After an incredible response from our community and reaching our initial goal of $30,000, we launched a second phase of our fundraising campaign with a higher goal and larger impact beyond our immediate community. In this next phase, we will provide support to local mutual aid groups, expand the equipment and capacity of our collective kitchen at Casa-Taller, and purchase and distribute aid to those desperately in need of food and supplies through our grassroots networks in Puerto Rico.DONATE NOW!
We collaborated with our compañerxs at CultureStrike to produce this illustrated 10-step action plan to rebuild Puerto Rico. After hurricane María, our dear comrade, Hiram Rivera Marcano developed these ten points in communication and solidarity with our people in Santurce who were consumed by relief efforts, yet concerned about articulating the political catastrophe happening on the island.
AgitArte is an organization of working class artists and cultural organizers who create projects and practices of cultural solidarity with grassroots struggles against oppression, and propose alternatives that generate possibilities for transformations in our world. We initiate and lead community-based educational and arts programs, along with projects that agitate in the struggles for liberation.
Saulo Colon | Dey Hernández | Javier Maldonado | Paulina Helm-Hernández
We focus on cultural solidarity with individuals, communities, organizations, and their struggles rooted in the holistic understanding that humans require more than their material needs satisfied. Cultural work facilitates emotional as well as economic development.
We help to build the cultural infrastructure of grassroots struggles (using street theatre and political puppetry, etc) while also educating and agitating for the social, economic, and human rights of the diverse communities of the working class.
Our work requires the artistic and educational development of cultural workers committed not only to their art but also to the social and economic progress of the people most involved in these struggles, especially those most impacted by the enduring inequalities in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Founder & Artistic Director
Jorge is a cultural worker/popular educator, community organizer, puppeteer and DJ (Cano Cangrejo) from Puerto Rico with over 20 years of praxis in the field. Jorge is deeply committed to working class struggles that challenge patriarchy, white supremacy, imperialism and capitalism in all of its forms. He received his BA in Mass Communication from Emerson College, Boston in 1994. He is currently the artistic director of AgitArte. He is actively engaged in struggles for liberation and a member of the Movimiento Socialista de Trabajadores. Jorge is also a founding member of Papel Machete, a collective of radical artists and street theater/puppetry workers dedicated to education, agitation and solidarity work in 21st century Puerto Rico and its Diaspora. He has been a political adviser, mentor, gathering designer and an editor of the book When We Fight, We Win!.
Curator, Designer and Board Member
Deymirie (Dey) Hernández Vázquez is an architect, interdisciplinary artist, and educator. She holds a Master of Architecture (MArch) from the University of Puerto Rico, and is a board member of AgitArte. She received her BS in Environmental Design in 2001 from the same institution. Issues of race, identity, language, and community are fundamental to her work. She experiences first-hand the power of the creative process in the lives of youth, as a teaching artist throughout the city of Boston. She has designed and directed art workshops with AgitArte since 2008, and is also a puppeteer of the radical workers’ theater collective, Papel Machete. Her work and performances most recently have been exhibited at the Mills Gallery of the Boston Center for the Arts, Hibernian Hall, Roxbury Community College and Loisaida Center, Lower East Side, New York City. Currently, Dey is the art director and curator of the book When We Fight, We Win! and collaborates with Danza Orgánica, a social justice oriented dance theater company based in Boston.
Papel Machete Co-Director, AgitArte Program Coordinator
Sugeily Rodríguez Lebrón is a performance artist, puppeteer and active member of Papel Machete. She gratuated in 2001 from the University of Puerto Rico with a BA in History. Sugeily is a committee member of "Titeretada", an annual event that celebrates world puppetry day and puppeteers of "Sobre la Mesa" collective. She collaborated with Las Américas Museum for the coordination of "Cuentos de las Américas", a monthly puppet show and puppet/mask-making workshops for children. She worked as administrator of Pablo Casals Museum and Teatro Estudio Yerbabruja and for more than 10 years she was Program Coordinator for the Festival Casals de Puerto Rico and Festival Interamericano de las Artes. Sugeily is currently working as program coordinator and artist with AgitArte in Puerto Rico.
AgitArte Development Coordinator
Tina is a cultural worker, writer, photographer, and website/graphic designer whose work explores the intersections of culture, community, and social justice. From 2012 to 2016 she worked at El Puente, a community-based youth development, arts and social justice organization, and helped lead their Green Light District initiative, a ten-year holistic sustainability campaign to grow, green, and celebrate Los Sures (the Southside of Williamsburg), Brooklyn. Tina first engaged with AgitArte | Papel Machete through a collaboration for the project smArtAction: ¡A Estudiar y A Luchar! an exhibition of artwork and creative strategies produced during the University of Puerto Rico student movement of 2010-2011. Since then, Tina has helped produce AgitArte’s La Madre Tierra (Mother Earth) and If All Lives Matter 'cause We're All Created Equal, Why Are Some Lives More Equal Than Others? with El Puente. Tina received her BA in art history and writing from Ithaca College and her MA in Art and Public Policy from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She currently lives in New Orleans, LA.
Casa-Taller Garden Coordinator
JibaraTaina, born in Lares. Sociologist, agroecologist and indigenous activist. Promoter and defender of indigenous rights as co-founder of "Frente de Resistencia Indigena de Boriken". Researcher and claimant of the indigenous traditions including areytos, linguistic studies, cosmogony and iconography, action that leads obtain a certification in "Parteria Comunitaria" and to acquire a land in Otoao developing the agroecological indigenous project. Participates in resistance struggles in defense and protection of archaeological sites, access to ceremonial centers and return of ancestral human bones. Its flag of fight is to resume the alliances with the Native and Latin American Nations, action that in 2004 takes her to travel the north visiting the tribes Seminole, Cherokee, Comanche, Hopi, Navajo and Apache. And that in 2006 takes her to cycle Centro America – Mexico, Guatemala, San Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. As a result of agroecology workshops taken in Cuba and at the University of Antioquia in Medellin, Colombia and adquiring a permaculture certification in St.Croix and as of respond of political process of decolonization she promotes emancipation through popular agroecology and food sovereignty co-founding the “Movimiento de Agroecologia Popular”. She has been a delegate of Boriken in Indonesia, Haiti, Cuba, Quisqueya, Argentina and Colombia articulating issues in popular agrarian reform, food sovereignty, biodiversity, peasant struggle and feminism and indigenous rights. In 2014, collaborated with Papel Machete at the Peoples Climate March in NYC. Currently, she is cofounder of CETA- Centro de Estudios Transdisciplinarios en Agroecologia , co-founder of APER- Asociacion Puertorriquena de Estudios Rurales and militates in the decolonization movement- Jornada: Se Acabaron las Promesas.
Papel Machete Co-Director, AgitArte Board Member
Javier has an MFA, mayor in Printmaking and minor in Painting, from Rochester Institute of Technology, New York in 2009. He received his BA in Fine Arts at the University of Puerto Rico in 2003. The same year, he joined the Puerto Rico Indymedia collective as web administrator, reporter and photojournalist. In 2005, Javier joined the AgitArte project at San Mateo de Cangrejos, Santurce. Later, he became part of the street theater troupe Papel Machete in 2006 where he works as a puppeteer and illustrator, and recently became one of his art directors. His work has been shown in Puerto Rico, Miami, San Francisco, Boston, Vermont, New York, Japan, Spain, Portugal, Dominican Republic and Cuba. He also works as an adjunct professor at the School of Fine Arts of San Juan, and at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus Museum, as an art instructor.
2016-2017 Resident Artist
Lío Villahermosa is a visual artist, dancer of Puerto Rican bomba music and an teacher of both disciplines. He has a BA in Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico. His work transits between visual arts, dance, and performance. Being knowledgeable in traditional forms, he reformulates them, making a commentary on masculinities and gender roles. His story is the focus of the documentary " El hijo de Ruby" by Gisela Rosario Ramos. His works include the performance "Con la falda bien puesta" (2012), and the art exhibit "Cuarentena y Magestades (2015). Currently, he offers art and dance workshops in his community of Santurce.
Papel Machete Member, 2015-2016 Resident Artist
Agustín Muñoz Ríos is a Puerto Rican musician, singer-songwriter and guitar player. He currently studies composition in the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music under Manuel Ceide, and also takes guitar courses with Leonardo Egúrbida and Luis Enrique Juliá. In 2004 he travelled to Cuba as Cultural Ambassador of Puerto Rico with the Juan Rius Rivera Brigade, giving concerts in Holguín and Havana, and participating in the A Guitarra Limpia series of the Centro Pablo La Torriente Brau. He was a member of the board of directors of the Taller de Cantautores cooperative, participating in various recitals in their famed Cafe-Theater in Rio Piedras. Founding member of the group Perros de Pavlov, with two recordings (2011 and 2014), he has penned most of its songs. With them, he has performed throughout Puerto Rico and in Madrid, Barcelona, and Málaga in Spain, in 2012. Since 2011 he has been a part of Papel Machete theater collective, being the director of its Street Band since 2013. He has published articles in printed and digital media, including Bandera Roja and Indymedia Puerto Rico, on the political situation and musical scene of his country.
Videographer and Visual Artist
Osvaldo Budet (b. 1979) is a Puerto Rican artist based between New York and Berlin. He graduated in 2008 from the 'Maryland Institute College of Art' with a Master of Fine Arts. His films, photography and paintings are centered around post colonialism, colonialism and environmental politics in art. His work is held in both public and private museums and collections in the USA, Puerto Rico and Europe. In 2012 he was an artist in residence in the Arctic with the 'Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research'. He has collaborated with BMW Germany and Kirow Germany. His films have been shown in international exhibitions and festivals in San Juan, Tel Aviv, New York and Berlin.
2015 Resident Artist
Anabel Vázquez Rodríguez is an independent curator, artist and organizer. Her current curatorial projects include Guest Curator at Galería Yemayá saluting the IV Trienal Poli/Gráfica de San Juan: América Latina y el Caribe; in collaboration with her curatorial collective DISCORDIAFILMS (2009 - present) creating video cultural exchanges between the Americas. She founded the art collective Esprit De Corps (2002-2008) and was curator at Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción’s LA GALERÍA from 2010-12.2014. A 2013 full scholarship recipient to The Association of American Cultures' Open Dialogue Conference in Providence RI, she has been recognized as an authoritative voice, holding positions on judging panels for the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Boston Foundation, and the TransCultural Exchange Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts. http://anabelvazquez.com
2015 Resident Artist
Shannon is a farmer and food advocate from Toronto, Ontario. For five years, she has travelled throughout North America spearheading sustainable food growing systems in diverse environments, from homesteads to urban gardens. Most recently, Shannon acted as the farmer at Bread and Puppet Theater in Vermont. She has a Masters degree in Creative Writing and is a qualified Home Economist with the Ontario College of Teachers.