The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture just hosted their 18th Barrio Arts Fest. This free of charge family friendly event was held during the weekend of July 14th and 15th. Over 1,700 people attended this year. The festival has continuously grown throughout the years. The museum utilized their entire space during the festival by having their galleries open for the visitors to see their current exhibits. The festival was taking place at their outdoors creating an inviting environment for picnic and family fun, including a family workshop station where you can join in and make your crafts as you enjoy the live music and performances.


Special activities included a weekend master class with Jose Ramos, actor from Hamilton, in which students had a chance to meet and perform for the class, followed by a Q & A session with the actor. Marisa Paolicelli de Jesús, author of award winning books There is a coquí in my Shoe and Lightkeepers to the Rescue! did a book reading and magic show for the kids to enjoy. After the book reading, the kids had a handson workshop, in which they could paint their own lighthouse. Y no había luz, theater group from Puerto Rico also presented one of their plays called Centinela de Mangó, a play they wrote after Hurricane María, inspired in a famous mango tree that lies in a mountain hill. This theater piece invites the audience to reflect on their ancestral roots and the importance of solidarity and the arts as a healing vehicle. The museum partnered with Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center to launch their new exhibit Circus of Absence. Additionally, the Chicago Shedd Aquarium brought their mobile aquarium displaying fish from the Great Lakes. It is without a doubt a well thought family friendly event for the community to enjoy a weekend of local arts, culture, music and food.

This year Barrio Arts Fest showcased 26 local artists and vendors in the courtyard and a selection of local food vendors in the lawn area,amongst them Nellie’s Restaurant and Amor y Sofrito. A selection of local musicians performed including: La Trova del 31, Orquesta Leal, Grupo Tumbao, Roy McGrath and Africaribe. The lineup delighted the audience with some música jibara, boleros, latin jazz, salsa, merengue and some bomba. The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture is a cultural and edThe National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture Educational institution devoted to the promotion, integration and advancement of Puerto Rican arts and culture by presenting exhibitions and programming created to enhance the visibility and importance of the rich Puerto Rican traditions. Located in Humboldt Park, in the heart of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, NMPRAC is th

e only self-standing cultural museum in the nation devoted to showcasing Puerto Rican arts, culture and historic exhibitions year-round. The museum is conveniently located 15 minutes from Downtown Chicago. 3015 West Division Street Chicago, IL 60622 | (773) 486-8345 |

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