Taller Puertorriqueño (Taller) announced that Dr. Carmen Febo San Miguel will retire as Executive Director after 22 years in this role. Her retirement will become effective November 1, 2021, allowing appropriate time for Taller to complete a search and ensure a seamless leadership transition for the organization. Dr. Febo’s service to Taller is remarkable not simply because of its length but its vision in creating Pennsylvania’s largest Puerto Rican and Latino arts organization and one of the most respected in the Northeast Region. While Dr. Febo has served as Executive Director of Taller since 1999, she was deeply engaged with Taller prior, as the Chair of its Board of Directors for 14 years. Under her wise stewardship across nearly four decades, Taller has grown from a small organization housed in one Philadelphia row home to a $1 million operation, now headquartered in the $11 million, state-of-the-art El Corazón Cultural Center. Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Latino community, this stunning facility serves as a pennant of culture, resilience, place, and creativity. Dr. Febo has also led Taller’s programmatic agenda in the expansion of Art Residencies into the School District of Philadelphia and other charter schools through the Visítenos (Visit Us) program. She further developed new collaborations to exhibit Taller’s art collection off-site, led the coordination of the ever-expanding Feria del Barrio, and has been called to collaborate and/or produce programming for The Kimmel Center’s International Festival for the Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Historical Society, the African American Museum in Philadelphia, and the Barnes Foundation, among others.
“It is difficult to imagine Taller without the visionary presence of Carmen Febo San Miguel on an everyday basis,” said Ellie DiLapi, Chair of Taller’s Board. “Her impact on Taller, on the Puerto Rican and Latinx community in Philadelphia, and on the region’s arts and culture scene is immeasurable. While known for her ‘soft-spoken’ leadership style, Carmen’s consistent message of cultural empowerment through the arts has galvanized our growing staff and passionate volunteers. What she has created at Taller has helped to transform the Puerto Rican and Latinx community in Philadelphia, and for that we are forever indebted to her. We wish her well as she moves into this well-deserved next chapter of her life.
Since its founding in 1974, Taller has faced a host of financial and institutional challenges like those faced by many non-profit arts organizations. Ever-changing foundation and funding priorities as well as government policies have spurred organizations to be innovative, resilient, and adaptive to an ever-changing economic landscape, particularly during times of economic contraction. Taller has been well-positioned to navigate these challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the persistent advocacy of Dr. Febo. “Taller has been central to my life for 36 years,” said Dr. Febo. “I am proud of all we have been able to accomplish during my tenure as Board Chair and then, Executive Director. Today, Taller is a dynamic, growth-oriented arts institution documenting and sharing with others the vibrant character of the Puerto Rican and Latino community. I prepare for my retirement knowing that Taller has a strong board, committed staff, and wonderful advocates across the city and state. I have every confidence in Taller moving forward and I look forward to helping ensure the success of my successor, once selected.”
Knowing of Dr. Febo’s desire to retire, Taller’s Board of Directors established a search committee, which has been working diligently to develop the necessary strategies to execute a careful succession plan. The Committee’s focus is on avoiding any interruption in leadership while identifying, recruiting, and hiring the next Taller Executive Director to guide the organization into its next phase of growth. A job position will be widely circulated in the coming weeks with specific instructions on the application process. For more information regarding Taller Puertorriqueño, please visit: https://tallerpr.org/.