This summer, The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture (NMPRAC) will bring back its signature Barrio Arts Fest (BAF) after a year of being closed due to COVID-19. The free weekend- long event has been celebrated annually since the founding of the Museum in 2000, but was cancelled in 2020 to ensure the safety of our community. Featuring a wide variety of Puerto Rican artists and artisans, local food vendors, live musical performances, and family-friendly workshops, BAF showcases the vibrancy of our creative communities in Humboldt Park and beyond. Being that 2020 marked the Museum’s 20th Anniversary as a cultural institution, NMPRAC is excited to relaunch BAF bigger, better, and safer than ever with a special emphasis on “All Things Humboldt Park” to honor the triumphs of our rich neighborhood and our collective resilience.
In the past, NMPRAC has hosted mask-making workshops, theatrical plays, children’s book readings and activities, bomba dance lessons, master classes with professional artists, and more. During the event, the entire Museum property is utilized with exhibitions remaining open, vendors stationed throughout our courtyard and large lawn, and special attractions located in our parking lot, which have included classic cars shows and Shedd Aquarium’s mobile aquarium. In 2019, BAF showcased 40 Puerto Rican artists and welcomed more than 2,500 visitors. Being that artists are among the worst hit by the unexpected pandemic, we are anticipating even more vendor participants and guests, especially now that the vaccination campaign is well underway, and the city is beginning to open back up safely.