Timeline of the Puerto Rican Community in Chicago
2006 The Institute for Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC) celebrates its official groundbreaking in May. This follows IPRAC’s 2001 establishment to provide quality community arts and culture programs. IPRAC will be the only self-standing cultural institution in the nation devoted to showcasing and preserving Puerto Rican arts and historic…
2006 On April 10th, the Puerto Rican Federal Affairs Administration's (PRFAA) Midwest Office is inaugurated by the Governors of Puerto Rico and Illinois, Anibal Acevedo Vila and Rod Blagojevich, respectively; they are joined by 4th District Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, 26th Ward Alderman Billy Ocasio, and elected officials and representatives…
2005 Teresa Roldán Paseo Boricua Apartments open on Campbell and Division Streets. The $11.6 million yellow facade, reminiscent of Viejo San Juan, contains 59 one-room units for elderly residents displaced by gentrification. The building’s Caribbean appearance is designed to further claim Division Street and Humboldt Park as Puerto Rican spaces,…
2004 New Films Production’s Antonio Franchesi releases “Urban Poet,” the first feature-length movie filmed in Humboldt Park. In addition, director Marisol Torres began filming “Boricua,” which was released the following year. These two films mark the beginnings of a Puerto Rican film industry in Chicago.
2004 The Humboldt Park Participatory Democracy Project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center establishes the community newspaper, “La Voz del Paseo Boricua,” and the “Return to El Barrio” campaign to call attention to the displacement of Puerto Ricans from the Humboldt Park area.
2003 Batey Urbano and the Division Street Business Development Association host the first annual “Haunted Paseo Boricua” on Halloween to provide a safe and culturally relevant space for Puerto Rican families.
1999-2003 Chicago’s Puerto Rican community plays an integral role in the struggle to remove the U.S. Navy from the island of Vieques. Through organizations like the National Boricua Human Rights Network (NBHRN), the political might of the Puerto Rican diaspora is exercised.
2003 Iris Martinez is elected to the Illinois State Senate, becoming the first Puerto Rican woman and Latina to hold this position.
2002 Café Teatro Batey Urbano, an initiative of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center, is open to offering young Puerto Ricans a space to develop their artistic talents through hip-hop, poetry, and other cultural expressions. Run by college students and area youth, Batey Urbano became the hub of Chicago's Puerto Rican/Latino…
1999 After twenty years of struggle, on September 10, Alejandrina Torres, Alberto Rodríguez, Edwin Cortés, Ricardo Jiménez, Luis Rosa, Elizam Escobar, Dylcia Pagán, Ida Luz Rodríguez, Alicia Rodríguez, Carmen Valentín, and Adolfo Matos are released from federal prison. The group served 19.5 years in federal prison.