The City of New York has given a boost of life to one of the city’s most thriving theaters. The Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater received $3 million to continue its work to champion Puerto Rican and Latino artists and produce original bilingual plays and musicals.
As reported by the New York Times, the new funding, provided by the mayor, the City Council, and the Bronx borough president, is in addition to the nearly $7 million that the Department of Cultural Affairs has already dedicated to the theater company over the past eight years, bringing the total to $10.2 million. The funds will be used to build a new cultural and administrative headquarters in the South Bronx.
“Arts and culture will be at the heart of this city’s recovery,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “And this theater will give young Bronxites more opportunities than ever to build a more inclusive cultural future for our city.”
For the theater company, the expanded space will allow for more educational and other programming, Rosalba Rolón, founding artistic director of Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, told the Times.
“I can’t tell you the excitement our neighbors have,” Rolón said in an interview on Friday. “This is the kind of service Bronx artists need. The community might be able to use the space in other ways as well, for town halls and community meetings.”
Founded in 1979, the Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater is a multigenerational performing arts ensemble that hosts multidisciplinary arts development and bilingual art installations in the Bronx and Manhattan. As explained by Broadway World, Pregones’ mission is to champion the Puerto Rican/Latino cultural legacy of universal value through the creation and performance of original plays and musicals, exchange and partnership with other artists of merit, and engagement of diverse audiences.
“For years, Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater has served to advance bi-lingual performing arts throughout the City, especially in the Bronx and Manhattan. Their dedication to the diaspora through artistic expression has spurred the development of many Puerto Rican, Latinx, and other underrepresented artists,” said Council Member Diana Ayala, “Which is why I am excited that today we are announcing $10.2 million in funding to build a new headquarters for the Pregones Theater. The new building will allow for continued growth as a cultural anchor and legacy through creation and performance.”