project leader
Tito M
Loiza Street
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Almost there!

the project

Plena is a traditional Afro-Puerto Rican musical genre. Santurce, a neighborhood in San Juan, has a rich history of plena groups, composers and performers. Plena Cangrejera will set up 15 stations along busy Loíza Street to tell the stories of some of these cultural warriors. The stations will each have a photograph of a performer or group with a brief description of their work and a QR code that will take the visitors to the website where they can listen to a podcast with each interviewee and their music, and also read their bios and link to their webpages and social media.

This multidisciplinary exhibit will also offer a monthly musical tour in which we will play some of the songs of the featured pleneros walking from one station to the next. Tito, main curator of the exhibit, is a Grammy nominated lifelong plenero who also lives in the neighborhood, and leader of the band Viento de Agua, will lead the musical tours with local pleneros. 

The stations will be placed on the walls of private buildings, facing the street, some are homes and others are businesses, the outreach of incorporating them to the project is a very important part of our work since it is a way of engaging the community with the project. This outreach will also be done by a neighbor that will be hired for these purpose. The entire project is a tribute to a local art form and to the history of the community. Our aim is for this to be a first step of a long term project that will include conferences, cultural events and a permanent exhibit at a local closed school reappropiated by the community.

the steps

Research and interviews: Narrow the list of artists that will be featured, contact them and make interviews with either them or their families and friends. November 2019

Community outreach: Establish the sites where the stations will be located and meet with owners, tenants and administrators to coordinate the placement of each station. November 2019

Podcasts and website: Create, design and develop the website. Produce and edit the podcasts for each one of the 15 stations. December 2019

Installation, opening and presentations: Installation of the boards, opening event and first musical tour. December 2019

why we're doing it

Our neighborhood has a rich cultural history. Some of Puerto Rico's most adored musicians hail from here including Ismael Rivera and Rafael Cortijo, musical innovators that took plena to an international level. Their stories must be told. Their stories are the stories of a working class that resisted with music, that literally built some of these streets, many pleneros were also construction workers. Afro-Puerto Ricans that immensely contributed to the foundations of this barrio are many times missing from history lessons.

The essence of this community should be preserved because even though the hood is been rapidly gentrifyng, we are still here. The project is part of a wider community effort to support an inclusive narrative that tells the story of those that came before us that defined the sector as what it still is today a vibrant and diverse community. Plena Cangrejera will strengthen our community's sense of belonging and pride. We aspire to contribute to the wider conversation towards a healthier, stronger and more resilient community. 



Disbursed Budget:

concept, research and community outreach: $8000 (instead of the original $6000 because an additional person from the community was hired to do the outreach)

Podcasts and texts: $4500 (the remaining amount will be in lind by artists)

Graphic design and digital platform for website: $6300

Monthly walks will be paid for with funds from a grant

10% for fiscal sponsor: $2066

TOTAL RAISED = $21,548.00
ioby Platform Fee $35.00
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $646.44

Original Budget:

Concept, research and community outreach, this includes research about the 15 artists, groups or events that will be featured, interviews with each of them and coordination with the owners or administrators of the locations where he stations will be installed: $6000

Podcasts,  texts and photos, printing and installation. This includes 15 interviews, editing and production of podcasts, photographers fees, printing and installation costs: $5000

Graphic design and website, development, design and creation of the digital platform and stations: $7000

Musical tours (1 year), a group of pleneros led by Tito Matos will lead a monthly musical tour of the exhibit: $6000

ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $743
TOTAL TO RAISE = $24,778


Almost there!

Thanks to your support our project is on its way! 15 stations are almost ready. The work and legacy of plena practitioners and groups will be honored in Loíza Street soon enough. 



This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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