Tuesday, March 2, 2021
This event is co-sponsored by the Society of the Educational Arts, Inc.(SEA) / Teatro SEA.
This new animated short is inspired by Pura Belpré’s first picture book, Pérez and Martina: A Portorican Tale, which tells the story of beautiful Martina who is wooed by sneaky Señor Gato, whiney Señor Pato, proud Señor Gallo, sad Señor Grillo, chatty Señor Sapo, and gallant Señor Pérez, the mouse.
What is the Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassador Program?
Presentation by Author Dr. Raquel Ortiz
Manuel Antonio Morán moderates conversation with
Victoria Núñez, Raquel M. Ortiz, and Tere Marichal-Lugo
Pura Belpre research, archival and teaching resources
Conversation with the creative team of
Cucarachita Martina's Musical Adventure
To view Cucarachita Martina's Musical Adventure and access teaching resources, register for Centro’s Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program at https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education/puerto-rican-heritage-cultural-ambassadors-program
Pura Belpré was the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City and author of one of the first Latino children’s picture books. Pura was also a cultural activist who studied, re-interpreted and celebrated Puerto Rican folktales and culture. Pura was a talented storyteller and celebrated puppeteer. As the first Puerto Rican librarian in the New York Public Library system, she pioneered the library's work with the Puerto Rican community. The American Library Association has named an award in her honor.
Pura Belpré stated that the story of Pérez and Martina was her, "golden key in opening doors everywhere." She used this story in puppet shows, pantomimes, and plays. It was shown on television and broadcasted over the radio. Pura, Martina and Señores Gato, Pato, Sapo, Gallo, Grillo and Ratoncito Pérez even rode on a float down 5th Avenue for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.
The script for Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure was written by the award-winning children's book author Raquel M. Ortiz. Art was created by Tere Marichal, the recipient of two Emmys and the Premio René Marquez. Musical Director Desmar Guevara has created dozens of original scores, songs, and arrangements and has recorded with greats that include Celia Cruz and Tito Puente. The film also features the voices of award winning actress Alejandra Ramos, Mario Mattei and vocalist Elizabeth Pérez. The film was directed and edited by two-time Emmy nominee Waldo Cabrera.
Manuel Antonio Morán is an actor, singer, writer, composer, puppeteer, theater and film director and producer in Puerto Rico, Latin America, Europe, and the United States. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of SEA, Society of the Educational Arts, Inc.
Raquel M. Ortiz is a professor, anthropologist and author of bilingual children’s books including, Sofi Paints Her Dreams/Sofi pinta sus sueños and When Julia Danced Bomba/Cuando Julia bailaba bomba. She currently works at Centro as curriculum developer for the Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassador Program. Raquel is the author of the book, Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure.
Tere Marichal-Lugois an acclaimed actress and television personality known for her character, Maria Chuzema on Puerto Rico's PBS-affiliated Canal 6. She has authored over thirty children’s books and is recipient of two Emmys and the Premio René Marquez. Tere is the illustrator of Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure.
Victoria Núñez is an assistant professor in the School of Education at Mercy College. She is author of "Remembering Pura Belpre's Early Career at the135th Street New York Public Library: Interracial Cooperation and Puerto Rican Settlement During the Harlem Renaissance." RACE, FRONT AND CENTER: Perspectives on Race Among Puerto Ricans, 2017
Waldo Cabrera is a two-time Emmy nominated journalist and Executive Producer of My Long Island TV. He is a Multimedia Producer at Centro. Waldo animated Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure
Alejandra Ramos is a playwright, actress, director and producer. She is Co-founder and Artistic Director of Teatro la azotea, Inc. Her published works include “En la azotea, 10 piezas cortas de teatro” (Ed. Callejón 2016), and her play “En Blanco” as part of “Puerto Rico Off: Teatro y Performance Fronterizos” (Miami: Ed. Hypermedia, 2020). She is also Digital Humanities and eJournal Project Manager at Centro. Alejandra voiced Cucarachita Martina in Cucarachita Martina’s Musical Adventure.
Melinda Gonzalez is a dancer, singer and cofounder of the Bomba dance ensemble, BombaYo. She is also the Coordinator of the Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassador Program at Centro.
Anibal Arocho is the Manager of the Centro Library and Archives at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies/Hunter College
Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program
Centro’s Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program is a free, self-paced, multimedia online course in Puerto Rican history, culture, and traditions, with a focus on the migration experience of the stateside diaspora.
To learn more about the program or access free teaching resources visit https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/education/puerto-rican-heritage-cultural-ambassadors-program
Learn more about the Society of the Educational Arts, Inc. (SEA), Teatro SEA and their educational programing by visiting http://teatrosea.org/sea/
Centro Library and Archives
The Centro Library & Archives is the only archival repository nationwide exclusively devoted to documenting the Puerto Rican communities living in the United States. Our holdings include over 300 collections of personal papers and organizational records, including approximately 100,000 photographs, 4,000 audio and video recordings, and 2,000 art posters. Our collections consist of personal papers from prominent Puerto Rican artists, elected officials, social activists, writers, as well as the records of community-based organizations. Learn more at https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/library
Centro Archive Digital Collections
The Centro Archives Digital Collections is a growing resource of material digitized from collections throughout the Archive's holdings. The site provides access to photographs, documents, artifacts, art, maps, oral histories, moving image and audio clips, and other material pertaining to the Puerto Rican diaspora. Highlights include material from the Pura Belpre Papers, Justo A. Marti Photograph Collection, and interviews from Centro's Oral History Project. The Gallery section contains curated content on a variety of topics and people. Explore the collections at https://centroca.hunter.cuny.edu/index.php/
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centro Library and Archives located on the first floor of the Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work Building in El Barrio, NYC is closed, but digital collections are accessible online. Live chat with librarian at https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/library or email questions and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org