Press Release

El Museo del Barrio Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary with a Birthday Party During Museum Mile Festival 2019

New York, NY
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Celebration Unveils Part II of Culture and the People Exhibition, Launches Partnership with NuevaYorkinos, and features Live Performances, Art Workshops, and Educational Programs Honoring Latinx/Latin American Culture

El Museo del Barrio will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a Birthday Party on Tuesday, June 11th, as part of this year’s 41st annual Museum Mile Festival. The Birthday Party will follow the opening ceremony of the 2019 Museum Mile Festival at 5:45pm at El Museo del Barrio and will run from 6pm to 9 pm. The event will feature the opening of the second, expanded section of Culture and the People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2019, an exhibition that reflects on the pioneering history of the institution and legacy in honor of its milestone anniversary, as well as live performances by leading Latinx musicians and art workshops for all ages. 

In addition, the evening will launch a new collaboration with NuevaYorkinos (Instagram @Nuevayorkinos), a visual digital archive dedicated to New York City’s Latinx population. As part of the partnership, visitors are asked to submit videos and images of Latinx communities in El Barrio (East Harlem) from 1969–2005. The content will be featured on the social and online platforms of El Museo del Barrio and NuevaYorkinos, as well as in an installation in the Museum’s Cuentamé Gallery (1st floor), this fall. The launch event on June 11 will include an interactive photobooth, where visitors can take photos of themselves in an installation with vintage elements inspired by Latinx life in NYC.


El Museo del Barrio’s featured exhibitions include the opening of part II of Culture and the People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969–2019. Galleries will only be open from 6pm to 9pm on June 11th.

Culture and the People: El Museo del Barrio, 1969-2019 

Curated by Susanna V. Temkin, El Museo’s Curator, and co-organized by Noel Valentin, El Museo's Permanent Collection Manager, Culture and the People reflects on the institution’s activist origins and role as a cultural and educational organization dedicated to Puerto Rican, Latinx and Latin American art and culture. The two-part exhibition features selections from the Permanent Collection, and a timeline of the institution's history, including rare archival materials. Both parts are on view through September 29, 2019.

  • Part I: Selection from the Permanent Collection - ON VIEW NOW - The first section of the exhibition is comprised of more than 120 artworks by nearly 80 artists from the Collection, whose work offers a multitude of perspectives on aspects of El Museo del Barrio’s legacy. Organized in thematic sections that explore the legacy of the institution through the concepts of Roots, Resistance, and Resilience, this section features artists of diverse cultural backgrounds and generations, ranging from indigenous art and artifacts to contemporary paintings and installation art.
  • Part II: An Institutional Timeline - OPENING JUNE 11 AT 6PM – The second part of Culture and the People traces the institutional trajectory of El Museo since its founding in 1969. Expanding on previous research about its institutional past, the presentation will reveal different moments in El Museo del Barrio’s history as it relates to its leadership and staff, its various locations, and key exhibitions and programs throughout its first five decades. Archival documentation including photographs, posters, invitations, exhibition catalogues, and other ephemera will supplement a detailed timeline to further illustrate and contextualize critical moments in the institution’s past.

Nuestras Voces: El Barrio and Beyond - ON VIEW NOW

El Museo del Barrio partners with schools and organizations from across the five boroughs and beyond to present dynamic educational programming catered to students’ needs and curriculum. This community exhibition presents colorful and vivid artworks made by students from P.S. 72 The Lexington Academy (East Harlem), P.S. 83 Luis Munoz Rivera School (East Harlem), P.S. 146 Anna M. Short School (East Harlem), P.S. 89 Elmhurst School (East Elmhurst), P.S. 307Q Pioneer Academy (Corona), and P.S. 122 Louis Armstrong Middle School (East Elmhurst). Partnering organizations also include Carver Senior Center (East Harlem) and Art From Within. The exhibition will be on view until August 25, 2019 in the Cuentamé Gallery (1st Floor). 


Mi Barrio: Photo Booth in partnership with NuevaYorkinos

El Museo del Barrio, in partnership with NuevaYorkinos (@nuevayorkinos), hosts a dynamic photo booth recreating a vintage birthday party montage to celebrate the Museum’s 50th anniversary. Visitors can enter the immersive environment and reflect on notions of nostalgia and legacy that the vintage setting evokes, and capture the moment with a digital photo. For more information on the ongoing partnership archiving Latinx communities in El Barrio from 1969-2005, visit

Wear Your History 

In this art workshop, participants will decorate their own bandanas with stencils and stamps inspired by artworks in El Museo del Barrio's Permanent Collection along with letter stencils to write their own messages about culture, community, and identity. 

Make Music! with The Little Orchestra Society 

Families can make their own musical instrument with The Little Orchestra Society (LOS), an organization dedicated to inspiring and educating audiences of all ages while creating a new model for the 21st-century orchestra that emphasizes connections with the community.


Celebrating the diversity of Latinx cultural expression, El Museo del Barrio will present a range of musical performances outside on Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, including:

  • Aurora & Zon del Barrio - Led by Aurora Flores, Zon del Barrio brings Afro-Boricua rhythms to Fifth Avenue,  introducing the dynamic young vocals of Hector "Papote" Jimenez, an up-and-coming sonero who will interpret songs by great Latino singers such as Benny More, Ismael Rivera, and Hector LaVoe.
  • DJ Bembona - Puerto Rican/Panamanian DJ, artist, and activist, Bembona joins El Museo del Barrio for this special celebration, spinning Afro-diasporical beats to inspire empowerment and unity among people of color communities, generations, activist work, and beyond.
  • Palladium Mambo All Stars - Keeping the Palladium Ballroom-era alive, the Palladium Mambo All Stars band was formed in 2015 with celebrated musicians Johnny Rodriguez and Jose Madera, who previously played with Latin legends Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, and Machito. 


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