We are celebrating 21 years! The Puerto Rican Cultural Center is the
only cultural center in Texas and the Southwest affiliated with the
Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) for ongoing cultural programming.
Founded in 1997 by Taino blood-descendant
Dr. Ana María Tekina-eirú Maynard,
the mission of our nonprofit 501(c)(3) is to promote cultural
awareness and pride through education programs and cultural events
based in folklore, history and tradition -- dance, music, community
theatre, and indigenous cultural traditions. Our center brings a focal
point to Austin for offering heritage programs whose achievement and
quality have been validated by repeat support (since 2001) from the
National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Texas Commission on the Arts,
City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, NEA Chairman's Award (2007),
and Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (since 2011).
In 2018, we received a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to support
Arts Innovation and Management.
Our multipurpose facility in East Austin is home to Puerto Rican
Folkloric Dance (PRFDance), our performing company of dancers,
musicians, and juniors who perform throughout the year. We serve the
community with 12 weekly performing arts programs, ongoing cultural
events, and opportunities to learn authentic Taino traditions. Our
programs are open to all who wish to experience the joy of our people.
We welcome those whose access to cultural programming is limited by
economics. In 2005 the ICP named us Puerto Rico’s Ambassadors in
Texas and the Southwest, giving us visibility to older Puerto Rican
centers in Chicago (45 years) and New York City (35 years), and a
platform from which we are staging our continued success as a
world-class center handing down Puerto Rican traditions to a new
Puerto Rico has a rich heritage based in native Taino, Spanish, and West African roots.
Trained by Island Masters,
our cultural center is a focal point in the Southwest for
Puerto Rico's vibrant culture and traditions.
We are the only center on the Mainland with the expertise to
authentically teach and present Puerto Rico's cultural
heritage -- Afro-Boricua (Bomba, Plena), Mountain (Jibaro), Salon (Danza), as well
as Taino music, dance, and living traditions.
We offer ongoing programs that holistically teach Puerto Rico's cultural arts and
including dance (folklore and fusion), music (percussion and traditional ensemble),
community theatre, cultural history, and Taino heritage.
Our programming includes both informal performances and mainstage productions
that give students of all ages, preschool through professional adults, an opportunity
to participate. We provide performance opportunities with Puerto Rican masters.
Our original bilingual plays based in oral history honor unsung heroes and
bring to light forgotten elements in Puerto Rican heritage.
Featuring live music, dance and community theatre, they
give beginners an opportunity to perform with professional actors, and
seasoned professionals a chance to develop multidisciplinary skills.
Our cultural center is a sanctuary for the rapidly growing Puerto Rican community
in central Texas -- and we adopt everyone who feels called to join!
Since the opening of our multipurpose facility (2006), our cultural outreach has
expanded beyond performing arts to share and preserve our heritage (such as traditional
children's games), culturally relevant holidays (Octavitas & Reyes Mago celebrations),
and ancestral sports (Taino Batu ballgame). We share true Taino culture through teachings
based in oral traditions throughout the year, and annually bring the source of
that knowledge, El Concilio Taino Guatu Ma-cu A Boriken, to Austin to share
history and heritage like language, craftwork, eco-friendly farming,
traditions for healthy mind and body, and indigenous dance.
Our History & Accomplishments
Founded in 1997 with a single dance class, PRFDance has grown to become a world-class
cultural center dedicated to Puerto Rican heritage and traditions.
Since 1997, PRFDance has produced artistically acclaimed programming,
including our largest annual production, debuted in 2001, and is today
the Celebrando Salsa & Heritage Festival ($25K/year)
featuring performances by Masters of Puerto Rican folklore, displays by handcraft artisans,
dancing for all, and authentic food. Our three-dancer company which debuted in 1998
is now a 20-member, multi-generational folklore company of dancers, musicians, and juniors.
Our founding, single-class program has unfurled, and today offers 12 weekly
classes, and special off-campus workshops, for students to professionals in
folkloric dance and music, community theatre, and indigenous cultural arts traditions.
Debuted in 2004, our annual, original bilingual play for Community Theatre
featuring live music and dance, is based in
oral history shared by Island elders and historical
researchers who remember an undocumented past.
In operation since 2006, our multipurpose facility
provides a platform to grow diverse cultural programming. Located in East Austin,
it includes indoor and outdoor areas where free, near-monthly
cultural events attract tourism and give a resource-limited
community opportunity to participate in living traditions.
Today, there are more Puerto Ricans living on the Mainland than the Island.
As the number of Puerto Ricans migrating to the Mainland continues to rise,
Texas stands in the top three States experiencing the fastest
growth in Puerto Rican population.
In collaboration since 2001 with the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, our formal
affiliation in 2005
makes us official representatives of our Island's cultural heritage in our community.
With the 2006 closing of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs (PRFAA) Texas office, our world-wide-web
visibility has made us a resource for Puerto Ricans travelling or moving to Central Texas.
People are choosing to move to the Austin-area to be near our hard-to-find cultural programs.
Students drive upto 2 hours (one-way) to participate in our weekly programs.
To enjoy another cultural center like ours, one must travel to Chicago or New York City!
We welcome all regardless of age, ethnicity, disability, economic or social background.
We especially target the traditionally under-served whose access to the arts
is limited by economics.
Our demographics include 85% Hispanic (various countries), 5% American Indian,
5% African-American, 5% White.
We are located in Central Texas where 83% of Puerto Ricans in Texas live [2010 Census].
Thanks to our internet presence, cultural tourism to our events is significant:
40% of our events-audience comes from Texas cities beyond Austin
(Dallas to Brownsville), out of state (Oklahoma, Florida), and even Puerto Rico.
Our website is Google top-ranked and its educational resources serve over 3000 weekly
world-wide visitors. Through social media including Facebook (10,000 subscribers across
our director's and business page) we engage a virtual community in daily conversations
that entertain, educate and instill cultural pride.
Our cultural center is building community through arts, bringing together all
ages like an extended family.
We welcome all who seek a sense of cultural pride or want to be part of a
community bonded together by joyful heritage.
Through our programs people are discovering the healing power of arts in action.
It takes a village to raise a child; we live that proverb by mentoring students and
encouraging family-unity through shared performance experiences.
We are an oasis where old-world values are alive -- community elders are
encouraged to participate and share their wisdom and knowledge.
Our volunteers develop real-world skills
and professional development in leadership, business administration, marketing,
and computer-based business applications.
Youth have access to
positive role models and develop advanced skills through company apprenticeship,
student-teaching, and program leadership. Thanks to Puerto Rico's rainbow of ethnic
diversity -- Hispanic, Taino, and Afro-Puerto Rican -- youth experience
personal pride through self-identity.
Music and dance is a very important part of Puerto Rican culture.
The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture has named us Puerto Rico's Ambassadors
in Texas and the Southwest. We are proud to share our rich traditions
with the community, and hand down our cultural heritage to the next generation!
Enjoy our Online Brochure!
We hold the banner high for Puerto Rico everyday!
Thank you in advance for your donation of any size!!