¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York

Bronx Museum, New York, United States
02 Jul 2015 - 18 Oct 2015

¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York

Caecilia Tripp Video still from 'Music for (prepared) Bicycles,' Score Two New York, Brooklyn/Spanish Harlem/The Bronx, 2013 HD video, 14 minutes Courtesy of the artist


The Bronx Museum of the Arts is organizing a multi-venue artistic and cultural survey of The Young Lords Organization – a radical social activist group founded by Puerto Rican youth in the 1960s that demanded reform in health care, education, housing, employment, and policing.

Exhibitions of art and archival materials at three cultural institutions in New York City will explore how the Young Lords’ activities, community-focused initiatives, and their affirmation of Puerto Rican identity inspired artists from the 1960s to the present day, and had a major impact on the City and the social history of the United States.

¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York will be exhibited at The Bronx Museum of the Arts (July 2 – October 18, 2015), El Museo del Barrio (July 22-October 17, 2015), and Loisaida Inc. (July 30 –October 10, 2015). The initiative will include public and educational programs across partnering venues to build awareness of the Young Lords’ innovative contributions to the struggle for civil rights and influence on contemporary artists, and to spark conversations about grassroots community activism today. The institutions partnering in ¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York are all located in neighborhoods where the Young Lords were most active, and each exhibition reflects on the Young Lords’ activities in that part of the City.

The exhibition will feature more than 50 works, including paintings, installations, photographs, films, and rare archival materials that highlight the presence of women in the Young Lords, the struggle for equal representation of Latinos in the media, and community actions in the South Bronx—from the takeover of Lincoln Hospital in The Bronx and the implementation of a holistic drug detox program, to the publication of a bilingual newspaper Pa’lante.

The programs at The Bronx Museum will include film screenings, workshops and panel discussions featuring  members of the Young Lords Organization and contemporary artists

The exhibition at El Museo del Barrio will display work related to the Young Lords’ work in East Harlem—including the organization’s series of theatrical garbage-dumping protests and their peaceful occupation of the First People’s Church.

Loisiada Inc. will focus on the Young Lords’ founding in the Lower East Side—displaying rarely seen photographs and reportage of the announcement of founding of the Young Lords Party in Tomkins Square Park on June 26, 1969, and paraphernalia from the Young Lords Lower East Side offices. The exhibition will examine the impact of the Young Lords Gay and Lesbian Caucus. It will also focus on the cultural activism of Young Lord Eddie Figueroa, founder of The New Rican Village, an influential multi- disciplinary art space on Avenue A that later became home to the legendary gay performance space  The Pyramid Club.

¡Presente! The Young Lords in New York at The Bronx Museum is organized by guest curator, scholar and professor Johanna Fernández and adjunct curator Yasmin Ramírez.

About the Young Lords Organization
Influenced by the Black Panthers and grassroots protests against the Vietnam War, the Young Lords were a radical social organization led by poor and working-class Puerto Rican youth in the 1960s. The Lords built a nationwide movement to address the social issues afflicting their communities—such as education, health care, affordable housing, high unemployment, and police brutality. The Young Lords’ activities were innovative, highly effective, and often resulted in legal mandates that institutionalized their policies.

In New York, the Young Lords’ actions included theatrical garbage-dumping protests in East Harlem and a series of audacious church and hospital occupations. In East Harlem and the South Bronx, where the Young Lords were highly active, the organization tested residential areas for lead poisoning, provided breakfast for schoolchildren, and demanded a “13 Point Program” calling for an end to discrimination, police brutality, and mass incarceration. Among other victories, the Young Lords’ activities led to a formulation of a patient’s bill of rights, the passing of new housing legislation, and the building of a new hospital complex in the Bronx.



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