For Immediate Release: July 30, 2021
CITY ANNOUNCES $10.2 MILLION TO BUILD A NEW HEADQUARTERS FOR PREGONES/PUERTO RICAN TRAVELING THEATER IN THE BRONX
With $3 million in new City money from the Mayor, City Council, and Bronx Borough President, the project to build a new 3,500 square foot headquarters in the South Bronx is now fully funded
Images of Pregones are available for download here .
Bronx, NY - Mayor Bill de Blasio, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals, Council Member Diana Ayala and the Bronx Delegation to The New York City Council, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz have announced new capital support for Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater (Pregones/PRTT) to build and fit out a new, 3,500 square-foot cultural and administrative space to serve as the institution’s headquarters on Walton Avenue between 149th and 150th Streets in the South Bronx. With just over $3 million in new City money added as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 capital budget, the project is now fully funded with $10.2 million in City support.
“The Bronx is one of the greatest cultural hubs in this country, and we’re proud to support arts and culture in the borough for years to come,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Arts and culture will be at the heart of this city’s recovery, and this theater will give young Bronxites more opportunities than ever to build a more inclusive cultural future for our city.”
“Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater is an amazing organization that builds community through the performing arts by exploring, preserving, and celebrating our city’s Puerto Rican and Latinx cultural heritage,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals. “We are proud to make this substantial investment in Pregones/PRTT, which will ensure that Rosalba, Arnaldo, and their incredible team of artists and cultural workers can continue to bring people together from their home on Walton Avenue in the Bronx for generations to come.”
“Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater is a true jewel of our borough, and one of the most important cultural institutions in our city,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “The arts and culture are not only important aspects of The Bronx, but they will play a critical part in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its inception, Pregones/PRTT has played a key role in cultivating our borough’s arts community and this new Headquarters will allow for a much-anticipated expansion of education and other programming at the theater. I am proud to have allocated $300,000 to this project, and close to $1.5 million to Pregones/PRTT throughout my tenure as Borough President to enhance this nationally-recognized cultural organization. I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Council Member Diana Ayala and the Bronx Delegation of The New York City Council for making this project possible.”
“For years Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater has served to advance bi-lingual performing arts throughout the City especially in the Bronx and Manhattan. Their dedication to the diaspora through artistic expression has spurred the development of many Puerto Rican, Latinx and other underrepresented artists,” said Council Member Diana Ayala, “Which is why I am excited that today we are announcing $10.2 million in funding to build a new headquarters for the Pregones Theater. The new building will allow for continued growth as a cultural anchor and legacy through creation and performance. I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio, Speaker Corey Johnson, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and my Council colleagues on Bronx Delegation.”
“Congratulations to Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater on their new home and to many more years of being a champion for Puerto Rican/Latinx arts and multidisciplinary practice. This year the City has committed record funding for cultural capital projects across all five boroughs, securing spaces for arts and culture to thrive in New York City,” said Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer.
“This is our first major capital project since the inauguration of our gleaming Bronx theater in 2005,” said Rosalba Rolón, founding Artistic Director of Pregones/PRTT . “It is also testament to Pregones/PRTT’s vision for a world-class performing arts center with deep roots in The Bronx. This newest round of support from our elected public officials helps ensure our vision thrives to benefit the artists, audiences, and community who built us up in the first place.”
“It is meaningful that we come to full funding at the exact same time when New Yorkers are taking bold steps towards recovery from pandemic, and when enduring inequities in arts funding are an ongoing conversation,” said Arnaldo J. López, Managing Director of Pregones/PRTT. “This is a win for all theaters of color, for the entire cultural community, for all New Yorkers.”
The new building will grow Pregones/PRTT’s role as a cultural anchor in the Bronx neighborhood of Mott Haven and will expand the range of cultural offerings available to New York City residents and visitors alike. Fostering vital creative and economic activity, the building will house lifelong arts learning programs for youth, adults, and older adults; new media, national/international telepresence, and music production studios; and central administration offices for the organization’s expansive Bronx-Manhattan theater season.
Pregones/PRTT is a multigenerational performing ensemble, multidisciplinary arts presenter, and owner/steward of bilingual arts facilities in The Bronx and Manhattan. Their mission is to champion a Puerto Rican/Latinx cultural legacy of universal value through creation and performance of original plays and musicals, exchange and partnership with other artists of merit, and engagement of diverse audiences.
Pregones was founded in 1979 when a group of artists led by Rosalba Rolón set out to create new works in the style of Caribbean and Latin American “colectivos” or performing ensembles. Soon established as a Bronx resident company with a home season, Pregones remains in the vanguard of an arts renaissance radiating throughout and beyond The Bronx. Spurred by stage and film icon Miriam Colón, PRTT was founded in 1967 as one of the first bilingual theater companies in all of the U.S. It is credited for nurturing the development of hundreds of Latino artists, legitimating cultural connections throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and pioneering models for community engagement. The two theaters became Pregones/PRTT following merger in 2014. The organization plays a decisive role in empowering underrepresented artists and audiences to claim their rightful place at the front of the American theater.
Throughout the pandemic, Pregones/PRTT remained open to artists and continued to serve its community and engage audiences through a vibrant mix of digital programs and pop-up performances. It recently co-launched the new LxNY Latinx Arts Consortium of New York, and its current Stage Garden Rumba series, presented in partnership with We Stay/Nos Quedamos, is an open invitation for all New Yorkers to experience the cultural riches, green spaces, and vibrant Casitas of the South Bronx. Learn more about Pregones/PRTT’s upcoming events and ongoing programming .
About the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) is dedicated to supporting and strengthening New York City’s vibrant cultural life. DCLA works to promote and advocate for quality arts programming and to articulate the contribution made by the cultural community to the City’s vitality. The Department represents and serves nonprofit cultural organizations involved in the visual, literary, and performing arts; public-oriented science and humanities institutions including zoos, botanical gardens, and historic and preservation societies; and creative artists at all skill levels who live and work within the City’s five boroughs. DCLA also provides donated materials for arts programs offered by the public schools and cultural and social service groups, and commissions permanent works of public art at City-funded construction projects throughout the five boroughs.