“The Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center is among El Barrio’s most precious cultural resources. In seeking a new operator of the space, the intention has been to completely re-activate the Center and ensure that it receives the investment it needs to be preserved for the future. However, the City still has not arrived at a final agreement with the new operators of the Center: a coalition of Puerto Rican-led groups with the Hispanic Federation serving as fiscal conduit. During this long transition period, these vital spaces have unfortunately been without programming.
“I share my community’s frustration with this extensive delay, which was caused by a combination of our city’s typical bureaucratic processes, the impact of Hurricane Sandy and changes of leadership at both the city’s Economic Development Corporation and the Hispanic Federation. Both parties are nearing a final lease agreement, and critical capital upgrades funded by my office will soon commence.
“I could not be more confident in the vision and capacity of the Julia de Burgos Arts Alliance, with the assistance of Hispanic Federation, to fully activate this Center, as was intended in its founding. And I remain committed to securing additional capital resources for the Center.
“However, in the meantime, I have proposed to the City’s Economic Development Corporation that we immediately develop a mechanism for cultural groups to rent out the spaces at Julia de Burgos during this interim period, and EDC has agreed to make the space available to rent to local organizations. I expect more details to be available in the next week.”