Puerto Rican Arts Initiative - Phase II

  • Rivera-Servera, Ramon H (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Phase I of the Puerto Rican Arts Initiative (PRAI) focused on developing individual artistic practices in performance and other ephemeral art traditions with significant community engagement by a cohort of ten (10) artists and with support of ten (10) mentoring senior artists. Based on our findings during the first phase of the project thus far, we propose that next phase of the project focus on developing curatorial platforms and procedures able to sustain performance in Puerto Rico while continuing to support the development of contemporary practice with special attention to work that engages with underrepresented communities, especially in the context of the ongoing environmental and fiscal crisis. As such this phase of the project reorients the mentorship platforms through a twofold emphasis on 1) providing curatorial proficiencies in performance and ephemeral practices to independent art spaces, cultural organizations, and artists who have demonstrated the capacity to expand into curatorial platforms within their practices and 2) launching a multi-tier artist commissioning project that supports the curatorial projects envisioned while furthering the professionalization and circulation goals of the PRAI since its inception. Phase II of the PRAI continues our work of critical support of independent artists by commissioning ten (10) artistic projects with capacity to activate an additional 40-100 artists and build a network of curatorial practice across a number of key independent organizations across the Island. We seek to produce data on space and organizational availability, needs, and best practices and collectively identify methodological efficiencies and opportunities for collaborative support of this important sector of the contemporary art ecology in Puerto Rico. This phase of the research is also invested in further advancing the research of the ongoing project and generating both documentation of the wide-range of performance projects, aesthetics, and communities engaged throughout the PRAI process in the form of a publication with proper contextualization and analysis of the works with rigorous academic engagement and written for a wide readership inside and outside of Puerto Rico with an interest in learning how contemporary performance engaged with and intervenes the contemporary difficulties on the ground—from environmental calamity and economic crisis to activisms for equitable access to resources and life possibilities along critical axes of difference, including gender, sexuality, race, and class. As well, we expect to develop a shorter “how to” publication detailing the creative procedures used to develop contemporary performance and ephemeral art practices throughout both phases of the project—from supporting early artist commissions to launching and implementing curatorial platforms.
Effective start/end date6/17/209/30/22


  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2002-07532)


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