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Cultural Engagement

Cultural Engagement
Moderator: Raquel M. Ortiz, Professor, Boricua College, (Brooklyn, NY)
Dr. Carmen Febo San Miguel, Executive Director, Taller Puertorriqueño (Philadelphia, PA)
Debbie Quinones, Founder, Coquito Masters (NY, NY)
Gilda Rivera-Pantojas, Director, Danza Fiesta (NY, NY) 

Raquel M. Ortiz

Dr. Carmen Febo
San Miguel

Debbie Quinones

Gilda Rivera-Pantojas


Raquel M. Ortiz was born and raised in Lorain, Ohio, and has been making art and telling stories ever since she was a little girl. She is the author of a bilingual picture book for children, Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural / Sofi y el mágico mural musical (Piñata Books, 2015), about an imaginative girl and her Puerto Rican culture that introduces young readers to the concepts of community and public art. She is also the author of El arte de la identidad (La Galera, 2011), the documentary Memories of the Wall: Education and Enrichment through Community Murals and textbooks and educational materials for children in Puerto Rico and the United States.

Dr. Carmen Febo San Miguel became Executive Director of Taller Puertorriqueño in 1999.  Under her tenure the organization has grown from a budget of $600,000 to a budget of close to a million.  During this time she has also led the artistic program by: developing new collaborations to exhibit Taller’s art collection off-site; expanding artist residencies into the Philadelphia School District and nearby charter schools; created the Visítenos arts outreach program; coordinated the annual arts festival, Feria del Barrio; overseeing conceptualizing and installing of nearly 100 exhibitions; and garnered national recognition through grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Knight Foundation, NEA and others. More...

Debbie Quinones

Gilda Rivera-Pantojas After more than thirty years as a dance teacher, professional dancer and choreographer, the founding of Danza Fiesta; Baile y Teatro Puertorriqueño was the manifestation of Gilda Rivera-Pantojas' lifelong dream to create a Puerto Rican Folk dance company, celebrating Puerto Rican culture and traditions with the rest of the world.

Gilda Rivera-Pantojas was a dancer and choreographer for Gibaro de Puerto Rico for more than two decades in which she performed Puerto Rican folklore in many festivals around the world. She served as director and choreographer for the opening and closing ceremonies of the XXIII Pan-American Games held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. More...