The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition

Via OWS Arts & Labor
The Legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition: A Talk with Yasmin Ramirez

December 12, 2012 at 7PM
Taller Boricua
1680 Lexington Ave
New York City

In the late 1960s, art workers in New York City came together to demand reforms to the exploitive and exclusionary practices of the art world. The Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition (PRAWC), founded in 1970, followed the 1969 formation of the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), a group aimed at pressuring city museums into implementing policies such as paying artists for exhibiting their work, better representation of art by women and people of color, and free admission. Members of PRAWC were active in founding El Museo del Barrio (1969), and fought to establish institutions that reflected the culture and needs of Latino artists in New York City. Join Arts & Labor for a presentation by Yasmin Ramirez about the history and legacy of the Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition. Founding member of the PRAWC Marcos Dimas will also be present to participate in the discussion.

Yasmin Ramirez Biography
Yasmin Ramirez Ph.D. is an art historian and independent curator.  Growing up during  heyday of the Alternative Art Space Movement in New York, Yasmin Ramirez has worked at Taller Boricua, El Museo Del Barrio, The Studio Museum, The New Museum, Art in General, and Alternative Museum, Franklin Furnance and the East Village Eye. She is currently writing a book based on her dissertation: Nuyorican Vanguards: The Puerto Rican Art Movement in New York.

Tonight: Gran Fury Teach-In, March 23rd 7-9pm

Occupy Wall Street // Arts & Labor
Teach-In with Gran Fury

Friday, March 23, 7-9 PM
Einstein Auditorium, Barney Building,
34 Stuyvesant Street between Second and Third Avenues, NYU

What can the Occupy movement learn from the intersection of visual
arts and direct action in groups like Gran Fury and ACT UP? To explore
this question, please join Arts & Labor for a teach-in and discussion
with members of Gran Fury, an art collective active from 1988 to 1995
that grew out of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power).

Some of the questions that might emerge from this discussion include:
How did ACT UP and Gran Fury target not only broader cultural
attitudes about AIDS, but specific laws, regulations, and government
policies, and did that require tactics different from those of OWS?
How were specific targets (for instance, access to healthcare and the
price of prescription drugs) part of a larger economic system? How did
ACT UP and Gran Fury critique these systemic problems, and how can
this critique be advanced today? How did a movement that began largely
through the efforts of white, gay men deal with issues of diversity?
How can activist groups build alliances and coalitions? How do we
navigate the relation between a smaller affinity group and a larger
social movement?

Central to our discussion is the question of how artists and art
workers participate in social movements and how art, activism, and
direct action functioned then and now.

About Gran Fury
Gran Fury originally formed as an affinity group to organize an
exhibition on the AIDS crisis at the New Museum, “Let the Record
Show. . .” (1987), and went on to create numerous media interventions
in the form of posters, billboards, and public service announcements
aired on television. They produced such visually striking graphics as
“The Government Has Blood on Its Hands,” “Read My Lips,” “Kissing
Doesn’t Kill,” and “Women Don’t Get AIDS (They Just Die From It).” An
exhibition of their works is currently on view through March 17 at
80WSE, New York University.

An online archive of their work is available from the New York Public Library at:

For a brief summary of their history, see the interview with Douglas
Crimp here:

This event is part of an ongoing series of educational initiatives and
direct actions organized by the Occupy Wall Street Arts & Labor group.

more info:

Tonight: Occupology, Swarmology, Whateverology 6-8pm

UPFRONT magazine

UPFRONT, Number 10, Fall 1985, Political Art Documentation/Distribution

Frequent member to OWS Arts network meetings and events, Gregory Sholette will host a teach-in tonight at Parsons the New School for Design… here is the description of the teach-in from the Parson’s #searchunderoccupy website:

“How has OWS, a dynamic and still-unfolding phenomenon, invoked “archival agency?” What power does that agency wield? How does the swarmchive of OWS promise to continue to write itself and to what transformative end?

“Gregory Sholette is a New York-based artist, writer, a founding member of Political Art Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D: 1980-1988), and REPOhistory (1989-2000), and author of Dark Matter: Art and Politics in an Age of Enterprise Culture, Pluto Press, 2011. He teaches Sculpture at Queens College: City University of New York.

“Greg asks that you come with questions and your own archive project for discussion. You can read his article of the same title in advance of his teach-in at

The City of (dis)order versus the people’s archive

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012, 6pm
Arnold and Sheila Aronson Gallery
Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
66 Fifth Ave., New York, NY

Today: Arts & Labor Teach-In 3-6pm

SolidarityNYC posterAlternative Economies: Seeing, Naming, Connecting, Strengthening, Creating

March 4, 2012, 3-6pm
Location: 66-68 East 4th Street, Manhattan
Contact: owsartsandlabor@gma*

#OccupyWallStreet has cracked open a little hole in history, creating a moment where some of the very core institutions of our economy are called into question. Along with indignation and outrage, there is a certain excitement in the air. Things that have been terrifyingly stuck seem to be moving. Something seems possible today that wasn’t just a month ago. In this space, our conversations and our imaginations are buzzing. What are we doing? What should we do? What’s coming next? -Ethan Miller, Occupy! Connect! Create! Imagining Life Beyond ‘The Economy’

Fourth Arts Block


Arts & Labor: Alternative Economies

A & C Minutes – December 1, 2011

Facilitator: Johnny

Minutes: Imani
Stack: Adrian
Time: Sam

Arts & Culture Minutes 12/1/11 Thursday – December 1, 2011


Name NYCGA Username
Johnny @snowywilderness
Tal @talbeery
James @jamesfredericrose
Deirdre @dday
Leora NA
Chris NA
Zach @zachary
Reka @reka
Adrian @adrian
Imani @imani
Sam @treefallsfilm
Riley @rrrj
Tim @timhollinger
Daniel @dthorsen
Kirby NA
Antonio @antonioserna

Meeting Schedule: Announcements/Report Backs, Agenda items, Proposals

Review of hand signals

Announcements/ Reportbacks

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New Phase for Arts & Culture, What’s To Do?

As we enter a new phase here within Arts & Culture/NYCGA and the occupation of wall street movement, new discussions and new occupations are being held. This weekend marks one of the many discussions that will help inform what we as artist have done since the 60s and a discussion as to what’s to do in the next phase of the movement:

Sunday November 20th
7pm @ 16 Beaver, NYC
Art, Work, and Occupation
discussion w/Gregory Sholette @gsholette

from the 16 Beaver website:
” The evening’s event will be a teach-in and discussion with artist, critic, and educator Gregory Sholette concerning the history of artistic engagements with the politics of work since the 1960s. While focused on past traditions and initiatives, the presentation will open onto a group discussion of more recent artistic, theoretical and political developments related to concepts such as precarity, post-Fordism, immaterial labor, the cognitariat, and what Greg himself has called ”dark matter.” This discussion will consider how these histories and concepts might be (re)activated relative to the Occupy movement, including but not limited to that of New York City as it enters a ”post-Zuccotti” phase following the eviction of November 15th. Report-backs and reflections from November 17th actions are more than welcome following Greg’s presentation.”

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