6. El Museo de Barrio

intriguing Jack in the Beanstalk exhibit inside El Barrio
Photo courtesy El Museo de Barrio.

Founded in 1969 by Raphael Montañez Ortiz and Puerto Rican activists and artists, El Museo de Barrio has preserved and featured art by Latin American and Caribbean artists. The museum includes an extensive collection of 8,000 Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino artifacts that span over 800 years. Artifacts include many from the Taíno tribe and many media forms such as paintings, drawings, film, photography, documentaries, prints and sculptures. El Museo de Barrio instills a robust foundation in self-identity and self-esteem for the Latin American and Caribbean communities and cultures.

For the first time, the museum introduces “Estamos Bien-La Trienal,” a national survey of Latinx art interwoven with 42 Latin American and Indigenous artists whose art speaks out about the social system. Dominican artist Lizania Cruz‘s exhibit “Obituaries of the American Dream” (inspired by a New York Times article), shows newspaper stacks filled with immigrant testimonies of living in a country that promises them commitment but has failed them. The expression of real stories, such as “The Strangest Fruit” by Vincent Valdez, focuses on often overlooked issues such as the lynching of Mexican-Americans. The museum’s location, right in Museum Mile, is at 1230 5th Avenue at 104th Street and is open Friday through Sunday from 11 am-5 pm.