It has been a tough week for Latinos in NYC. Just before we rang the New Year, we said goodbye to Ruben Sosa a community builder that has long advocated for education and self determination in the Puerto Rican community thru his writing. Ruben played a key role in seeking justice alongside Richie Perez when I as attacked in Queens in the case better known as the “Latino Howard Beach” incident. The National Congress of Puerto Rican Rights became my family as that time and I had just only recently connected with Ruben… to personally thank him and to let him know that it was because of his mentorship when I was 15, I have too decided to dedicate myself to working within the Latino community. In the past few years despite health setbacks he has been an active member of the Trinity Lutheran Church where he did outreach for families affected by domestic violence. He leaves behind his wife Irene, children Iyana & Ruben, family, friends and a community of souls impacted by his generosity and insight of where we should be as a people.
Still emotional from the loss of Ruben… I got news via Twitter that Fernando Salicrup, prolific artist and curator known for his work in Taller Boricua has also passed away. Fernando was known to be an innovator in the Latino art world by combining photographs from the community and blending them with surreal drawings using a digital process. Here is Fernando describing his process…
“Through this process, I create narratives that combine the atmosphere of Surrealist dreamscapes with concrete images from my community where I live and work. These narratives are stories within stories. They become accessible to the viewer by including the street and people of the community, a community resonating in earthly-bound themes of Love, Desire, Loss, Beauty and Humor.”
In the last few years. Fernando has been a driving force behind creating a “cultural corridor” in El Barrio, and served as a mentor to many young artists, writers, and musicians.
This news is just making the rounds in the community, we will keep you updated as we know more about memorial services for Fernando.
Friends and relatives are invited to join a celebration of his life at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center at 1680 Lexington Avenue on Monday January 5, 2015 from 3:00-10:00 PM and Tuesday, January 6, 2015 from 3:00-10:00 PM. The “Program of Remembrance” which will include poetry and music, will start each day at 6:00 PM.
The funeral mass will be held Wednesday, Jan 7, at 10:00 AM at St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church, 120 East 106th Street, between Lexington and Park Avenues.
Immediately following the mass, Fernando will be buried at St. Raymond’s Cemetery, 2600 Lafayette Avenue in the Bronx.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting contributions be made to The Puerto Rican Workshop (Taller Boricua), 1680 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10029.
On behalf of Sofrito Media Group / Capicu Culture, we extend our thoughts and prayers to all affected by these great losses.