A decade of sharing with the world the excellence that distinguishes us as a nation and highlights Caribbean Arts even in difficult and reinvention times.
Fundación Cortés turned 10 years in September 2022, since we first opened our doors for the first time to the community and started making a reality the vision of the Cortés Family. A vision that has continued developing throughout the years with the team from Fundación led by our Executive Director and Lead Educator, Adelisa González-Lugo. Thousands of people from all over the world have participated in our cultural and educational activities, designed to respond to the adversities faced in our country, directly from our "creative trench". We give thanks to every person and entity that has supported our mission, either with financial contributions or helping in other ways to make this ten years the starting point of an unique trajectory, using our values and artistic tools to guide our actions.
The month of September, after the passing of Hurricane Fiona, was an opportunity to further apply the lessons learned after the passing of Hurricane María five years ago. As we did in those times, our immediate response was to open our galleries to serve students that could not go back to their schools due to lack of electricity in their communities.
Also, we focused on some of the most affected towns and decided to launch the Educa Cortés Program Post-Fiona, which integrated four focus areas: education, wellness, nutrition and joy. These efforts were supported by donations from individuals from Puerto Rico and outside of Puerto Rico, who responded to our GoFundMe campaign. Thank you so much for the support! Below we share a brief summary of the programs we were offering in different towns thanks to the donations received.
Educa Cortés Post-Fiona: Yauco
We want to give special thanks to Mariana Quiñones, the Social Worker from Escuela Elemental Santiago Negroni in Yauco, for her committment with the kids in her school. Thanks to her we were able to coordinate an unforgivable journey during the morning of October 12, 2022. During this visit we were able to impact more than 100 students from third, fourth and fifth grades through our Educa Cortés Program: The Art of Wellness and Mental Health, and each student received the EducaKit, a meal sponsored by Chocolate Cortés and Pan Pepín, and the joy from the team for being in such a special place. The teachers expressed special gratitude when they saw how we integrated arts and wellness while the students had fun learning about Caribbean artists such as the great Colombian sculptor Federico Uribe. Also, we integrated music for creative expression and students and teachers were dancing while learning through the workshops. At the end of each experience students practiced oral presentation skills while presenting their final artworks, and recognized artworks as wellness tools. It was a day filled with emotions within this community, and it allowed us to reaffirmed our committment with the Caribbean arts as wellness tools to benefit our people.
Educa Cortés Post-Fiona: Loíza
On October 14, 2022 we visited another town that was very affected by Hurricane Fiona: Loíza. In the Escuela Belén Blanco de Zequeira we impacted 42 students from sixth to twelve grades. Same as we did in Yauco, we went personally to facilitate a two-hour workshop as part of our Educa Cortés Program: The Art of Wellness and Mental Health. This was complemented with the distribution of the EducaKits and a snack for each participant. Is it our intention to continue identifying new opportunities to bring additional workshops for this community in 2023.
Educa Cortés Program: The Art of Wellness and Mental Health for Senior Citizens
Thanks to the support from the ARPA Funds and Programa Mano Amiga from Fundación Plaza del Caribe and Fundación Plaza Las Américas we could launch our Educa Cortés Virtual Program: The Art of Wellness and Mental Health for Senior Citizens, which includes an EducaKit for every participant. This program was originally designed for female cancer survivors during the lockdown due to Covid-19, and we decided to also offer the program to senior citizens. It has been an honor for us to work with this population which shares their life experiences with us and has fun during the program sessions. To date we have reached adults from the following towns: Carolina, San Juan, Caguas, Guaynabo, Río Grande, Toa Baja, Lajas and Bayamón. In 2023 we continue recruiting new participants, so if you are interested or know someone that could enroll in the program, with free admission, please call or send a text message to: 787-567-4642 or write an e-mail to email@example.com and include the name and contact information to call back.
Launch of "Activity Manual for Creative Minds" (Manual de Actividades Para Mentes Creativas)
Last October 2022 we launched our first Manual de Actividades Para Mentes Creativas from Fundación Cortés! This manual is part of the tools included in the EducaKit and introduces artworks from members of the Cortés Family as part of the activities. At the same time it is a coloring book with different exercises including math, writing, reading, among other topics, with the intention of creating new wellness habits in the day-to-day life and improve academic standards. We give thanks to our colleague Roxana Sánchez Ortiz for this initiative and its creation and design, as part of the materials included in our EducaKits. For more info you can send an e-mail to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hooray!
Educa Cortés Program at the Carnegie Library
During October and November 2022 we facilitated the Educa Cortés Program: The Art of Wellness and Mental Health for children and youth in the Carnegie Library, as an alternate space while we were changing exhibits. Thanks to the City of San Juan and Antonio Morales, Director of the Arts and Culture Department, for having us in such a magic place and help us support the learning process for our students!
"Puerto Rican Heritage Nuestro Orgullo Award" to Don Ignacio Cortés
Last October 18, 2022 our co-founder and current President of the Board of Directors, Ignacio Cortés Gelpí, was awarded the "Puerto Rican Heritage Nuestro Orgullo Award". This award was part of the Gala hosted by Comité Noviembre celebrated in the iconic The Water Club in New York. The award recognizes Ignacio Cortés "for his devoted mission promoting, integrating and advancing the Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, showcasing exhibitions and programs created to visibilize and give the importance to the rich traditions of Puerto Rican Arts." Bravo, Don Ignacio!
XXX Annual ICOFOM LAC Meeting
Last November 1st, 2022, our Executive Director and Lead Educator, Adelisa González-Lugo, together with Dr. Irene Esteves Amador, Director of Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos Dra. Josefina Camacho de la Nuez/Ana G. Méndez University-Gurabo, moderated a panel discussion during the virtual XXX Annual ICOFOM LAC meeting with nearly 90 museum professionals attending from all over the Caribbean. They had the honor to introduce the guest speaker: archaeologist Kevin Farmer, Associate Director of the Barbados Museum and Historic Society, who elaborated on the taboos in museology, and ended with a Questions and Comments session. Mr. Farmer is the co-editor of the publication: "Plantation to Nation: Caribbean Museums and National Identity". In addition, on November 17 our Executive Director and Lead Educator, as a member of the Subcommittee of the Museums Association of the Caribbean (MAC), participated as a panelist at the MAC Annual General Meeting, presenting findings from the focus groups conducted in four languages Caribbean-wide, to inform the new definition of museums recently presented by ICOM after an 18-month participatory process all across the world.
"10 Years: Thousands of stories at Fundación Cortés" Video Series Release
To remember the ten year trajectory of Fundación Cortés, we decided to launch, with the help of Carmelo Establier, Social Media Coordinator from Cortés Hermanos, Inc., a limited video series introducing key people that have helped develop our cultural and educational programs. Personalities like the First Actress Cordelia González, the distinguished curator Humberto Figueroa, artist Rafi Trelles and Don Ignacio Cortés, among others, share their most precious memories and anecdotes throughout the ten years Fundación turned in September 2022.
Visit our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@fundacioncortes4435 to enjoy these series that will continue introducing more key personalities through 2023.
New Exhibition at Fundación Cortés: "Eyes That Have Sight. To See Beyond"
Celebrating the 10 years of Fundación Cortés, we inaugurated on December 7, 2022 our new exhibition titled "Eyes That Have Sight. To See Beyond" curated by the renowned Cuban independent writer, art historian and curator, Gerardo Mosquera. This exhibit reunites artworks from the Colección Chocolate Cortés and encompasses both our galleries, organized in "loose thematic beams" inviting us to look at the Caribbean through the eyes of this artistic selection, as the curator narrates in his curatorial essay. For this exhibit we published a special edition catalog which includes all the artworks from the exhibit, the curatorial essay and the messages from Ignacio Cortés and our Executive Director and Lead Educator, Adelisa González-Lugo. To buy the catalog you can call or send a text message to 787-567-4642 or send an e-mail to email@example.com .
Series of presentations from Gerardo Mosquera in Puerto Rico
Is it a great honor for us to have the great Gerardo Mosquera as the curator of the new exhibit that celebrates our ten years in Fundación Cortés. Furthermore, to share his numerous intellectual contributions inside and outside of the Caribbean through a series of presentations organized around the opening of the exhibit in collaboration with allied entities. We thank our collaborators that made possible the presentations given by Gerardo Mosquera at Universidad de Puerto Rico, the Museo y Centro de Estudios Humanísticos Dra. Josefina Camacho de la Nuez/Ana G. Méndez University-Gurabo, the Museo de Arte Caribbean University in Bayamón and the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico. Thanks for making this unforgettable journey possible!
We want to highlight the visit from the Chancellor of the Escuela de Artes Plásticas y Diseño de Puerto Rico, Ileana Muñoz, together with the President of their Board of Directors, Dr. Abdías Méndez Robles. Thank you for accepting our invitation to visit our galleries as part of the alliances we continue to strengthen to benefit our community and develop future projects together. The celebration continues!!