Posts Tagged ‘Executive Director’

Opening Night CIRCA Puerto Rico ’06

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
May 25, 2006
6:00 pm

CIRCA

CIRCA Puerto Rico ’06

The First International Art Fair in the Caribbean

At the Puerto Rico Convention Center San Juan

Opening Night – May 25, 2006

Roberto J. Nieves, President Anabelle Lampón, Executive Director Elvis Fuentes and Celina Nogueras Cuevas, Artistic Directors Celia Sredni de Birbragher, Paco Barragán and Fernando E. Gutiérrez, Consultants
www.circapr.com

Deadline for Exhibitor Applications: March 27, 2006

Circa Puerto Rico ’06, the first international art fair in the Caribbean, will launch on May 25 – 28, 2006, at the new Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan. The fair will feature some 100 exhibitors from Puerto Rico, Latin America, the United States and Europe.

Scheduled to occur shortly after arteBA, the Buenos Aires art fair, and opening on the heels of the Latin American art auctions in New York, CIRCA Puerto Rico ’06 will bring the best of Modern and contemporary art to a local and international audience of collectors. It will be the first and only art fair of its kind in the Caribbean and Central America, where an important group of collectors has emerged in the past few years, in response to the region’s burgeoning and dynamic artistic community and prominent museums and galleries.

For galleries who wish to apply, please visit www.circapr.com or contact:
CIRCA Puerto Rico
Portfolio FIAC, Inc.
Drive-In Plaza 2135 Carr. #2
PMB 455 Suite 15
Bayamon, PR 00959-5259
USA

Tel. +1 787 279 7675
Fax. +1 787 797 4502
info@circapr.com
www.circapr.com

Deadline for Applications: March 27, 2006
A committee will then gather to select a final list of exhibitors, which will be made public before April 1st.

VIOLENCE INTERVENTION PROGRAM AT RISK

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
April 11, 2007
10:41 pm

VIOLENCE INTERVENTION PROGRAM AT RISK
Wednesday, April 11th, 2007
The Community Supporters of the Violence Intervention Program (CSVIP) are calling a press conference to speak about the crisis situation confronting the Violence Intervention Program, Inc. (VIP) and the steps we are taking to try to save it.

Elected Officials, domestic violence survivors and advocates, and representatives from the CSVIP call upon YOU to exercise your leadership role in support of the battered women and staff of VIP by joining us at the press conference.

WHEN: Thursday, April 12, 2007, 10 a.m.
WHERE: Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, 1680 Lexington Av
Confirm your attandance email SaveVIP@aol.com or call 212.650.4938 or 212.423.9010

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
Community Supporters Unite to Save Domestic Violence Program

Recent Actions by Board Members Have Placed Organization in Jeopardy

The Community Supporters of the Violence Intervention Program (CSVIP), a group made up of domestic violence advocates and a wide array of community leaders, including elected officials, is demanding the resignation of the Board of Directors of the Violence Intervention Program, Inc. (“VIP”), the establishment of a new Board with the necessary qualifications and the reinstatement of Grace Perez as Executive Director.

The current board members are Vivian Selenikas, newly appointed Chair, Kenneth Diaz, Acting Chair, Sandra Quilico, Treasurer, Nancy Nazario, Secretary, Zarah Guzman, member, and Vivian Rivera, member. Calling the Board’s actions “irresponsible, arbitrary and capricious,” the CSVIP has issued an Open Letter and Petition to the Board (“The Petition”), seeking their resignation.

The reasons for this request include the following: their failure to respond to repeated requests made by community leaders to meet with them; their refusal to bring a neutral third party to facilitate whatever conflict that may have existed between them and the Executive Director; the unjustified discharge of VIP’s Executive Director; their failure to have a plan in place to ensure the management of the organization and the provision of services for VIP clients (battered women and their children); and their failure to fully explain their decision to not purchase a building that could have become a permanent home for VIP.

VIP is a very important organization that has been at the fore front of serving battered women and their children since 1984 when it opened its doors in East Harlem and became the first bilingual/bicultural (Spanish/English) domestic violence service provider in the state of New York, and one of a handful in the entire nation.

Over the years, VIP has developed and grown tremendously expanding its services beyond East Harlem to also serve women and children in the Bronx and Queens. Today, VIP provides crisis intervention, counseling, support groups, case management, and residential services to hundreds of women and children in
three boroughs.

The Board Has Refused to Meet With Community Leaders to Resolve Situation

For months, VIP’s Board of Directors has refused to meet with or respond to the calls of various community leaders who have knocked at their doors trying to prevent the very crisis that they have now created. On Monday, March 26, Jenny Rivera, who was recently appointed by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights, resigned her position as Chair of VIP’s Board. However, before she did this, she made sure that the Board fired Grace Perez, who has served as VIP’s Executive Director for the past 17 years, helping to make it the exemplary organization that it is today.

The Board made this arbitrary and capricious decision without adequate reason and without having an interim director or a plan of action in place. Furthermore, prior to the discharge, the Board refused any attempt on behalf of Ms. Perez or community leaders to resolve whatever management/governance differences may have existed between the Board and the Executive Director with a neutral third party.

What we find illogical and absurd is that the only reason that this Board cited for dismissing Grace is the actions that she took related to the purchase of a building in East Harlem that would serve as a permanent home for VIP.

We know that for more than a year, Grace Perez, with the help of Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito, and with the approval of this Board, was able to obtain a $500,000 grant from the NYC Council to renovate the building once it was purchased; a $140,000 down payment for the purchase of the building and $40,000 for closing fees; the pro bono services of an architect to draw up the floor plans; as well as the pro bono services of a real estate lawyer to represent VIP in the purchasing transactions. However, at the last hour, without consulting it with Grace Perez or Councilwoman Mark Viverito, the Board decided not to go through with the purchase.

The Board cited as the reason for this decision, the advice of an unnamed financial advisor, whom they claim determined that VIP was not in a financial position to move forward with the purchase. However, this conclusion is not supported by the review of VIP’s finances by the City Council and its approval for a $500,000 grant nor by the two banks which had provided letters of intent for a mortgage of up to $1.2 million.

Board Failed to Appoint Someone to Manage the Organization Before Firing ED

The discharge of Grace Perez, and the manner in which she was terminated, demonstrates the Board’s abuse of power and the fact that they seem to care very little about the lives of the women and children served by VIP. To this day, two week after her dismissal, there is still no one appointed to manage the organization.

While the Board carries out their supposed “national search” for a new Executive Director, who is in charge of VIP’s operation and management? They took the time to find a lawyer to advise them in connection with their decisions, but they did not take the time to find someone who could oversee the operations and management of the organization before they fired Ms. Perez.

Thanks to the dedication of VIP’s staff who have taken it upon themselves to carry on with their work, the women and children have been shielded from the unconscionable chaos and atmosphere of insecurity which the Board has created.

On the day that Ms. Perez was fired, 10 representatives from local organizations went to the offices of VIP, as a group, to demand an immediate meeting with Board. Zarah F. Guzman, the only Board member, who went to VIP that day to try to change the locks on the door, took the names of the 10 representatives and promised the Board would contact them for an emergency meeting. The representatives are still waiting to hear from the Board.

As a Board that heads such an important and necessary organization, they have placed this organization and the people it serves in serious jeopardy and numerous community members have signed the open letter and petition asking for their resignation and making room for a new board that has the knowledge, experience, and credibility necessary to lead and govern VIP.

Please eMail your Comments & support to The Community Supporters of the Violence Intervention Program (CSVIP), SaveVIP@AOL.Com.

La Casa Welcomes Its New Executive Director

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
September 14, 2007
6:00 pm

LRodriguez.jpg

Leticia Rodriguez

Open House Reception, September 14th

1230 Fifth Avenue, Suite 458
Call (212) 722-2600 for Details
http://www.lacasapr.org

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., Re-Elected as NALEO President

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Adolfo Carrion Jr.

NALEO Board Officers Re-Elected, Hon. Ana Rivas Logan of Miami Dade County Public Schools Elected to NALEO Board

WASHINGTON, DC -The Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) today re-elected Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., as president of the organization for a second one-year term. President Carrion is the first person of Puerto Rican descent to lead the organization.

A former urban planner, teacher and community organizer, President Carrion was elected to the New York City Council in 1997. He served one term before running for the Borough Presidency of the Bronx and winning in 2001. He was elected to his first term as NALEO president in 2007.

“I want to thank my colleagues on the NALEO board for their continued support of my leadership of this important national organization,” stated NALEO President Carrion. “With more Latinos in the history of the nation voting in the 2008 presidential election, NALEO has a tremendous opportunity to raise the issues and concerns for Latinos to the forefront for discussion at a national level,” he continued. “I look forward to working with the NALEO board to usher in a new era of Latino political empowerment.”

At its meeting, the Board re-elected its officers, including New Mexico Secretary of State Marry Herrera as Vice-President; East Chicago School Board Member Fernando Trevino as Secretary; and Texas State Representative Pete P. Gallego as Treasurer. The Board also re-elected its members to another term. In addition, Board Member Ana Rivas Logan of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools was elected to serve a three-year term on the organization’s Board of Directors.

“The future success of this nation will be determined by the increased participation and continued growth of the nation’s second largest population group,” said Arturo Vargas, Executive Director for NALEO. “I am confident the NALEO Board is up to task in pursuing the organization’s mission of Latino empowerment.”

The President, Officers and Directors were selected at the Annual Meeting of the NALEO Board of Directors, the culmination of NALEO’s 25th Annual Conference, the nation’s preeminent Latino Political Convention.

Puerto Rico Governor Inaugurates New Commonwealth Offices in Manhattan

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

PR Newswire (May 8, 2008)
NEW YORK — Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo-Vila presided over the official opening of the Commonwealth’s new offices in New York City on Wednesday.

Located at 135 West 50th Street in Midtown Manhattan, the new facility brings for the first time, Puerto Rico’s four economic development and promotional agencies under one roof: The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Rums of Puerto Rico and the Government Development Bank.

Hosting an evening reception for New York-based business leaders, finance experts and corporate location consultants, Governor Acevedo-Vila said:

“The Commonwealth ofPuerto Rico has long maintained a visible presence here in New York, the world’s financial, business and media capital, and the cultural and economic ties between the Island and New York are as strong as ever.

“With these four key agencies now under one roof, Puerto Rico’s new offices can more effectively reach out together to business targets and decision makers, creating new synergies that benefit companies interested in Puerto Rico,” the Governor added. “More than ever, we will be able to convey the message that Puerto Rico is a wonderful place to visit, a great place for business and investment and the source of some delightful rum products all at the same time.”

In addition to a suite of offices on 22nd floor, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company will soon open a storefront location on the building’s ground floor. According to Terestella Gonzalez Denton, Executive Director of the Tourism Company, the visibility will be especially valuable now, when record breaking numbers of overseas tourists, drawn by the weak American dollar, are flocking toNew York City.

Despite the downturn in the U.S. economy, Puerto Rico’s tourism program is thriving. The Island drew more than 5 million visitors in 2007, up nearly 100,000 from the year before. And, with 21 new hotel properties in the pipeline, the Puerto Rico Tourism Company is well on its way to meeting its goal of 14,000 new hotel rooms by 2011, a doubling of the existing inventory.

On the industrial development front, Boris Jaskille, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), reports more than 22 “high impact” projects over the 18 months, accounting for $2 billion in capital investment and 5,000 direct new jobs. These include nearly a billion dollars worth of new investment by life sciences companies such as Pall Life Sciences, St. Jude Medical and Abraxis Biosciences, as well as several millions of dollars in added investment by aerospace engineering companies, including Honeywell and Pratt & Whitney, who are taking advantage of the large pool of highly skilled engineers on the Island.

“Puerto Rico has succeeded in attracting billions of dollars in investment in the last few years, much of it in high-technology sectors like biotech and aerospace engineering,” said Jaskille. “With our new offices in the heart of Manhattan, even more investors will learn that Puerto Rico is open for business, providing offshore advantages alongside the same protections they enjoy in the United States Mainland. We offer a unique value proposition.”

The new Incentives Act for Puerto Rico, which allows for tax incentives and added benefits to businesses establishing their operations on the Island, has been recently revamped in a paramount team effort of both the public and private sectors, to position Puerto Rico as the location of choice for foreign direct investment. “We’re currently sharing these new tools and provisions of the PR Incentives Act with potential investors and site selectors seeking highly competitive tax rates along with Puerto Rico’s world-class skilled workforce and unparalleled value proposition. We are also addressing global challenges and reducing energy costs. This strategic plan will undoubtedly position the Island as a front-runner in investment promotion”, said Jaskille.

Bartolome Gamundi, Secretary of the Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development and Commerce, followed up, saying, “Many of the global companies located inPuerto Rico today have enjoyed our unique investment advantages for decades. With the opening of ourNew York offices, the economic development team can maximize our agencies synergies in presenting Puerto Rico’s business advantages to the world’s capital of finance and industry.”

SOURCE The Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company

7th Annual NYC Brides March Against Domestic Violence, Wed 26 sep

Friday, September 21st, 2007
New York Latinas Against Domestic Violence
c/o Violence Intervention Program, Inc.
P.O. Box 1161 New York, NY 10035
(212) 410-9080
www.nylatinasagainstdv.org

For Immediate Release
September 25, 2007

Contacts:
Antonieta Gimeno (646) 672-1404, cell 917-981-1625
Janice Cruz (646) 672-1404

Seventh Annual NYC Brides’ March Against Domestic Violence
Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Scores of “Brides” and Supporters Will March Through Manhattan and the Bronx to Remember Gladys Ricart and Other Victims of Domestic Violence
For the seventh year in a row, scores of women dressed in wedding gowns, along with men dressed in black, will march through the streets of Washington Heights, the South Bronx, and East Harlem to raise awareness about the devastating effects of domestic violence on Latino and other families and communities.
Marchers will start gathering at 9 a.m. in front of the offices of the Dominican Women’s Development Center at 251 Fort Washington Avenue where they will hear from some of the march organizers. The six-mile march will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. and will end after 3 p.m. in East Harlem at the Bonifacio Senior Center, 7 East 116th Street with a speak-out and closing ceremony (see attached march route).

The Brides’ March, also known as The Gladys Ricart and Victims of Domestic Violence Memorial Walk, is an annual event that was started in 2001 to remember Ms. Ricart, who was murdered by a former abusive boyfriend on the day she was to wed someone else, and all the other women who have been killed or injured in domestic violence incidents (see chronology of events attached). Because the wedding dress, the emblem of happiness and everlasting love, has been forever tainted in the Latino community by Gladys’ murder, it is a strong symbol for the New York Latinas Against Domestic Violence (NYLADV), the main organizers of the March.

Marchers will be joined by Josie Ashton, a Dominican woman from Florida who originated the idea for the first march, after being strongly moved by the murder, slanted media coverage, and some community members’ insensitive response to Ms. Ricart’s murder. Ms. Ashton resigned from her job and sacrificed more than two months of her life away from her family to walk in a wedding gown, down the East Coast, from New Jersey to Miami, in an attempt to draw attention to the horrors of domestic violence.

Local government officials and community figures including Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, NYS Senator Erik T.  Schneiderman, Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat, Commissioner Yolanda Jimenez from the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, Council Members Melissa
Mark-Viverito, Robert Jackson and Miguel Martinez, will also join the marchers and speak during the day’s events.

Dozens Of Deaths And Hundreds Of Thousands Of Domestic Violence Incidents Reported Each Year In New York City.
According to the NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, there were 71 family related homicides in 2006 as of December 31, 2006. Family related homicide includes intimate partner homicide as well as homicide committed by other family members and includes children who were killed as a result of family violence. 83% of these cases had no known prior police contact and 6% of these cases had a current Order of Protection. At present, there are 2,081 domestic violence emergency shelter beds citywide, a 35% increase since January 2002.
In addition, according to the Mayor’s Office, the police responded to 221,071 domestic violence incidents in 2006; this averages to over 600 incidents per day. And teen dating relationship abuse continues to be a problem as well. The City Domestic Violence Hotline received 9,462 calls from teens in 2006.
Rosita Romero, Executive Director of the Dominican Women’s Development Center said “domestic violence is not a women’s problem; it is a problem that affects the entire family and our society as a whole. It is also connected to other types of violence in our society. We have to find better ways of relating to each other as human beings; on a more equal level and with more kindness and compassion. We need to educate ourselves more about this pandemic to make a bigger commitment to prevent it and eradicate it.”
Josie Ashton who will address the marchers during the rally at the Bonifacio Senior Center stresses that “we continue with our commitments to every woman, man and children to work hard every day to fight domestic violence. Our hope is that our government and members of our community will do the same.”
A partial list of sponsors for the 2007 NYC Annual Brides’ March include:

New York Latinas Against Domestic Violence, the Ricart family, Josie Ashton, Nuevo Amanecer, Violence Intervention Program, Dominican Women’s Development Center, The National Latino Alliance for the Elimination of Domestic Violence, Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat, National Dominican Women’s Caucus, Anthony Diaz from Fortune Society.
A partial list of participating individuals and organizations include:

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, Congress Member Charles B. Rangel’s Office, Seny Tavera Special Counsel to Lieutenant Governor David Patterson, Crucita Medina Martinez, Bonifacio Senior Center, NYC Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence, NYC Mayor’s Office on Immigrant Affairs, New York City Police Department, New York City Department of Sanitation, Assembly Woman Noemi Rivera, Council Member Miguel Martinez, Council Member Robert Jackson, Council Member Helen Foster, Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito, Jorge Abreu from Heritage Health Housing, Reverend Luis Barrios from the San Romero de las Americas Church, Reverend Hector Laporte, Lucy Pizarro of Levántate Mujer, Planned Parenthood, CONNECT, In Motion.

VIOLENCE INTERVENTION PROGRAM AT RISK

Wednesday, April 11th, 2007

The Community Supporters of the Violence Intervention Program (CSVIP) are calling a press conference to speak about the crisis situation confronting the Violence Intervention Program, Inc. (VIP) and the steps we are taking to try to save it.

Elected Officials, domestic violence survivors and advocates, and representatives from the CSVIP call upon YOU to exercise your leadership role in support of the battered women and staff of VIP by joining us at the press conference.

WHEN: Thursday, April 12, 2007, 10 a.m.
WHERE: Julia de Burgos Cultural Center, 1680 Lexington Av
Confirm your attandance email SaveVIP@aol.com or call 212.650.4938 or 212.423.9010

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
Community Supporters Unite to Save Domestic Violence Program

Recent Actions by Board Members Have Placed Organization in Jeopardy

The Community Supporters of the Violence Intervention Program (CSVIP), a group made up of domestic violence advocates and a wide array of community leaders, including elected officials, is demanding the resignation of the Board of Directors of the Violence Intervention Program, Inc. (“VIP”), the establishment of a new Board with the necessary qualifications and the reinstatement of Grace Perez as Executive Director.

The current board members are Vivian Selenikas, newly appointed Chair, Kenneth Diaz, Acting Chair, Sandra Quilico, Treasurer, Nancy Nazario, Secretary, Zarah Guzman, member, and Vivian Rivera, member. Calling the Board’s actions “irresponsible, arbitrary and capricious,” the CSVIP has issued an Open Letter and Petition to the Board (“The Petition”), seeking their resignation.

The reasons for this request include the following: their failure to respond to repeated requests made by community leaders to meet with them; their refusal to bring a neutral third party to facilitate whatever conflict that may have existed between them and the Executive Director; the unjustified discharge of VIP’s Executive Director; their failure to have a plan in place to ensure the management of the organization and the provision of services for VIP clients (battered women and their children); and their failure to fully explain their decision to not purchase a building that could have become a permanent home for VIP.

VIP is a very important organization that has been at the fore front of serving battered women and their children since 1984 when it opened its doors in East Harlem and became the first bilingual/bicultural (Spanish/English) domestic violence service provider in the state of New York, and one of a handful in the entire nation.

Over the years, VIP has developed and grown tremendously expanding its services beyond East Harlem to also serve women and children in the Bronx and Queens. Today, VIP provides crisis intervention, counseling, support groups, case management, and residential services to hundreds of women and children in
three boroughs.

The Board Has Refused to Meet With Community Leaders to Resolve Situation

For months, VIP’s Board of Directors has refused to meet with or respond to the calls of various community leaders who have knocked at their doors trying to prevent the very crisis that they have now created. On Monday, March 26, Jenny Rivera, who was recently appointed by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo as Special Deputy Attorney General for Civil Rights, resigned her position as Chair of VIP’s Board. However, before she did this, she made sure that the Board fired Grace Perez, who has served as VIP’s Executive Director for the past 17 years, helping to make it the exemplary organization that it is today.

The Board made this arbitrary and capricious decision without adequate reason and without having an interim director or a plan of action in place. Furthermore, prior to the discharge, the Board refused any attempt on behalf of Ms. Perez or community leaders to resolve whatever management/governance differences may have existed between the Board and the Executive Director with a neutral third party.

What we find illogical and absurd is that the only reason that this Board cited for dismissing Grace is the actions that she took related to the purchase of a building in East Harlem that would serve as a permanent home for VIP.

We know that for more than a year, Grace Perez, with the help of Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito, and with the approval of this Board, was able to obtain a $500,000 grant from the NYC Council to renovate the building once it was purchased; a $140,000 down payment for the purchase of the building and $40,000 for closing fees; the pro bono services of an architect to draw up the floor plans; as well as the pro bono services of a real estate lawyer to represent VIP in the purchasing transactions. However, at the last hour, without consulting it with Grace Perez or Councilwoman Mark Viverito, the Board decided not to go through with the purchase.

The Board cited as the reason for this decision, the advice of an unnamed financial advisor, whom they claim determined that VIP was not in a financial position to move forward with the purchase. However, this conclusion is not supported by the review of VIP’s finances by the City Council and its approval for a $500,000 grant nor by the two banks which had provided letters of intent for a mortgage of up to $1.2 million.

Board Failed to Appoint Someone to Manage the Organization Before Firing ED

The discharge of Grace Perez, and the manner in which she was terminated, demonstrates the Board’s abuse of power and the fact that they seem to care very little about the lives of the women and children served by VIP. To this day, two week after her dismissal, there is still no one appointed to manage the organization.

While the Board carries out their supposed “national search” for a new Executive Director, who is in charge of VIP’s operation and management? They took the time to find a lawyer to advise them in connection with their decisions, but they did not take the time to find someone who could oversee the operations and management of the organization before they fired Ms. Perez.

Thanks to the dedication of VIP’s staff who have taken it upon themselves to carry on with their work, the women and children have been shielded from the unconscionable chaos and atmosphere of insecurity which the Board has created.

On the day that Ms. Perez was fired, 10 representatives from local organizations went to the offices of VIP, as a group, to demand an immediate meeting with Board. Zarah F. Guzman, the only Board member, who went to VIP that day to try to change the locks on the door, took the names of the 10 representatives and promised the Board would contact them for an emergency meeting. The representatives are still waiting to hear from the Board.

As a Board that heads such an important and necessary organization, they have placed this organization and the people it serves in serious jeopardy and numerous community members have signed the open letter and petition asking for their resignation and making room for a new board that has the knowledge, experience, and credibility necessary to lead and govern VIP.

Please eMail your Comments & support to The Community Supporters of the Violence Intervention Program (CSVIP), SaveVIP@AOL.Com.

# # #

MNN is officially out of PRdream’s new media loft

Friday, December 15th, 2006

PRdream/MediaNoche, the first new media gallery and digital studio of Upper Manhattan, and Manhattan Neighborhood Network, the community access organization for Manhattan, opened a satellite public access, cable television facility in PRdream’s loft on East 106th Street in 2004. This past Friday, December 1, they met to finalize the terms of MNN’s departure which was set for Wednesday, December 13. According to Judith Escalona, Director of PRdream.com and MediaNoche, “the split was long in the making.” The two organizations, one small and the other large, are remarkably different in their uses of media and their ultimate aims.

PRdream/MediaNoche seeks to utilize digital technology and the internet to advance an agenda that opens a dialogue among artists and filmmakers worldwide while maintaining a strong community base. That agenda involves the production, exhibition and distribution of digital artwork and films. It also involves an ongoing theorizing and critique of media practices.

Manhattan Neighborhood Network is mandated by the franchise agreement between the city of New York and Time-Warner, to provide free training in video production and programming time to the residents of Manhattan over the designated public access channels in Manhattan. They also have a website at http://www.mnn.org. Public Access television came into being in the seventies, as an enticement created by the cable companies who wanted to install coaxial cable in city streets.

Neither organization plans to leave Spanish Harlem aka El Barrio. PRdream first came to El Barrio in 1999 to showcase an unique film festival called Nuyorican Cinema at the Julia de Burgos Cultural Center and later opened its new media loft on East 106th Street in order to collect the oral histories of the Puerto Rican diaspora. This work continues unabated and can be seen online at http://www.prdream.com.

They later expanded their activities by creating the first new media gallery and digital film studio of Upper Manhattan, MediaNoche, and The Handball Court Summer Film Festival, screening international films at sunset by projecting them on the handball court wall on East 106th Street. This past summer, they launched MediaNoche_wifi, offering free wireless internet access on East 106th Street and White Park.

PRdream/MediaNoche will continue its activities from its new media loft. Check out http://www.prdream.com and http://www.medianoche.us.

In a move that involves temporarily downsizing, MNN will occupy a smaller space on Lexington Avenue, according to Dan Coughlin, the Executive Director of Manhattan Neighborhood Network, while they prepare for a permanent residence on East 104th Street, where they are in the process of purchasing the delapidated firehouse located there. The sale of the firehouse by El Museo del Barrio was surrounded by controversy by community residents who saw the loss of a cultural asset. The building has been closed for two decades and shows the wear of disuse and neglect.

For Escalona, it’s all part of a process of cleaning house and streamlining activities at PRdream/MediaNoche. “We’ve reached a point of growth that necessitates refocusing and assessment in order to continue to deliver smart, good quality work.” 2006 was apparently a great year for the organization which hosted the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “In the Making.” They also completed a webcast that featured an international dialogue of the work of Diogenes Ballester with El Museo de la Historia de Ponce, and The Caribbean University of Puerto Rico, this past September.

PRdream/MediaNoche has also collaborated with the Center of Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of the City of New York, and El Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. PRdream.com and MediaNoche have been featured on WABC-TV, WCBS-TV, NY1, The New York Times, NY Daily News, NY Post, El Diario, Hoy, El Mercurio (Chile), Siempre, Tiempo, and After Image, as well as international publications and web sites.

Memorial for Don Otilio Díaz, executive director of La Casa

Monday, August 28th, 2006

Don Otilio Díaz, executive director of La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriqueña, died peacefully on Monday, August 21, 2006. He was 75. Mr. Díaz had no children, but is survived here in New York by a sister and several nieces. A public memorial will be held from 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Wednesday, August 30 and Thursday, August 31 in Room 103 of the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center, located at 1680 Lexington Avenue near 106 Street. Religious services will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, September 1 at Saint Cecilia’s Church, located on East 106th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues. Mr. Diaz will then be buried in his hometown of Guayama, Puerto Rico. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to La Casa’s “Otilio Diaz Memorial Fund.” For more information, call (212) 722-2600 or visit http://www.lacasapr.org.