Audio Recording Interview with Gamaliel Ramírez from the El Taller organization, Chicago, Illinois, part 1

Interview with Gamaliel Ramírez from the El Taller organization, Chicago, Illinois, part 1

About this Item

Title
Interview with Gamaliel Ramírez from the El Taller organization, Chicago, Illinois, part 1
Contributor Names
George, Philip B., 1946- (Collector)
Ramírez, Gamaliel (Interviewee)
Created / Published
Chicago, Illinois, June 29, 1977
Subject Headings
-  Hispanic Americans
-  Ethnography
-  Interviews
-  Illinois -- Chicago
Genre
Ethnography
Interviews
Notes
-  Gamaliel Ramirez (El Taller)
-  Part 1 of a 2-part interview in English with mural painter Gamaliel (Bobby) Ramírez from the Puerto Rican community organization El Taller, recorded at the El Taller office at 1039 W. Grace St., Chicago; topics include the nature and organization of El Taller; outline of Board, collective, and members; members of the collective, Ramirez is one of five; reason for starting was to channel creativity, involve the community, develop alternatives to gang membership for street youth; at first members were younger people, later picked up adults and academics; the building funded through the Lutheran Church, the first big boost; about the building as place to meet, work, and exchange ideas; El Taller formalized as an organization after trips to New York to view other similar groups there; the group has held workshops on poetry, murals, silk-screening, photography, guitar, and congas; about the collective organization; the special issue of the Revista Chicano-Riquena on poetry and art from El Taller as one workshop project, partially funded by Illinois Arts Council, involving kids in murals and poetry; El Taller‘s philosophy is to promote and develop artists and their skills; performing arts workshops on guitar and conga, recitals or shows of products and skills at the end of workshops; need to develop workshops, darkroom, coffee house, and gallery in their new storefront location; funds for three congueros (congresos?), other work is volunteer; moving toward more community involvement, want a concentration on Latino artists and themes but also to deal with the whole neighborhood in which a project takes place; will emphasize Puerto Rican activities but also work with parallel Mexican American organizations like ALBA, MARCH (Movimiento Artistico Chicano), and Casa Aztlan; Ramirez does not want to be commercial artist but rather to make a statement and an impression; about the expression of self through art; about Ramirez’s growth over the years; community support of his art although others may feel that "if you haven't studied the masters, you can't paint"; street people understand and don't question his schooling, he was kicked out of grammar school; about his role as community member and desire to be known as an ethnic artist, "then they can't knock me down”; about his murals and paintings on canvas; about the themes used in murals from culture and history, unity, contemporary Latino culture, the glorification of neighborhood; Ramirez sees good things happening; Ramirez’s personal history; born in Bronx of parents from San Juan, Puerto Rico; comments on the Puerto Rican population and why they came to Chicago, half from the island, half born on the mainland; many came to Chicago for economic betterment as as NYC became more difficult; Puerto Rican settlement first seen around Division and Clark Streets, now an African American area; Puerto Ricans now moving into Lake View and Uptown areas from Humboldt Park, Logan Square, and West Town neighborhoods; about the Division St. riots of 1967, conflicts between Italian and Polish on one side and the Puerto Ricans on the other, there was a Humboldt Park riot in which Ramirez was beaten by police; interview interrupted by a woman’s arrival.
Medium
audiocassette, C-60
Call Number/Physical Location
MBRS Shelflist: RYA 0772
Field Project Identifier: CH77-T234-C
Call number: AFC 1981/004: AFS 20758A
Source Collection
Chicago Ethnic Arts Project collection (AFC 1981/004)
Repository
American Folklife Center
Digital Id
https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.afc/afc1981004/afc1981004_afs20758
Language
English
Online Format
audio
Original Format
sound recording

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Credit line: Chicago Ethnic Arts Project collection (AFC 1981/004), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

George, Philip B, and Gamaliel Ramírez. Interview with Gamaliel Ramírez from the El Taller organization, Chicago, Illinois, part 1. Chicago, Illinois, 1977. Audio. https://www.loc.gov/item/afc1981004_afs20758/.

APA citation style:

George, P. B. & Ramírez, G. (1977) Interview with Gamaliel Ramírez from the El Taller organization, Chicago, Illinois, part 1. Chicago, Illinois. [Audio] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/afc1981004_afs20758/.

MLA citation style:

George, Philip B, and Gamaliel Ramírez. Interview with Gamaliel Ramírez from the El Taller organization, Chicago, Illinois, part 1. Chicago, Illinois, 1977. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/afc1981004_afs20758/>.

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