¡Si Se Puede! / Yes You Can!

  • By Gail Heidel, Associate Director of Creative Arts Programs
  • 02 Jan, 2018

An Exhibition Honoring Women of Color Leaders, Mentors and Agents of Change

¡Si Se Puede! / Yes You Can!
An Exhibition Honoring Women of Color Leaders, Mentors and Agents of Change


Warrior Women: Mujeres Guerreras
Casita Maria Youth Exhibition

Opening in the Casita Maria Galleries on January 24, 2018

Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education is proud to present ¡Si Se Puede! / Yes You Can!, an exhibition honoring and celebrating women of color from yesterday and today who are leaders, mentors, and sheroes who chose to be in service of the community. This exhibition, titled after a call to action coined by labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, is curated by Casita Maria in collaboration with the Bronx’s very own shero Elba Cabrera. ¡Si Se Puede! and Casita Maria youth exhibition, Warrior Women: Mujeres Guerreras are on view January 24 to March 29, 2018.

Join us for an opening reception on Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 6-8PM in the Casita Maria Galleries to view artwork by the young leaders of Casita and to learn more about the honorees through photography, film, writing and ephemera.  

According to Associate Director of Creative Arts Programs Gail Heidel, “¡Si Se Puede! brings the stories of powerhouse women, who are agents of change, into the light as a teaching tool for Casita Maria youth and beyond.”

¡Si Se Puede! honorees were invited to self-select two images and write a short bio for a young audience. For the first selection, women shared a coming of age image that captured the moment in time when the seed sprouted for the work they do. For the second image, they provided a photograph or ephemera that represented their female mentor to highlight the importance of role models. In the bios, they describe their coming of age story and who inspired them to be in service of the community. Lillian Jiménez and Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora, Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños, Hunter College, CUNY provided additional research and archival photographs. Gallery attendees will be invited to share who their mentors are and why on an interactive post-it wall.

Five films will be included in the exhibition produced and directed by Lillian Jiménez, a media arts center manager, media activist, exhibitor, funder and educator. Four of the films were produced to celebrate International Working Women’s Day in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and include interviews with and about unsung Puerto Rican women such as Thay-Ling Moya, Doña Rosa Escobar, Sandra Maria Esteves, Sandra Hernandez, and Carmen Villegas among others. The fifth film titled, Antonia Pantoja ¡Presente!, is a documentary about Dr. Antonia Pantoja who was an educator, activist and founder of ASPIRA, a non-profit organization focused on empowering Puerto Rican and Latino youth.


Casita Maria youth participants will be given a private gallery tour on January 25, 2018 where they will learn about the important contributions of the honorees and the value of elders as role models. Casita’s young leaders will leave with newfound knowledge to teach the lessons learned to their families and friends to ensure the continuation of a collective memory.


The public is invited to Casita Maria on March 24, 2018, 1-4PM for an International Working Women’s Day event where documentary ¡Palante,Siempre Palante!: The Young Lords directed by Iris Morales will be screened. A panel discussion will follow focused on unpacking the contributions of women and the power of youth voices in the Young Lords movement and how the legacy of their contributions continue into the present day.


Quote- Haydee Morales, Executive Director, Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education

“This exhibition celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of local women, who would otherwise not get recognized, for their community contributions to advance justice and equity for all. We learn how they were moved, touched or inspired to commit their work and lives to social justice. Young people will benefit from understanding that there is a value in mentorship and in respecting what has come before and we are using art to connect the message to benefit the young people.”


Quote- Elba Cabrera, ambassador and advocate for the arts and former Assistant Director for the Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA)

"This exhibition, ¡Si Se Puede!, is a reminder of some of the Latina women that came before many of us; and the women who are carrying on their legacy with the work they have committed to do. I consider that this is a gift to our future generations."



Anita Antonetty, Maria Aponte, Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Alice Cardona, Tanya Fields, Melinda Gonzalez, Lillian Jiménez, Octavia Y. Lewis MPA, Maria Lizardo, Esperanza Martell, Amanda R. Matos, Dr. Antonia Pantoja, Gloria M. Rodriguez, Rose E. Rodriguez, Dr. Helen Rodriguez-Trias, Rosalba Rolón, Yolanda Sánchez, and Sofia Quintero.


For more information: 

Contact Luis Pagan
Marketing & Media Manager
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education

Social Media: @CasitaMariaBX

#SíSePuede, #WomenOfColor, #Shero

Casita Maria Gallery
928 Simpson St, 6th fl.

Hours: Monday-Friday, 10AM-6PM

CASITA MARIA CENTER FOR ARTS & EDUCATION is the first and oldest Latino charity in NYC, founded in 1934. The South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts and education programming for all ages.


ELBA CABRERA is an ambassador and advocate for the arts and the former Assistant Director for the Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA) where she promoted activities for over one hundred arts organizations throughout New York City. Cabrera created the Directory of Hispanic Arts Organizations and was the editor for AHA’s bi-monthly newsletter, Hispanic Arts. She also hosted a weekly television program called Hispanic Arts on WNYC-TV. Elba received her BA from SUNY at Old Westbury in Politics, Economics and Societies.


Supported by:  

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

By Penelope Ramirez, Program Coordinator 12 Jan, 2018

The SmART Leaders program is a year long after school program for high-school aged young people who identify as young women of color. Casita Maria is dedicated to building positive self-esteem and sisterhood among all young women who participate in the program. We specifically focus on sisterhood, rediscovering our identities, and social justice education; the best part is that we do all of this through art-centered classes and workshops! 

Whether you are interested in painting, photography, dancing, making music, or other art-based activities we will provide you with the space to discuss topics that you are interested in learning about through artistic conversations and activities. Ultimately we are dedicated to supporting young women as they build sisterhood, find their power, and discover their activism. Our application is  currently open on a rolling admission. We encourage community members, who meet the program criteria, to apply today and join us as we work to empower the young women of The Bronx! 

Apply below: 

Apply here with your mobile device.

By Luis Pagan 05 Jan, 2018
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education invites you to participate in a FREE storytelling workshop starting March 2018.

Over the course of 3 workshops (4 hours per workshop), participants will explore the principles of personal narrative, reflect on life experiences through a series of prompts, identify one personal story they wish to tell, and craft a five-minute version with the help of Moth instructors and each other. Each workshop opens with trust building games to develop a supportive space. Participants do not need to have a story identified before the workshop begins. At the end of the workshop, everyone will have an opportunity to tell their stories in front of a small, invited audience, without notes. We consider sharing our stories to be an act of bravery and generosity; listening to others is an act of empathy and kindness. The workshop will be offered free of charge to a group of between 9 and 15 adult participants.

About The Moth:
The Moth is an acclaimed nonprofit that works to promote the art and craft of storytelling and to honor the diversity and commonality of human experience. Through its ongoing programs, The Moth has presented over 23,000 stories to standing-room-only crowds worldwide and currently produces more than 500 live shows each year. The Moth podcast is downloaded over 44 million times a year, and each week, the Peabody Award-winning The Moth Radio Hour is heard on over 450 radio stations worldwide.

Deadline to apply, February 9th: 
Apply here with your mobile device.
By Gail Heidel, Associate Director of Creative Arts Programs 02 Jan, 2018

¡Si Se Puede! / Yes You Can!
An Exhibition Honoring Women of Color Leaders, Mentors and Agents of Change


Warrior Women: Mujeres Guerreras
Casita Maria Youth Exhibition

Opening in the Casita Maria Galleries on January 24, 2018

By Development Office 27 Nov, 2017

Children at the Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education are bowing, stomping and vocalizing…and some are even pressing.  All that is music talk for playing the violin, dancing, singing and piano playing.  Casita Maria is music, arts and so much more.  We are building tomorrow’s leaders. When a child enters Casita’s doors they are coached, nurtured and supported.  They are taught self-reliance and responsibility, all while learning the joy of music.

This is what you make possible every time you donate to our programs.  Today, on #Giving Tuesday, share your joy of music with the children of the South Bronx and East Harlem and watch us create the leaders of the future.

Entering its sixth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy.

By Luis Pagan 09 Nov, 2017
Casita Maria and Arturo O'Farrill invite you to:

Urban Health Plan
1065 Southern Blvd.
Bronx, NY

Join us Saturday, December 9, 2017, 4 PM and listen to Latin Jazz fused with a Hip-Hop Pioneer.
FREE & open to the public!

Grandmaster Caz (Curtis Brown)

A Bronx-born, award-winning MC and DJ who has been an acknowledged leader in both forms since the 1970s when he formed the Mighty Force and later joined The Cold Crush Brothers. Caz was inducted into the Technics DJ Hall of Fame and the Bronx Walk of Fame, a street plaque bearing his name is now on permanent display on the Grand Concourse. Caz currently serves as a Board member of the Bronx Music Heritage Center, Windows of Hip Hop and The Universal Federation for the Preservation of Hip Hop Culture.

By Haydee Morales, Executive Director 27 Sep, 2017

Casita Maria (The Little House of Mary) was founded in 1934 to help Puerto Ricans in East Harlem. It is the first and oldest Latino charity.  That mission continues today as we stand in support of Puerto Ricans following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and as we extend our hands and hearts to our sister islands in the Caribbean and to Mexico following the earthquake.  

Please give generously to relief efforts established via national and community organizations that can get the relief to the people who need it the most.

Locally, supplies needed for the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico can be dropped off at Mothers on the Move, 928 Intervale Avenue, at one of eleven centers at Urban Health Plan or Hispanic Federation .  

Casita Maria will be convening with partner organizations for a coordinated and sustained effort moving forward as Puerto Rico will require long-term assistance to address the devastation ahead.  

Water, power, fuel, food and life-saving supplies must reach them fast. We stand in solidarity with elected officials who are advocating swiftly and strongly in this matter.  We ask for your help.

We will continue to keep you posted about how, as a community, we can help moving forward and we thank you in advance for your generosity.

Arriba corazones!

Casita María (La Pequeña Casa de María) fue fundada en 1934 para ayudar a los puertorriqueños en El Barrio. Es la primera y más antigua organización en benéfica de los  latinos. Esa misión continúa hoy cuando apoyamos a los puertorriqueños después de los huracanes Irma y María, y extendemos nuestras manos y corazones a nuestras hermanas islas en el Caribe y a México después del terremoto.

Por favor dé generosamente a los esfuerzos de ayuda establecidos a través de las organizaciones nacionales y comunitarias que pueden obtener el alivio a las personas que más lo necesitan.

Localmente, los suministros necesarios para la crisis humanitaria en Puerto Rico, pueden ser dejados en Mothers on the Move, 928 Avenida Intervale, en uno de los once centros del Urban Health Plan o la Federación Hispana.

Casita María se reunirá con las organizaciones asociadas para un esfuerzo coordinado y sostenido, ya que Puerto Rico requerirá asistencia a largo plazo para enfrentar la devastación que se avecina.

Los suministros de agua, electricidad, combustible, alimentos y salud deben alcanzarlos rápidamente. Estamos en solidaridad con los funcionarios electos que están abogando con rapidez y firmeza en este asunto. Pedimos su ayuda.

Continuaremos manteniéndole informado sobre cómo, en comunidad, podemos ayudar a avanzar y le agradecemos de antemano por su generosidad.

Arriba corazones!

By Luis Pagan 14 Sep, 2017
Casita Maria and Arturo O'Farrill invite you to:

New York Auto Glass
1019 Garrison Ave.
Bronx, NY

Join us Saturday, October 14, 2017, 7 PM and listen to Latin Jazz fused with the sounds of unique glass instruments.
FREE & open to the public!

Gabrielle Garo

A student of the flute, piccolo, alto, tenor, and soprano saxophone. Achievements include: 2015 International Women in Jazz Youth in Action award, 2016 J. Marjory Jackson Scholarship, the solo award in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington Regional Festival, the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation Tuition Assistance Award, and the A.F.J Leonard Silver Award. She has performed with music greats Arturo Sandoval, Candido Camero, Phoenix Rivera, Bobby Sanabria, Kermit Ruffins, Bertha Hope, among others. Garo is a graduate of LaGuardia High School and is now studying at The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City. facebook.com/gabrielle.garo.9

Miguel Frasconi

A composer and improviser specializing in the relationship between acoustic objects and musical form. His instrumentarium includes glass objects, electronics, laptop, and constructions of his own design. Frasconi’s unique glass instruments are struck, blown, stroked, smashed and otherwise coaxed into vibration. As a composer, his works include chamber music, operas, film and dance scores. Frasconi has worked closely with composers John Cage, Jon Hassell, James Tenney, and Morton Subotnick. He is a founding member of The Glass Orchestra, featuring all glass instruments and the San Francisco sound-sculpture band Möbius Operandi. He is presently a member of Ne(x)works. frasconimusic.com

By Gail Heidel, Associate Director of Creative Arts Programs 12 Sep, 2017
September 12, 2017
By Luis Pagan 09 Aug, 2017
Casita Maria and Arturo O'Farrill invite you to:

4th Annual Music on Southern Blvd. Festival
Southern Blvd and 163rd St
Bronx, NY

Join us Saturday, September 9, 2017, 12:30 PM and listen to Latin Jazz with guest musician from Cuba, Albertico Lescay.
FREE & open to the public!

Albertico Lescay

Is a Composer, Arranger, Trumpeter, Keyboardist, Pianist and Vocalist from Santiago de Cuba and currently living in Havana. Lescay graduated in 1998 from the National School of Art (ENA), City of Havana, Cuba. He is one of the pioneers of the Nu-Jazz and directs the Iris Jazz Club of Santiago de Cuba in Cuba. As a composer, he fuses different musical genres and manifestations of art like dance, Video, and visual art with Jazz. Some of his work has been included on soundtracks of various documentaries. He has performed in numerous concerts in venues in Cuba, Mexico, and France.

By Luis Pagan 03 Jul, 2017
Casita Maria and Arturo O'Farrill invite you to:

St. Athanasius Courtyard
878 Tiffany St.
Bronx, NY

Join us Tuesday, August 1, 2017, 2 PM and listen to Latin Jazz fused withprop choreography with dance.
FREE & open to the public!

Enchanted Troupe
Opens a portal to a dream dimension where glowing, otherworldly creatures, towering stilt walkers, and fiery femmes fatales play out a seductive, spellbinding spectacle. Specializing in a fusion of intricate prop choreography with dance, this troupe of dancers and multi-prop artists creates nouveau cirque magic with incandescent energy and open-hearted passion. enchantedtroupe.com
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