El Barrio, NY – Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs introduced a bill to establish El Barrio as a cultural district in New York State. If passed by the State Legislature, El Barrio would be the first neighborhood to earn that designation.
Assemblymember Eddie Gibbs said: “I am very fortunate to have grown up in and now to represent El Barrio, a neighborhood with a rich cultural history and a strong Hispanic and Puerto Rican identity. From El Museo del Barrio to the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center to the small businesses and places of worship lining our streets, there are so many institutions in our neighborhood that make it like no other. I am introducing a bill in the Assembly to designate El Barrio as a cultural district, because we must encourage our continued cultural and economic growth and preserve and celebrate our neighborhood’s history.”
Eugene Rodriguez, President of El Barrio Theater Group and former Chair of Community Board 11, said: “The designation of Spanish Harlem as a cultural district will open the doors of opportunity to an entire new generation not only of Latino artists but of Black, Asian, and Italian artists from the neighborhood. They will be able to exercise their creative wings to provide entertainment to all New Yorkers. A cultural district will also benefit small businesses here and uplift our efforts to designate El Barrio as a theater district. I would like to thank Assemblymember Gibbs for seeing the benefit of creating a cultural district in Spanish Harlem.”