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TALLER PUERTORRIQUENO INC
February 9, 2010

My personal experience with Taller has been a very long and positive one. I was one of the individuals that was originally around when a group of youth were meeting at ASPIRA,Inc. of PA and talked about racism, discrimination and what every other ills existed in the mid-70s. At that particular time, Puerto Ricans were searching for a place to identify with. You had the dominant class, and you had African-Americans, and Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia did not seem to belong any where. Based on the need for Self-Identity, Cultural Awareness, and the need to enhance our self-esteem as a people, the idea of Taller, which means "workshop" and of course Puertorriqueno, identified us. The idea was to have a workshop where young Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia could work together to learn about our rich history, cultural, ancestory, our language, authors, artists, artisans, etc. We wanted to find out who we were. We wanted to be proud of our heritage, and with this pride, we could ignore the folks that constantly called us "spics". Taller has been key in the development and appreciation of culture, language, arts and Latinos as a people. I personally, thank Taller for making me feel so proud and passionate about who I am, and where I came from. If Taller did not teach us that, who would? Not the traditional sources of education, at least not back then. Taller has transcended generations, has struggled to continue to exist and continue its mission. Taller is genuinely the cultural heart of "El Barrio" in Philadelphia, and as an individual who has lived in Philadelphia since the age of three, I give thanks to Taller for instilling in me my cultural pride and identity, which I inturn have passed down to my children and their children. Taller is needed in our community today, as much as, it was needed in the 70s, because although it is a new day, there is a need for positive reinforcements for our youth, a place our youth can feel comfortable about expresssing their creative talents and being encouraged rather than shot down. Taller is a place that our community can say yes to. Taller has been and continues to be one of the organizations, I am most passionate about. Taller has impacted and help raise many community leaders. I know that Taller definitely assisted in my personal growth and development.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Assisting me to live in this country and maintaining by ethnicity, cultural background and native language. Taller provide cultural education about my heritage that I could not get in the traditional schools.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy the work that Taller does whether its with the Youth Artist Program, Art Exhibits, Cultural Education Programs, and meeting and speaking to Latino Authors.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

The staff and volunteers I met at Taller were very educated, compassionate individuals who are committed to the mission of Taller.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Build the Arts and Cultural Center it plans to build, add additional staff, and expand its programmatic base. With 10 million dollars Taller could have a financial cushion,which is not found in many non-profits.

Ways to make it better...

My experience would have been better if Taller had more resources. Organizations like Taller find it very difficult to receive funding.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The funding sources are drying up and it gets harder for all not profits, but especially organizations that deal with the Arts.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I assist Taller in Fundraising, Board Development and Strategic Planning.