Wednesday, February 8th marks a new benchmark for Puerto Rican Chicago. On that date the Chicago Park District Board voted unanimously to designate IPRAC as a Museum In The Park. This momentous event caps off nearly 10 years of struggle by community leaders to establish IPRAC as a Museum In The Park.
IPRAC now becomes the only museum in the United States exclusively dedicated to the artistic and cultural expressions of the Puerto Rican community; and joins the exclusive domain of such museums as the Museum of Science and Industry, the DuSable Museum and the National Museum of Mexican Art.
Ray Vázquez, Chairman of the Board of IPRAC, in expressing his gratitude to the board of commissioners of the Chicago Park District, stated: “This is a historic day for Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, but more importantly, it speaks to Chicago’s commitment to diversity. Today, all of Chicago should celebrate this momentous occasion.”
There are many people who need to be thanked, too many to name here, but a special thanks must go out to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Pat Quinn, State Representative Cynthia Soto, Billy Ocasio and Carmen Lonstein. Without their efforts, this historic moment would not have been possible.
A celebratory event will take place in the near future for community residents to partake in a celebration of IPRAC’s recent achievement and the major milestone it represents for the Humboldt Park residents and the Puerto Rican community.