The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (NMPRAC) is devoted to the promotion, integration and advancement of Puerto Rican arts and culture, presenting exhibitions and programming created to enhance the visibility and importance of the rich Puerto Rican arts tradition.
Founded in 2000 by members of Chicago’s Puerto Rican community and local supporters of arts and culture, NMPRAC serves as a one-of-a-kind institution that celebrates the best of Puerto Rico’s identity and heritage. The early years of the museum centered on renovating the historic Humboldt Park Stables and Receptory, an iconic building that has been culturally and historically significant to Chicago since the late 1800s. After more than 20 years of not inducting any new museums in the park, NMPRAC made recent history and was named the latest City of Chicago’s Museums in the Park in February 2012.
In 2014, the name of the museum was changed to reflect our status as the only museum in the country dedicated exclusively to Puerto Rican arts and culture. The national recognition is paving the way for national accreditation through the American Alliance of Museums. Since its inception, NMPRAC has offered a variety of quality community arts and cultural programming, including visual art exhibitions, hands-on community arts workshops, films in the park and an annual outdoor fine arts and crafts festival.
Visitors to the museum will enter through the dramatic brick archway of the original carriage receptory into a magnificent brick courtyard adorned with mosaic artwork depicting the island of Puerto Rico and many of its cultural elements. The courtyard is surrounded on all sides by the unique Queen Anne architectural features of the former stables. Each room in the stables has been transformed into part of a fully functional museum.
NMPRAC currently houses three galleries, performance spaces, arts classrooms and curatorial and administrative offices. The museum also features a gift shop and a catering area. The courtyard serves as the ideal space for art festivals, outdoor performances, weddings, and other private rentals.
NMPRAC gives people from all walks of life an opportunity to be inspired by the power of artistic tradition, allowing guests to explore and appreciate the incredible beauty, intensity and tradition of Puerto Rican art and culture.
NMPRAC is the premiere organization that both influences and connects diasporic arts, culture, and history to evolving generations.
NMPRAC serves as a cultural center for all people including residents of Chicago and visitors from across the world.
The key to the success and sustainability of arts and culture in Chicago is the creation of institutions that celebrate diverse cultural traditions and nurture their contributions to the arts and culture of our city.
The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture does just this – preserving and expressing the vibrancy of Puerto Rican culture and telling the story of the important role of Puerto Ricans in developing the proud artistic tradition of Chicago and the nation.