Festival held to celebrate 20th anniversary of National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture

CHICAGO It’s the 20th anniversary of the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, which has recently reopened following a period of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

60 vendors will be out this weekend showcasing their art, including Javier Vargas, who uses beans instead of beads to create unique pieces.

“I have probably used about 400,000 beans,” Vargas said.

For Janice Aponte, the festival and museum speaks a lot about her culture and background. Her favorite oil paintings are of Boomba dancers.

“It expresses culture and rhythm and the colors of the island,” Aponte said.

Some authentic Puerto Rican food is available, and you can hit the dancefloor right afterwards.

During the pandemic, two galleries were renovated, rejuvenating the museum on its way back into business. New exhibits include sculptures straight from the island.

From the Library of Congress, touching and historic photos from world-renowned photographer Jack Delano can be seen. His work chronicled poverty in Puerto Rico for the Farm Security Administration.

The festival is back again Sunday at 11 a.m., and the museum is open and free Tuesday through Saturday.

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