On Tuesday, March 3, 2009 the Puerto Rican Cultural Center concludes a year-long celebration entitled “Jornada 100 X 35.” This title was chosen with a threefold purpose: 1) to symbolize the dimensions of Puerto Rico, 2) to raise $50,000 by identifying 100 people to pledge $325 and 35 people to pledge $500-we are near this benchmark at $40,000-and 3) to pay homage to the life and legacy of Puerto Rican patriot and National Poet Juan Antonio Corretjer on his centennial and celebrate the 35th year of the founding of the PRCC. The PRCC utilized this “Jornada” to create markers that would inform the historical memory of Juan Antonio Corretjer for future generations to come.
The first of these “markers” began when the Jornada was launched with a showcasing of all the PRCC’s programs and the unveiling of the commemorative 100 X 35 poster on March 3, 2008. In April of 2008 the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Union for Puerto Rican Students dedicated the 14th Annual Pa’lante Conference to Juan Antonio Corretjer and along with the National Boricua Human Rights Network, celebrated his legacy as a Puerto Rican political prisoner and his commitment to the release of Puerto Rican political prisoners over the years; this included a lecture by Puerto Rican human rights activist/attorney Eduardo Villanueva and a musical rendition of Corretjer’s poetry by the Orquesta Nacional Mapeyé. In June, in conjunction with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science’s symposium “Community As Intellectual Space,” the 30th Puerto Rican People’s Day Parade was celebrated under the slogan “The Aesthetics of Resistance: The Act of Community Building.” This theme was drawn from Corretjer’s work Poesia y Revolucion.
In addition, a new mural depicting Juan Antonio was added on Paseo Boricua in back of La Casita de Don Pedro by Mexican artist Manelik Gutiérrez. In August, on the eve of the 15th Annual Fiesta Boricua, the PRCC and El Quijote Bookstore sponsored a book signing of ”Un Boricua En La Luna” written by Carlos Quiles Rodríguez about Juan Antonio Corretjer’s influence on the PRCC’s work in Chicago. In addition, a bust of Corretjer by Puerto Rican sculptor Juan Nuñez was unveiled at La Estancia as well as a new mural at the PRCC Annex, 2700 W. Haddon, by Puerto Rican painter Pablo Marcano García. Finally, in December 2008, the PRCC published Juan Antonio Corretjer’s “La Lucha por La Independencia” translated by his daughter Consuelito (the first English translation of Corretjer’s major publications).
Furthermore, the PRCC was instrumental in helping to promote other events commemorating Juan Antonio Corretjer in Philadelphia, New York and Puerto Rico.[/lang_en]