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La cultura es poder

Holyoke, MA

2022 | Culture is Power @ Holyoke, MA

Community mural in collaboration with the young people of Holyoke, as part of El Corazón de Holyoke project, with the support of Nueva Esperanza, Inc. in connection with the “Race and Visual Cultures” project of UMASS Amherst.

In community workshops, the young people of Holyoke shared with us that music is a vibrant part of Puerto Rican culture in their community. We Puerto Ricans have taken the noise with us wherever we go. We also talked about how music can be a point of both distance and meeting between generations. That is why the different musical genres can be seen in the mural coming out of the windows and merging in a trail of colors that leads us to a Bomba circle. With this image, we wanted to evoke the connection of the most contemporary rhythms with ancestral traditions. Bomba is very present in the activism of the diaspora and its community practices. As such, culture is resilient and it is power.


Among the things discussed was also about envisioning an economically prosperous community. The storefronts included in the mural are spaces that have been in Holyoke for many years, where the community gets together, and we hope they will last for much longer.


Shout out for the attention and all the work of Kayla, Estrella, and Stephanie from Nueva. Thanks to this team, this project became possible. We greatly appreciate Britt Ruhe and the Common Wealth Murals team for assisting us in the installation process and completion of the project. We also thank Herminio Rodríguez for allowing us to use her photos as a reference for the mural.

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