Angel Antonio Ruiz-Laboy has been named the Associate Director of Arts and Culture for the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (Centro), it was announced today by Yarimar Bonilla, Centro’s acting director. Ruiz-Laboy will be the first person to hold the newly created position.
Ruiz-Laboy most recently was the Managing Director of the theater company Teatro SEA in New York. His previous experience includes serving as assistant coordinator for the King Juan Carlos I Center at NYU, and as publishing director of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (IPRC) where he was in charge of publishing books and magazines, recordings (audio and visual) as well as the marketing and sales department. While at the IPRC he also directed the Visual Arts Program where he coordinated the National Art Show, oversaw the National Art Collection and coordinated art exhibits.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have found a candidate for this position who not only has experience in arts management but is also a multi-talented writer, educator, performer, and cultural worker,” said Dr. Bonilla. “I am confident that Angel Antonio will bring a new era of artistic and cultural programming to Centro that will appeal broadly to our many constituencies. He has a true understanding of both popular culture and fine arts, and is uniquely positioned to create new dialogues among our different artistic communities.”
In addition to his vast experience in cultural management, Ruiz-Laboy is also an award-winning poet who has authored five poetry books and won numerous literary prizes including the National Poetry Award. He is also the founder of the independent publisher Editorial Erizo, and of the male choir Aequitas. As a singer, he participated in different choral groups such as the UPR Concert Choir, the San Juan Philharmonic Choir and the San Juan Bautista Choir, among others.
“I am excited to join Centro in this new endeavor, which is a unique opportunity,” said Ruiz-Laboy. “I hope to create new bridges for all Puerto Ricans and Puerto Rican researchers, using our cultural expressions as a site of encounter. I want Centro to remain as relevant as it was to its founding generation. To honor that legacy, we must commit to preserve and include new cultural expressions, register new experiences, and welcome new audiences.”
Ruiz-Laboy graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, where he studied Comparative Literature and Cultural Administration, and completed his graduate studies in Creative Writing at NYU. He has taught at NYU, Lehman College and currently teaches at the University of the Sacred Heart in Santurce, Puerto Rico.