In 1970, during period of intense political upheaval across the country, Puerto Rican artists joined forces to address the social and economic ills afflicting El Barrio–and El Taller Boricua was born. Taller Boricua’s founders were comprised of young artists involved in radical organizations such as Puerto Rican Art Workers Coalition, The PUerto Rican Student Union, The Real Great Society, The Young Lords and two renown printmakers from the island, Rafael Tufino and Carlos Osorio. Grounded in a spirit of activism that flourishes to this day, the workshop began using the arts to promote collective action and community pride by producing posters and later digital media for events, demonstrations and exhibits held at the Taller and other spaces including El Museo del Barrio, The Caribbean Culture Center, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and The Center for Puerto Rican Studies. Taller Boricua’s multi-media archive is a testament of the Puerto Rican art movement in New York, a.k.a. the Nuyorican Art Movement.
Taller Boricua has also been an advocate for East Harlem artists and residents through providing work and gallery space, curating exhibits and performances, conducting in-school arts education programs and spearheading the rehabilitation of several buildings in El Barrio including the Julia The Burgos Latino Cultural Center at P.S. 72.