Dramatic increase in rent, housing prices and evictions has sharpened income inequality and squeezed out more middle-class families, small businesses, artists and intellectuals — the people who gave Spanish Harlem its rich and diverse cultural appeal in the first place. Spanish Harlem also known as “El Barrio” has historically been a working-class Latino neighborhood that asserts its cultural background through the arts, dance, drama and small business that have lasted decades – until now.
Due to gentrification in neighborhoods such as “El Barrio.” small businesses and neighborhoods that used to populate our mental maps are now disappearing at a rapid pace. When prices go up, rent rises beyond feasible means – the middle-class and poor have to either close down or move out of the neighborhood. Replacing mom-and-pop businesses with new restaurants that serve high-end food and cater to the new arrivals moving in.
This is the subject of discussion in the award-winning documentary “El Barrio Tours: Gentrification in East Harlem” by Andrew J. Padilla. Andrew, both creator and director of this documentary, wanted to delve into the subject matter and discuss the repercussions of gentrification through the perspectives of those mostly affected. Mr. Padilla has been fundraising and accepting donations to take his documentary to cities all across the country dealing with gentrification. The aim is to create short films dedicated to exploring how gentrification has been affecting barrios all across the Americas.
Andrew currently has an Indiegogo fundraising campaign that started on July 23, 2013 and will run until September 01, 2013 (11:59PM PT). For more inquiries and/or how to make a donation, please visit: El Barrio Tours: Gentrification USA
Also, as an added bonus, Mr. Padilla will be hosting a “end of campaign fundraising celebration two day extravaganza” on August 22nd and August 23rd. For location and added details. scroll down:
Day 1: 8/22: Screening & Salsa night at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe (9pm) Benediction by R’mon-E Salsa by Jorge Pupo (Trumbonist in “El Cantante”)
Tickets 10$ via online
Day 2: 8/23: Fundraiser at La Casa Azul bookstore on the 23rd Art Auction by Giannina Gutierrez (Creator of El Barrio Pinta)
Benediction by Jesus-Papoleto Melendez Dance Performance by Milteri Tucker & the Bombazo Dance Co. Suggested donation: $10
Hope to see all my lovely readers at these events – and don’t forget to donate!
— Roz Baron