Raysa Raquel Rodríguez García and Sharon N. González Colón, co-founders of Colectivo Moriviví, pose with the mural "Nosotres luchamos" in 2021 at Caguas, Puerto Rico (photo by Kelvin J. Rodríguez Soto; all images courtesy Maniobra)

Maniobra, a new $8 million artist employment program sponsored by the Mellon Foundation and the Centro de Economía Creativa (CEC), will support 37 Puerto Rican artists by supplying them with a salary, training, and benefits. The three-year initiative will provide a $20,000 yearly budget to 25 arts organizations in 12 municipalities across Puerto Rico while providing them with the means to hire at least one full-time artist.

Puerto Rican artists face acute financial precarity. Their median annual income is around $16,000, and 46% earn less than $12,000 per year, according to a report by the CEC.

“Lifting up and celebrating the creativity of Puerto Rican artists, writers, and performers means granting them the resources they need to pursue their callings, supporting the archipelago’s artistic and cultural organizations, and broadly fostering the work and preservation of Puerto Rican culture at a time when stable employment and funding for these efforts has been imperiled,” Elizabeth Alexander, president of the Mellon Foundation, said in a statement.

Amanda Hernández and Nicole Cecilia, founders of La Impresora (photo by Gustavo Castrodad)

Maniobra was inspired in part by efforts such as Creatives Rebuild New York, a $125 million commitment by the Mellon Foundation to provide guaranteed income and jobs for up to 2,700 artists living throughout New York State.

The recipient artists and organizations, representing a diversity of missions, mediums, and styles, were chosen by an advisory team comprised of key figures in the local arts community. Beta-Local in San Juan, for example, will work with visual artists Michael Linares Vázquez and Pablo Guardiola and performing artists Nibia Pastrana Santiago. If successful, the pilot may continue past its first iteration and expand in future years.

A complete list of the selected organizations as well as the artists whom they will partner with can be found below.

Agitarte, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Deborah Hunt (visual and performing arts)
Marian Annette Rodríguez Morales (visual arts)

Agua, Sol y Sereno, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Cristina Vives Rodríguez (music and performing arts)
Kenneth Salgado Barreto (visual and performing arts)

Archivo de Vieques, Vieques, Puerto Rico
Sofía Gallisá Muriente (visual arts)
Diana Ramos Gutiérrez (cultural agent)

Barrioization, Manatí, Puerto Rico
Rubén Rolando Solla Rosario (visual arts and cultural agent)

BEMBA PR/ Taller Lumpen, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
Cristian J. Laracuente Vázquez (visual arts)

Beta-Local, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Michael Linares Vázquez (visual arts)
Nibia Pastrana Santiago (performing arts)
Pablo Guardiola (visual arts)

Casa de Arte y Cultura Playa Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Diógenes Ballester (visual arts)

Casa Pueblo Adjuntas, Adjuntas, Puerto Rico
Hector Danny Torres (visual arts)    
Verónica Aponte Sepulveda (visual arts)    

Casa Silvana, Humacao, Puerto Rico
Edwin Velázquez Collazo (visual arts and cultural agent)

Colectivo Ilé, Caguas, Puerto Rico
Angellie González Jorge (performing arts)

Colectivo Moriviví, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Raysa Raquel Rodríguez García (visual arts)
Sharon N. González Colón (visual arts)

Corporación Piñones se Integra (COPI), Loíza, Puerto Rico
Malcom Ferrer Andino (visual arts)
Maricruz Rivera Clemente (cultural agent) 

El Ancón de Loíza, Loíza, Puerto Rico
Juan Pablo Vizcaino Cortijo (visual arts)

El Cuadrado Gris, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Osvaldo Forbes (Ozzie Forbes) (cultural agent)
San Juan

El Lobi, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Vanessa Hernández Gracia (cultural agent)

Hidrante, San Juan, Puerto Rico
José López Serra (visual arts and cultural agent)

Km 0.2, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Karlo Andrei Ibarra (visual arts) 
Roberto “Yiyo” Tirado (visual arts)

La Casa de los Contrafuertes, Proyecto de Artista, Inc., San Juan, Puerto Rico
Charles Juhász-Alvarado (visual arts)

La Impresora, Isabela, Puerto Rico
Amanda Hernández (literature)
Nicole Delgado (literature)

LaBoriVogue, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Edrimael Delgado Reyes (performing arts)

Taller Malaquita, Bayamón, Puerto Rico
Rosenda Álvarez Faro (visual arts)
Zuania Minier Jiménez (visual arts)

Parceleras Afrocaribeñas por la Transformación Barrial (PATBA), Carolina, Puerto Rico
Carla Denise Santiago Quirós (performing arts)

Taller Comunidad La Goyco Inc, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Mariana Reyes-Angleró (cultural agent)

Taller Libertá / Vuelta Abajo, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico
Ketsia Camacho Ramos (cultural agent and literature)
Noa Dimedetti (visual arts)

Taller Salud, Loíza, Puerto Rico
Saudi Morales Rodríguez (performing arts)

Jasmine Liu is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she studied anthropology and mathematics at Stanford University.