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National Foundation For Popular Culture

Updated on December 30, 2014

The National Foundation for Popular Culture is a nonprofit organization duly incorporated in August 1996 by the Department of State of Puerto Rico. The Institute of Puerto Rican Culture acts as a custody agency under the Corporations Act of Puerto Rico.

Culture is the characteristics of a particular group of people, defined by everything from:

  • behavior
  • beliefs
  • scholarly pursuits
  • language
  • religion
  • cuisine
  • social habits
  • music
  • arts

The purpose of the National Foundation for Popular Culture is to advance the development of the Puerto Rican popular culture through the study, promotion and sponsorship of cultural events and artists that expose their works.

At the entrance you will find...

A smile and great knowledge of this piece of homeland

Malu Seda
Malu Seda | Source

Location of The National Foundation for Popular Culture

A markerSan Juan, Puerto Rico -
San Juan, Puerto Rico
get directions

Important people in our culture


Objective of the Foundation

The goal is to organize, research, study, archive, publish, catalog, conserve, produce, promote, exhibit, exchange and disseminate knowledge about popular culture, classical and folk of Puerto Rico and the world.

This goal has prevailed against all kinds of odds. The effects affect positively and negatively any culture.The dream of many Boricuas has been the positive side that has launched their dreams seen in the National Foundation. A brief summary of some important actions in behalf of our culture are.

  1. During the governorship of Muñoz Marín, cultural organizations were created as the Education Division of the Community established in 1949 as an adult literacy program in rural and urban areas throughout the Island. By producing film and printed material as books and posters, a workshop was developed of great importance in creating graphics and film material of Puerto Rican themes.
  2. Another cultural entity created during the 1950s was the Conservatory of Music and the free music schools created by Ernesto Ramos Antonini, Chairman of the House of Representatives for Puerto Ricans students interested in developing their artistic musical talents.
  3. In 1955 the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture was created in order to conserve, preserve and disseminate all cultural expressions of Puerto Ricans.
  4. The radio and television services of the people of Puerto Rico (WIPR and WIPM), created in 1958, were an important element in the release of Puerto Rican culture and contact with other cultures in the world.
  5. The Casals Festival was created in 1958 on the occasion of the arrival to the island of the famous cellist Pablo Casals. The Government of Puerto Rico, through Development Administration, sponsored this Festival that is recognized internationally.
  6. The archaeologist, folklorist and historian Sanjuanero Ricardo Enrique Alegría Gallardo (1921 - 2011) gave his talent to preserve, ensure, stimulate and prompt the various manifestations of our national culture.

The founder of The National Foundation for Popular Culture Javier Santiago has been commissioned to keep his own dream (as well as other's) organizing information about events and influential people of the island, while providing artistic activities such as:

  • book presentations
  • summer camp
  • photo exhibitions
  • poetry evenings
  • folk music events.

National Foundation For Popular Culture


Treasures of culture

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The building

The building where the National Foundation for Popular Culture is, provides:

  • a courtyard
  • an activity room
  • two rooms for exhibitions
  • a warehouse that contains over 15,000 long playing albums, magazine and periodical collections. They also have old radio recordings available for those who like to listen.

On the second floor is the School of Bomba y Plena of Doña Caridad Brenes de Cepeda, in which the founder Margarita "Tata" Cepeda shares her knowledge acquired in a career of 35 years.

On the third floor of the building, art and music classes are being offered.

Do you enjoy our past generation's culture?

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What will you find?

An extensive collection of files store records in all formats, radio recordings, interviews, photos, negatives, videos in various formats, propaganda advertising, magazines, artwork, paintings, and other collectibles.

A place to learn and enjoy

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What is being done?

According to the objectives, the organization encourages and promotes awareness of popular culture, serving as a research resource and source of information for:

  • artists
  • musicians
  • students
  • teachers
  • communicators of all branches (including journalists, publicists and public relations)
  • writers and / or screenwriters
  • producers of shows
  • historians
  • developers, as well as government and educational organizations

It is in Spanish, but the pictures and music are priceless

The fourteenth anniversary

The video to the side presents the fourteenth anniversary celebration of the National Foundation for Popular Culture on August 13, 2008. The event was held at the headquarters of the organization in Old San Juan. Alfred D. Herger (50 years of experience) opened the exhibition.

In this show you can see performances by:

  • Lucy Fabery
  • Chucho Avellanet
  • Lou Briel
  • Tamara Escribano (Tammy)
  • Zeny and Zory and Pijuan
  • others

The tenderness of the cats giving a special touch

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Get in touch

Postal Address:
Apartado 9023971,
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902-3971

Physical Address:
Calle Fortaleza # 56
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico 00901

Electronic address:

(787) 724-7165
Fax: (787) 725-2498

Maintenance of a living culture

This generation must leave a legacy to future generations. Are you satisfied and concerned with today's culture to be representative of the quality of this civilization? Mahatma Gandhi quoted: "A Nation's culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people."

The National Foundation income has been reduced to some sporadic donations, since they have failed to receive legislative funding, nor had the support of Act 52 for the creation and maintenance of jobs from the Labor Department. The federal background in that count is used to pay the salary of Malu Seda, its only employee. Is this fair? We need to stand up for our culture's life.

Let's think about this and look forward to achieve distinctive patterns that may allow a positive response to the questions that will arise in the future about:

who, what, where, and when?

Blessings to all!

© Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill

You are welcome to visit The National Foundation


© 2013 Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill


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    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Elias Zanetti Thanks! They are involved in great culture activities.

    • Elias Zanetti profile image

      Elias Zanetti 4 years ago from Athens, Greece

      Quite an interesting idea and i like the activities that the foundation is involved with. Preserving and promoting locan culture is essential. Great presentation and a must see for anyone visiting the area.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Froggy213 and Ericdierker thanks for liking the concept of this foundation I really hope that it gets the hel it needs to keep up with their goals.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Well covered and a special concept

    • Froggy213 profile image

      Greg Boudonck 4 years ago from Will soon return to an Isla Del Sol - Puerto Rico Will Rise Strong

      Great hub honey! I recommend anyone visiting San Juan to make a visit to this great place.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      billybuc hello, long time no see! Thanks for your encouraging comment. They do have an excellent view. We need to maintain our culture in a positive way.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      What a cool idea and wonderful organization. I love their purpose and anything that saves the culture of an area is alright by me.

      Good review, Maria.

      Have a great weekend and may blessings be with you always.