Rhode Island Latino Arts | Latino Oral History Project has embarked in a public history project called Barrio Stories that celebrates people, places, and community life in three neighborhoods that are significant to the state’s Latino Community. We are hosting a series of pláticas (community conversations) that provide a forum for residents to share the rich and diverse layers of human experience that make each neighborhood so distinctive. Participants will create three walking tours that are relevant to their neighborhoods: Broad Street and Cranston Street in Providence and Dexter Street in Central Falls.

Barrio Stories uses arts and culture for place keeping, an attempt to preserve a cultural heritage or community dynamic that may be in danger of disappearing as socioeconomic forces encroach.

Barrio Stories is centered not only on a specific place, but around the people who live, work, and play there. Our project engages the residents and business owners to brainstorm what the place can or should be, to inform what it is and how it should remain. This project is not about buildings and blocks, but about the people who experience the place. RILA believes that keeping people at the center of the process ensures that our work, including the collection of stories and creation of art, is done with the community and not to the community.

Welcome to our Barrio Blog!

As we began our practice tours, participants and Team Leaders themselves began to have conversations about the neighborhoods where we were walking. Unanimously, they felt that for the first time, they were seeing the streets they normally drive through from a different lens: as pedestrians you become participants and not just visitors. Below are some journal/blog entries that were written by some of our participants, which we found especially thought provoking.
Click on the caption below each photo:
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