Cleveland Public Library Welcomes Artist-in-Residence

Cleveland Public Library is pleased to announce Dr. Raquel M. Ortiz as its newest Artist-in-Residence.

As the Artist-in-Residence, Dr. Ortiz will work with Cleveland Public Library staff to create and present engaging art programs and events for Library visitors. Her unique blend of artistic and academic expertise will provide a rich experience for Cleveland’s diverse communities.

“Dr. Raquel Ortiz is a visionary artist and teacher whose work has always focused on the intersection of culture, history, and community,” said John Skrtic, Chief of Special Projects and Collections at Cleveland Public Library. “We are thrilled to have Dr. Ortiz join us as our Artist-in-Residence, where she will use her talents to inspire and engage our patrons in new and meaningful ways.”

Her bilingual multimedia storytelling uses music, puppetry, and video to connect communities and promote dialogue across cultural and geographic boundaries. In 2018, she collaborated with Cleveland Public Library on bilingual Storytimes and conducted  multicultural puppetry and Storytime training for Youth Services staff.

“I am honored and thrilled to serve as Cleveland Public Library’s Artist-in-Residence,” said Dr. Raquel Ortiz, Artist-in-Residence at Cleveland Public Library. “The Library has a long and rich history of supporting the arts and fostering community engagement, and I look forward to working again with Library staff and patrons to create experiences and explore connections through art and culture that reflect the diverse perspectives of Cleveland.”

Dr. Ortiz holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Salmanca and a Masters in Puerto Rican studies from the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe. The documentary filmmaker, educator, storyteller, and author has published six children’s picture books including Sofi and the Magic, Musical Mural / Sofi y el magico mural musical, Broken Butterfly Wings / Alas de mariposa rotasSofi Paints her Dreams / Sofi pinta sus sueños, and When Julia Danced Bomba / Cuando Julia bailaba bomba. Her newest project, an Afro-Puerto Rican bomba album for children, entitled Que vengan los niños, includes songs that are sung in Spanish, English, and bilingual.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Raquel Ortiz to Cleveland and to the Library,” remarks Felton Thomas, Jr., Executive Director and CEO of the Cleveland Public Library. “Her work is a testament to the power of art to transcend borders and bring people together, and we look forward to the many ways in which her residency will enrich our community.”

Throughout her residency, Dr. Ortiz will develop and present a range of public programs, including workshops and activities:

The American Dream: Superheroes in Poetry

As part of the Mandel Opera & Humanities Festival, experience the works of Langston Hughes and Julia De Burgos, performed by Cleveland Metropolitan School District students, and accompanied by live music. Dr. Raquel M. Ortiz will host the event.

Friday, May 19 | Eastman Reading Garden | 12:00 p.m.

Word on the Street Block Party

Family Bombazo program for all to learn about and celebrate Afro-Puerto Rican culture through singing, dancing and drumming. More block parties will be held this summer at various neighborhood branches.

Thursday, June 8 | Carnegie West Branch | 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.