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El Taller Latino Americano

Creating El Taller Latino Americano in 1979 and sustaining it for over 41 years is Palombo's signature act. Centering on language instruction, musical performance, gallery exhibits and children’s programs, the Taller takes form around exchanges between North and South, famous and unknown. 


New York has many places where groups of all kinds meet, but the Taller attracts everyone -  with no agenda but community and creativity. "Growing up in a huge family makes me want to recreate that situation," Palombo says. "Every time there is real dialogue, a little community is born."


The Taller is anti-sectarian, "a circle, not a line. We welcome any line that's respectful of people. We don't embrace any politics, the politics happen when people interact." Just as Puerto Rican pride and support for revolutionary Chile and Cuba dominated Palombo's activity in the 1970s, his Taller mirrored the positions of the left in subsequent years protest against the Argentinean junta and enthusiasm for the Sandinista revolution. Amnesty International helped the Taller present exhibits of Argentinean paintings, a performance by actor Norman Briski, and a history of tango by playwright Alberto Adellach. (As Amnesty was denied access to Argentina, human rights activists like Marshall Meyer, the late beloved rabbi of B'nai Jeshrun, and the International Red Cross got political prisoners released; families of Taller students sponsored them and taught them English. From one such refugee, Palombo learned that his censored "Canción por el fusil" had been sung in jail.)

- from ConFusion by Bell Chevigny (Culture Front Magazine)

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