Portugal in SoHo | 2016

Portugal in SoHo | 2016

Arte Institute, with the sponsorship of CGD – Caixa Geral de Depósitos and FLAD Luso-American Development Foundation, is pleased to present “Portugal in SoHo” – Second Edition. Come and get to know Portugal and the Portuguese people from SoHo! 



May 27
Rumos Ensemble Concert
Crosby Street Hotel
(79 Crosby St, New York)
7.30 PM
+ + Get your tickets here! (SOLD OUT)
+ + Learn more about the concert!

May 29
Outdoors Event in SoHo Square
SoHo Square Park
(6 Avenue between Spring and Dominick Street)
11.30 AM to 5 PM
+ + Learn more about the event!

 |  Performances by Portuguese artists
 |  Art Show “A little country across the ocean”, with the participation of Portuguese Schools from Long Island and New Jersey
 |  Free workshops for children and adults
 |  Historic places of the “Portuguese SoHo” Tours
 |  Portuguese Library
 |  Portuguese food and wine tasting 

May 31
Rodrigo Costa Felix – Fado Concert
Crosby Street Hotel
(79 Crosby St, New York)
7.30 PM
+ + Get your tickets here! (LAST TICKETS)
+ + Learn more about the concert!


Arte Institute has been collecting testimonies and statements from the Portuguese that arrived in New York City the years after World War II. Despite what many believe, SoHo had already been established as the arrival point for these early Portuguese pioneers well before Newark became synonymous with Portuguese immigrants.

SoHo (a.k.a. South of Houston Street) was, at that time, an inhospitable and deteriorated place full of rundown buildings and factories where Italian and Portuguese cohabited.

Due to the later arrival of artists and the subsequent galleries that housed their work, SoHo gradually became the commercial and cosmopolitan area that it is today. However, if we look and listen carefully, we discover traces of a Portugal that we typically cannot find in Portugal itself anymore…

A Portugal that kept its traditions, flavors and culture behind closed doors; A Portugal that, even at the very center of the world, has kept itself intact within a glass dome, or through the Holy Communion Paintings, or through the Boy with the Tear prints that so many have in the walls of their apartments in SoHo.

With the “Portugal in SoHo” event, the Arte Institute wants to honor those who, for us, are true heroes – those who arrived in America without knowing a word of English, who have worked and managed to raise their children without ever losing sight of their home country and the love they have for it. The children of most of these early immigrants moved to larger homes in New Jersey and Long Island, but their parents still remain living on Broome Street or Thompson Street or Sullivan Street or Prince Street, roaming the corners of Soho, reading 24 HOURS and Luso Americano (the Portuguese newspapers) or chatting amongst themselves which is, of course, typical of the Portuguese.

Through this event and in line with its vision of promoting contemporary Portugal and the Portugal brand, the Arte Institute wants to show a hidden Portugal – hidden from and almost forgotten by the Portuguese living in Portugal. This event aims at giving these early arrivals a voice while at the same time connecting the gap of who we were and what we are today. It aims at showing New York the heritage of the Portuguese within the city that never sleeps, especially in Soho where they were fundamental in building up the neighborhood and where they established their homes.

We invite everyone to remember the old SoHo for one day while simultaneously meet today’s Portugal. Arte Institute created a script based on interviews that we have been conducting that will come to life in the documentary “Portuguese People from SoHo – A Story That Changed Geography.” This documentary will take us on a journey through time and space, which begins symbolically at the Cais das Colunas in Lisbon and ends at SoHo Square, 6 Avenue in New York City.


Constança Saraiva | A little country across the ocean 
Roulote | Projectos Artísticos
Rumos  Ensemble | Tocando Portugal Concert
Rodrigo Costa Felix | Fado Concert 
Sara Pereira da Silva | Dance


O Piolho | Club

Many years ago there were three Portuguese clubs. One of those clubs was “The Louse” (O Piolho). At the clubs you could play cards, hangout, and drink Portuguese wine. At that time, the clubs would welcome the performances of well- known national artists coming from Portugal. Nowadays, these clubs no longer exist. However, in the cycle of life of the Portuguese community in Manhattan, there is now the Arte Institute that has its base in SoHo, in the building of one of those early Portuguese emigrants, where it has restarted bringing in national contemporary artists to Uncle Sam’s land as once before.
We have reinvented the Club “The Louse” quite close to the original address and have brought the flavors of Portugal, the portuguese language and the portuguese artists!


A little country across the ocean | Constança Saraiva

A Portuguese Language Project with an Educational and Artistic Component, conceived by the visual artist Constança Saraiva in partnership with “Roulote – Artistic Projects”, was developed in Portuguese Language schools in Long Island and New Jersey in order to be exhibited on the day of the event “Portugal in SoHo”.

 |  Explore the Portuguese memory and heritage in New York and New Jersey;
 |  To strengthen the Portuguese identity among the younger generation;
 |  Promote intergenerational relationships within Portuguese families;
 |  Promote the Portuguese identity and memory in the USA;
 |  To inform the general public in New York about the Portuguese immigration history, Portugal and its culture;

Each child received a “Book with 14 questions about Portugal” with tasks that will allow the child to discover his/ her own Portuguese identity in a fun and poetical way. These tasks and activities were developed for the children to work individually or in groups, at school or at home. 
The activities of the Book were divided by topics related to Portugal, such as history, 
family history, geography, literature, gastronomy or Portuguese language.

On the day of the event “Portugal in SoHo”, the general public will be invited to explore the work carried out by the children and also to contribute to help build the archive, – with its memories, stories, or ideas about Portugal.

The “Roulote – Artistic Projects” will be the venue for an installation showcasing the material collected from the schools, and outside in the park there will be activities, games talks and gatherings where people can share their personal stories related to the Portuguese immigration in New York. For children and families. 

As a result of this educational and Portuguese language project, a book be will published a showcasing the material collected through the children’s books, along with the results and experiences obtained on the day of the event.

This publication will be shown in schools as a Portuguese legacy in the USA! 



Portugal is situated at the south-west point of Europe and also includes the Madeira and Azores archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean. Mainland Portugal occupies an area of 88,889 km2. With its mild climate, 3000 hours of sunshine per year and 850 kms of splendid beaches bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is the perfect holiday destination all year round. This is a country that has the oldest borders in Europe, with an exceptional range of different landscapes just a short distance away, lots of leisure activities and a unique cultural heritage, where tradition and modernity blend together in perfect harmony. Its superb cuisine, fine wines and hospitable people make this a tourist paradise of highest quality. Situated in the extreme south- west of Europe, just a few hours from any of the other European capitals, Portugal attracts visitors from all over the world. Come and discover the charm of Portugal.

Come and get to know Portugal and the Portuguese people from SoHo!

“Portugal in SoHo” is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. LMCC.net