Galería de Arte Infantil, Casa Paoli


What is the Casa Paoli ?

This elegant and stately 19th century building, located in the scenic city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, is the restored residence of the great Puerto Rican tenor Antonio Paoli, "the tenor of kings and the king of tenors"—in his time, an artist admired around the world.


The historic building is part of the cultural heritage of Puerto Rico and is one of the most important places to visit in the southwestern area of the island. It was the birthplace of tenor Antonio Paoli (1871–1946), an artist recognized as the "first Puerto Rican to achieve international recognition in the performing arts" and "one of the most outstanding opera singers of all time." Casa Paoli was the artist's home as a child, and the place where he lived with his family until he was twelve years old.


After its restoration in1987, the building was transformed into a house-museum to honor his memory. It also became the home of the Puerto Rican Center for Folkloric Research.

In 2009, it was accepted into the National Register of Historic Places. The maintenance and restoration of this great site has been the arduous work of a small group of citizens that are proud of the musical and folkloric legacy of their country. They have managed to create an impressive cultural center, home to not only several fascinating exhibitions, workshops and public activities, but also replete with historical archives that have formed the basis of numerous important publications on the life and work of great island artists, and on the island's musical genres and folklore.

Casa Paoli currently houses the Puerto Rican Folkloric Research Center, Inc. [Centro de Investigaciones Folklóricas de Puerto Rico, Inc.] and a regional center of the Puerto Rican Foundation for the Humanities. It is sponsored by the Flamboyán Fund for the Arts.

"The Center has distinguished itself by creating and implementing highly effective innovative projects. Likewise, it has been characterized for the promotion of research and study in neglected or under-served areas, serving as a forum for groups that do not have the support from other institutions. "                                                                                    La Perla del Sur Newspaper  2/6/2013

In focus

Casa Paoli presents

Talleres de ensamblaje para jóvenes
de instrumentos musicales
tradicionales de Puerto Rico

La Casa Paoli del Centro de Investigaciones Folklóricas de Puerto Rico, Inc. continúa realizando actividades educativas en beneficio de nuestra gente.  Los talleres de ensamblaje de los instrumentos musicales tradicionales de Puerto Rico, para jóvenes, entre las edades de 12 a 17 años, se llevarán a cabo los sábados, 14 y 21 de mayo de 2022, de 9:00 am a 3:00 pm en nuestra sede: la Casa Paoli, calle Mayor 2648 en Ponce. Estarán dirigidos por los maestros los profesores William R. Cumpiano, luthier reconocido a nivel de los EE.UU. y Puerto Rico y el profesor Carlos I. Rosado, destacado maestro de Educación Industrial en el DE de Puerto Rico.  La matrícula es muy limitada. La programación de conversatorios, talleres, cursos y seminarios continuará durante todo el año.

Es un proyecto más de la Casa Paoli auspiciado por: Sociedad Amigos del Centro-Casa Paoli, Fundación Puertorriqueña de las Humanidades (National Endowment for the Humanities), Fondo Flamboyán para las Artes y la Comisión Especial Conjunta de Donativos Legislativos.

El Tiple de Puerto Rico

Muchos de las investigaciones realizadas sobre los instrumentos de cuerda de nuestro país concluyen que el tiple fue el primer instrumento de cuerda que surgió entre los puertorriqueños. Los tiples aparecen por primera vez con la llegada a la isla del elemento poblacional canario, muchos de ellos eran agricultores y con sus familias emigraron desde las Islas Canarias gracias a un decreto del rey Carlos II en 1695. Para esa época los canarios tenían su propio tiple y es probable que algunos trajeron consigo sus tiples. Durante los siguientes siglos, y a la vez que la colonia crecía, los nuevos puertorriqueños crearon sus propios tiples. Cada región tuvo su tiple particular.  [Texto tomado del guión del documental La dulce canción del tiple, que puede verse aquí.]


Para mayor información favor de comunicarse con el profesor Néstor Murray-Irizarry, fundador de la Casa Paoli, a través del teléfono (939) 640-1584;;

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Commission  marking

the sesquicentennial of

The abolition of slavery  

In Puerto Rico


The Paoli House of the Folkloric Research Center of Puerto Rico, Inc. has brought together a group of leaders, artists, musicians, humanists and scholars in a Commemorative Commission-Paoli House-of the Sesqui-centennial of the Abolition of Slavery in Puerto Rico (1873-2023).

It is important to remember that Ponce was one of the few cities in the Caribbean that, built an Abolition Plaza. Using municipal funds and popular subscription the city funded and built a monument to the abolition event, a park which is still located between two of the main streets of the historic center of the city.
  The new Commission has created a work plan that includes talks, concerts, seminars, exhibitions, publications, and symposiums on the contribution of Puerto Ricans of African descent to the arts, education, economics, historical research, film, radio, and television. , politics, literature and other fields of knowledge. It is expected that other public and private institutions will also join this new Casa Paoli initiative. 

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    Our people need, today more than ever, to know and recognize the great contributions of the West Africans who, forced to reach our shores, joined the living body of our country and by dint of their sweat and blood, offered their lives to our people. Afro-descendants still continue to contribute to the material and spiritual development of Puerto Rico. We expect that in March of this year and next year, the whole country will commemorate with pride and dignity the 150th anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery.  During this coming month of March, the activities of the Commission will begin with three talks, sponsored by the Puerto Rican Foundation for the Humanities, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, the Flamboyán Fund for the Arts, and the Society of Friends of the Center-Casa Paoli, on the historical contribution of Afro-descendants, in Puerto Rico and in the so-called diaspora, by three important humanists:

HEAR OUR DIRECTOR explain the reasons for the creation of the commission during a recent radio interview on WPAB Radio 550 Ponce (in Spanish)

150 years of the tenor Antonio Paoli


Under the auspices of the Puerto Rican Endowment for the Humanities and the Flamboyán Fund for the Arts, the Center organized a tribute concert in observance of the sesquicentennial of the birth of the site's early residente, the celebrated tenor Antonio Paoli. The event called 150 years of the tenor Antonio Paoli, was recorded on Saturday, March 6, 2021 in the Jesús María Sanromá Room of the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music.  Click here to enjoy a video of the entire event and  here to see more photos and details of the event.

cinemas, videos, Documentaries By the Center
and by others

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Our Center has sponsored several videographic projects around Puerto Rican arts and crafts. Go to the Cinema page to enjoy CIFPR's collection of documentaries and videographic productions by selected Puerto Rican filmmakers, as well as documentaries that have been produced by the CIFPR.


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Upcoming Workshops

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Since its founding, the Center has been dedicated to researching, enriching and disseminating Puerto Rican cultural values. The sheer number of events and editions carried out by the Center bear this out. One of our most important objectives is to raise awareness and provide our youths and adults with the opportunity to learn to build the traditional instruments of our country. Currently, the Center organizes the William Cumpiano Workshop at the facilities of our headquarters in Ponce; where with the support of the Flamboyán Fund for the Arts, workshops will be offered, in face-to-face or virtual form, in instrument-making, screen printing and engraving on wood and linoleum.

A GIFT from the CIFPR:
life and work of the great muralist Rafael Ríos Rey


In 2015 the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP) dedicated one of its great town festivals (known as La Campechada)  to the prominent Puerto Rican muralist Rafael Ríos Rey (Ponce, 1911-San Juan, 1980) As part of the works related to La Campechada the consulting services of Néstor Murray-Irizarry and graphic artist Verónica Prats were retained. One of the tasks assigned to Murray and Prats was to program two instructional modules on the life and work of Ríos Rey. Dr. Hilda Quintana also worked as a consultant on this project.

   Thanks to the authorization of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture for the first time to the public, we can present the two modules that with so much commitment and affection we carried out for the enrichment of our people and our national culture

Antonio Paoli and Family

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Casa Paoli, the headquarters of the Centro de Investigaciones Folklóricas de Puerto Rico, Inc., is a historic building that is part of the Historic Zone of Ponce. It is the place where Antonio Paoli (1871-1946) was born and lived until the age of twelve; the great tenor who was "the first Puerto Rican to achieve international recognition in the performing arts" and "one of the most outstanding opera singers of all time." View out page dedicated to Antonio Paoli by clicking on his image above.

read here: the report of the commission for cultural development

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The most comprehensive and important study that has been done to date to promote citizen participation in a new Puerto Rican cultural policy for the 21st century.

The Executive Director, Prof. Néstor Murray Irizarry and the Board of Directors of Casa Paoli / Centro de Investigaciones Folklóricas de Puerto Rico express their sincere condolences to the person who was Elsa Escabí Agostini (1923-2020) in life. She was a great collaborator in the projects of the Social Research Center of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus and the Puerto Rico Folkloric Research Center, together with her brother Pedro Escabí Agostini.