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

The publication of a new book

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A presentation conference by its author


Un video de esta presentación de encuentra AQUÍ 

...and a video conversation with the author


Glue is added to the sound box of a tiple doliente.


Under construction

Young people's assembly workshops of traditional Puerto Rican musical instruments

The Paoli House of the Puerto Rico Folklore Research Center, Inc. continues to carry out educational activities for the benefit of our people.  The workshops for the assembly of traditional musical instruments from Puerto Rico, for young people, among ages 12 to 17, will take place at our headquarters: Casa Paoli, Calle Mayor 2648 in Ponce. It will be led by the William R. Cumpiano, a renowned luthier in the US and Puerto Rico, and Professor Carlos I. Rosado, an outstanding Industrial Education teacher of the Dept, of Education of Puerto Rico.  Enrollment is very limited.

     This is another Casa Paoli project sponsored by: the Friends of the Center-Casa Paoli Society, the Puerto Rican Foundation for the Humanities (National Endowment for the Humanities), the Flamboyán Fund for the Arts, and the Special Joint Commission for Legislative Donations.

The Tiple of Puerto Rico

Many of the investigations carried out on the string instruments of our country conclude that the tiple was the first string instrument that emerged among Puerto Ricans. The tiples appear for the first time with the 17th-century arrival of Canary-Island immigrants to the Puerto Rico, many of them farmers and with their families, emigrating by the decree of King Carlos II in 1695. At that time the Canary Islanders had their own tiple and it is probable that some brought their tiples with them. During the following centuries, and while the colony grew, the new Puerto Ricans created their own tiples. Each region had its particular tiple.  [Text taken from the script of the documentary The sweet tiple song , which can be seen here .]


For more information, please contact Professor Néstor Murray-Irizarry, founder of Casa Paoli, by phone (939) 640-1584; ;

Master Carlos I. Rosado relaxes during the construction of the William R. Cumpiano workshop for the Arts in the courtyard of Casa Paoli in our Center.

In progress

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)

In progress

Rescate del Olvido

El Centro de Investigaciones Folklóricas de Puerto Rica esta auspiciando un nueva y valiosa iniciativa, dirigido por la Dra. Noraliz Ruiz; el artesano mayor William R. Cumpiano, y el museólogo Norman Storer-Corrada. El proyecto, nombrado Rescate del Olvido es un esfuerzo de traer a la vista pública los instrumentos musicales tradicionales del pasado que han desaparecido de la vista y la memoria pública. El grupo se ha dedicado a descubrir y crear réplicas de instrumentos perdidos y olvidados que una vez se oían en muchos de los campos y las ciudades del país, incluyendo tiples, cuatros antiguos de cuatro cuerdas, bordonúas y vihuelas-un completo ramillete de cuerdas, del cual el cuatro que todos conocemos, es el único sobreviviente. El grupo también esta emprendiendo el esfuerzo de recrear la música y la técnica de ejecución de dichos instrumentos.

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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.