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Our mission; Our vision

Casa Paoli, the place where the dramatic tenor Antonio Paoli and his family were born and lived, is a center for research and study of Puerto Rican culture located in the southwestern region of the country. It is the property and headquarters of the Center for Folkloric Research of Puerto Rico, Inc. founded in 1976 as a non-profit institution and registered with the Department of State since 1980.


It is an organization exclusively for educational purposes. It receives contributions from individuals and public and private institutions that voluntarily wish to join this effort. Its main objective is the study of Puerto Rican culture. To this end, it compiles, classifies, analyzes and publishes selections of the island's folkloric material. Hence the interest of the Centro/Casa Paoli in the humanistic and socioeconomic aspect of popular Puerto Rican culture.

The Center/Casa Paoli opens its doors with its modest effort to promote all cultural manifestations – musical, plastic, craft, literary, scientific – whether they come from the academic or the popular fields. Casa Paoli supports the efforts of researchers, preferably those carried out in less favored or neglected areas and in need of serious and documented work, such as the new forms of contemporary art. In addition, the institution offers a forum where exhibitions, talks, conferences, dialogues and gatherings on new currents can take place, or experimental concerts or other activities of interest to the community in general can take place.

During the spring of 1983, the Center began an inventory and investigation of the old urban center of Ponce. As a result of this preliminary interdisciplinary study, the place where “the King of Tenors and the Tenor of Kings”, Antonio Paoli (1871-1946), was born and lived.

In 1987, the Center acquired Casa Paoli through a purchase and sale thanks to the spirit of solidarity of Antonio Penna Salicrup and his family. The support of the deceased and dear friend Jaime Yordan Conesa was very important for the acquisition of this historic building.

Casa Paoli is an example of the effort made by the Government of Puerto Rico—together with voluntary non-profit institutions—to keep alive the expressions that define us as a people.

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Altarpiece created by the cagueño artisan Edwin Báez Carrasquillo that presents the tenor Antonio Paoli in the privacy of his dressing room preparing to offer a recital in his hometown of Ponce in 1922 The altarpiece is made of mahogany,  as well as its lectern. It measures 62" tall x 18" wide

Founders of the Center at CasaPaoli


Néstor Murray Irizarry


He was born in the sector known as Bélgica in Ponce on December 15, 1946. Cultural administrator, historian and retired university professor at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, Ponce and Bayamón campuses. He studied at the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, at the University of Puerto Rico, at Bank Street College of Education in New York, at the Center for Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and at UNAM in Mexico. He has published over fifteen books on topics related to Puerto Rican culture. He travels and gives lectures on his research and studies of musical history, muralism and the folklore of his land. He is the founder of the Center for Folkloric Research of Puerto Rico, Inc. and of Casa Paoli, together with Carmen Iris Ramos Texeira and Narciso Vilaró Canals.


Carmen I. Ramos-Texeira


She was born in Ponce on March 7, 1948 and died in 1998. Teacher, executive secretary and leader. She studied for her Masters in Business Administration at the Ponce campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. She was the life partner of the founder-president of the Center-Casa Paoli. They had three children. Carmen was a teacher at the DE and executive secretary of Sister Isolina Ferre-Aguayo at the COS. In addition, she worked for many years in the Puerto Rico Department of  Public Works and Administration of Public Buildings. She was a political leader. She was part of our first Board of Directors.


Narciso Vilaró-Canals


He was born in Ponce on December 4, 1930. University professor and student of philosophy. He also studied medicine for three years; He then decided to change careers and entered the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the University of Barcelona, where he completed the requirements to obtain a doctoral degree. He has taught philosophy and history courses for forty years at the Ponce campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico. He has published articles on philosophy issues in various magazines and anthologies. He is the editor and main scholar of the work of José Antonio Franquiz published by Casa Paoli. He chaired our board of directors for many years.

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