DSI Educational Program

Educational Programs

The CUNY Dominican Studies Institute Library and Archives offers Educational Workshops to hundreds of students from the New York City public schools, CUNY, community based organizations, and colleges and universities throughout the United States. These workshops seek to complement teaching about the Dominican people, particularly Dominicans in the U.S. and in New York City. These workshops highlight selected library and archival resources to inform visiting groups about Dominican culture and history in the United States. The workshops also help teachers enhance their curriculum by incorporating new knowledge learned at CUNY DSI. Each workshop lasts approximately one hour and thirty minutes and may include a PowerPoint presentation, viewing of audio video clips that showcase aspects of Dominican culture and history, and many hands-on activities during which visitors can voice their interest areas.

We have developed a sustained relationship with schools with special structured programs such as: Bridge to College (for 8th graders) and Immersion Summer Institute (for 7th graders), as well as our lecture or Show & Tell presentations. We are bringing the joys and challenges of research and materials to those without too much experience, or any at all, in academia.

Open Educational Resources/Curriculum

These are currently our educational resources available free of charge for teachers and educators to create lesson plans and activities with their students:

Fighting for Democracy: Dominican Veterans from World War II

This project includes three units that  can be incorporated within the curriculums of history, government, civics, and social studies classes to teach Dominican-specific content, as well as explore universal themes such as resisting oppression and fighting for the sake of democracy. These units are intended for middle and high school students. 

Explore and share these units:

A History of Dominican Music in the United States

This website includes five educational profiles designed to provide teachers and educators with pedagogical resources to create lesson plans. Each profile has: A Biographical Essay, Discussion Questions, Activities and a set of defined terms crucial for understanding the material. These profiles are intended for high school and undergraduate students. They include audio samples for each artist providing a reference to the music they recorded during their careers.

Explore and share these units:

  • Eduardo Brito - Active in New York City during the 1920s, this Dominican singer performed many operatic arias as well as tropical songs such as Lamento esclavo.
  • Proyecto Uno - Founded in New York in 1989, this ensemble pioneered the ground breaking sound of merenhouse, a fusion of African American dance music with Dominican rhythms. 
  • The Malagon Sisters - Dominican all-female trio that emerged publically in 1949. They were one of the first Dominican musical groups to successfully cross over into the wider American music scene during the 1950s.
  • Monica Boyar - During the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Boyar taught icon Arthur Murray how to dance merengue. After World War II, Boyar contributed to the anti-Trujillo movement by recording two songs against the dictatorship: “Marcha a Santo Domingo” and “Chapita fue a la guerra.”
  • Milly Quezada - Known as “the Queen of Merengue,” Milly grew to fame and stardom for her revolutionary, feminized adaptation of the merengue genre. She has earned countless musical awards, including 4 Latin Grammys. 
El Músico y el Pintor/ The Musician and the Painter: An Exhibit Documenting the Lifetime, Work, and Artistic Trajectory of Two Early Twentieth Century Dominican Artists in New York

The exhibit consists of documents, photographs, musical scores, and paintings from the Dominican Archives collections that highlight the careers of musician Rafael Petitón Guzmán (1894-1983) and painter Tito Enrique Cánepa (1916-2014). Both were enormously influential in their chosen professions, contributing to the development of new hybrid artistic forms that combine traditional and modern elements and incorporate styles from different cultures. Cánepa used his art to express political themes, chiefly his opposition to tyranny and imperialism, while Petitón Guzmán used eclecticism and formal innovation as the vehicle of his revolt. The archival collections of both artists provide a remarkable glimpse of early twentieth-century cultural history of Dominicans and Latinos in New York City.

Explore and share these units:

Dominicans in New York: An Exhibit from the Dominican Archives and Library Collections

This exhibit is a display highlighting the experiences and contributions of the New York Dominican population using primary source materials from the archival collections of the Dominican Archives as well as secondary source materials from the Dominican Library. It includes documents, photographs and memorabilia that create a visual history of Dominicans as they developed communities that became integral part of New York’s incredibly diverse human landscape. The images display glimpses of the community’s history, culture, traditions, and population changes.

Explore and share these units:

For more information, please contact:
Prof. Sarah Aponte, Chief Librarian: aponte@ccny.cuny.edu
Jhensen Ortiz, Librarian: jortiz2@ccny.cuny.edu