aquino 022724CHICAGO — State Senator Omar Aquino joined Governor JB Pritzker at the National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture to announce the creation of Puerto Rico Town as an official State-Designated Cultural District.

“In Illinois, diversity is our strength, and the State-Designated Cultural Districts Program is shining a much-deserved light on some of our state’s most culturally and historically rich communities, including Puerto Rico Town,” said Aquino (D-Chicago). “These designations will help Illinoisans celebrate our lineage and traditions of our communities.”


Launched in 2023, the State-Designated Cultural Districts program aims to uplift the unique contributions of historic cultural districts with the overarching goal of increasing economic development opportunities. The purpose of the program is to support the preservation and development of history and culturally significant structures, traditions and languages, foster local cultural development and education, provide a focal point for celebrating communities’ unique cultural identities, and promote equitable growth and opportunity without generating displacement.

The new district in Humboldt Park — also known as Puerto Rico Town — will be led by efforts from the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. Cultural Districts are eligible to apply for $3 million in funding that will be tailored to fit the needs of the individual district and support the goals of the program to foster economic development and help preserve their unique cultural identities.

“Today's announcement is a momentous occasion for the Puerto Rican community of Chicago,” said Puerto Rican Cultural Center Executive Director Jose E. Lopez. “This designation is truly reflective of how policy can be informed in an organic and collaborative way, while addressing the most critical needs of the community.”

The legislation enabling the creation of the districts was an initiative of the Puerto Rican Agenda. Supported by Aquino, the measure was led in the General Assembly by former State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas and then-State Representative Delia Ramirez.

Learn more about the Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s work by visiting their website.