Connecticut’s Hispanic performing artists adapt to inflation with hope for future generations
Valeriano Ramos is a professional flamenco guitarist. He has been performing since 1985. Valeriano learned flamenco when he attended a music program at a Bronx school. Unlike most Puerto Ricans who perform salsa, bachata, bomba y plena, or boleros, he dedicates his time to the flamenco rhythm.
Ramos said that inflation has taken a toll on many Hispanic artists in Connecticut, despite the the U.S. Consumer Price Index indicating lower levels of inflation in March. He said to address inflation, some musicians are recording studio tracks for other artists, performing as part of church choirs and even increasing their own performing fees.
“What most artists are doing, myself included, is teaching, not just performing privately or in music schools or communities,” Ramos said. “So teaching has become a supplemental source of income.”
The hike in prices due to inflation is a situation everyone is experiencing, said Maria Cruz–Saco, a professor of economics at Connecticut College who also chairs the La Latina Network, a program within the Hispanic Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut.
“Artists, particularly Hispanic artists, if you want to make a living out of your art, you’ll have to be very adventurous, and you’ll have to be an entrepreneur to sell your work,” Cruz said. “They have to take on another occupation to pay their bills.”
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By Maricarmen Cajahauringa
Shared April 14, 2023
Connecticut Public Radio