Valor y Cambio

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a set of bank notes from Valor y Cambio. The directors of the project, Frances Negrón-Muntaner and Sarabel Santos-Negrón, had worked together in a range of projects before but this is their first artistic collaboration.

“Valor y Cambio is a story-telling, community-building, and solidarity economy project started by artist Frances Negrón-Muntaner and visual artist Sarabel Santos Negrón. Started in Puerto Rico amidst the economic crisis and currently [back in Puerto Rico], Valor y Cambio is out to spark a broad conversation about what is a just economy and how to foster collective empowerment in the face of austerity and neoliberal policies locally and nationally.

The project has encouraged participants to consider the question of how a community can create different conceptions of wealth —one that promotes values such as accessible education, a clean environment, creativity, self-governance, solidarity, food security, and gender, labor, and racial equity.” —

The first and only edition of Valor y Cambio features seven people and one community: Puerto Rican athletes, activists, writers, and community members that have acted on their values to enrich peoples’ lives and demonstrated that “change is in your hands” over the last centuries. In the first printing, each peso includes bills in 1, 2, 5, 10, 21, and 25 denominations.

All of the iconic figures that appear on the Puerto Rican pesos experienced the impact of forced migrations in their lifetimes, and several —such as Ramón Emeterio Betances, Julia de Burgos and Luisa Capetillo— share a deep connection to New York City or the Puerto Rican diaspora.

•El peso Maestros Rafael (b. 1790), Celestina (b. 1787) and Gregoria Cordero y Molina (b. 1784), all born in San Juan

• El peso Ramón Emeterio Betances (b. 1827, Cabo Rojo)

• El peso Luisa Capetillo (b. 1879, Arecibo)

• El peso Julia de Burgos (b. 1914, Carolina)

• El peso Roberto Clemente (b. 1934, Carolina)

• El peso Caño Martín Peña