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A Public History of New York City Latinx Comedy

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A screenshot of the home page for the NY Latinx Comedy Project

Partially supported by a NULab Seedling Grant and by an American Rescue Plan award.

New York Latinx Comedy Project Digital Archive is a project that aims to call attention to the contributions of Latinxs to the field of live stand-up comedy in New York City. Latinx comedians who steadfastly shape this field, night after night, on stages across New York City, have been largely marginalized in both actual stage time in mainstream, Manhattan-based comedy clubs and in academic discussions of comedy.

This does not mean, however, that a historical and vibrant Latinx stand-up comedy community has not existed in New York City. In response to only sporadically performing in mainstream Manhattan venues, Latinx comics have carved out their own spaces to perform in restaurants and lounges, oftentimes producing their own shows, mostly in the outer boroughs where Latinx communities are. It is in these spaces that Latinx comics are not compelled to “tone down” their Latinidad in favor of the more ‘universal” material demanded from them when in “the city.”

This project aims to make this long history of Latinx stand-up comedy performances across New York City visible by collecting and cataloging photos, videos and other ephemera including flyers, newspaper clippings, ticket stubs, etc., that feature live Latinx stand-up comedy performances in New York City, We will also be updating metadata of already recovered photos and documents in other databases that will be cross-linked to the archive.

Principal Investigator

Isabel Martinez, Sociology and Anthropology

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