Inside La Casa del Tunel
As an official member of the media, I’m not supposed to get personally involved with things that are going on in the city. Thank Jebus I don’t work for one of those old-school dinosaur papers who don’t understand! On my weekends, I’ve been meeting with COFAC discussing the opening of a new art center in my old ‘hood, Colonia Federal.
The official public discourse is below. Please plan on coming to the public opening on Saturday, Sept. 27!
COFAC Opens La Casa del Tunel: Art Center Sept. 26-28 in Tijuana, Mex.
From Sept. 26-28, 2008, Consejo Fronterizo de Arte y Cultura (COFAC) will open La Casa del Tunel: Art Center, an international community center dedicated to promoting and facilitating borderless arts, culture and environmental investigation and awareness. The Center is located 75 feet from the U.S./Mexico Border with a panoramic view of Tijuana and San Ysidro.
The series of opening events will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, with a dedication reception for friends of COFAC and the media. At 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, the celebration will continue with a public reception featuring Citizen Artists Making Emphatic Arguments, an art exhibition examining environmental justice. According to curator Adolfo Nodal:
“[The participants] employ a collaborative process with a multidisciplinary
approach, involving all creative disciplines in collaboration with politicians,
environmental activists, scientists, and community organizers to help
individuals and communities understand and face the challenges of
environmental justice, global environmental degradation.”
The opening will also include a tour of the facility, food from the rooftop café and music on the rooftop performance space and observation deck, green lab and gardens. A Community pancake breakfast and Open House will take place at 10 a.m. the following day, Sunday, September 28, for residents of La Colonia Federal.
More about La Casa del Tunel:
La Casa del Tunel (The House of the Tunnel) is located in a neighborhood of Tijuana called “Colonia Federal,” a place where, within the last five years, artists of all disciplines have congregated to live and work. Originally the area was created to build housing for employees of the Federal Customs Office. During the 1960s, the government channeled the Tijuana River and built the highway to downtown Tijuana leaving only nine blocks of houses that are practically isolated from the rest of the City by the river, the U.S. border, the Plaza Viva Tijuana, and the rapid transit highway which connects with downtown. This makes “Colonia Federal” a space where people live calmly and are relatively safe. There is only one entrance and one exit which contribute to the fact that this area still has a provincial Mexican flavor.
La Casa del Tunel is located at Chapo Marquez 133, Colonia Federal, Tijuana, B.C., Mexico, CP 22310. 011-52-664-682-9596 (from the U.S.) and in Mexico (664-682-9596) walking distance from the Border.
More about COFAC:
COFAC transformed a house with a tunnel and dark past to one with a bright bridge to the world. La Casa del Tunel was built in the early 1960s. Due to the closeness of the border, one of the building’s tenants dug a tunnel (approximately 150 ft.) under the house, from Tijuana to San Ysidro. On July 8, 2004, the tunnel was discovered and all parties responsible were caught, arrested and imprisoned. The owners liberated the building and decided to rent the space to COFAC for the establishment of an international center for the arts. COFAC was established as a 501 (c) non-profit organization in 2003 and is based in Pasadena, California and an Asociacion Civil in 2007 in Tijuana, B.C., Mexico. The organization has served and represented the mega-metropolis, Los Angeles County, San Diego County, and Tijuana and the international community for the past five years.
More about 2008-2009 programming:
- Citizen Artists exhibition – Sept. 26-Dec. 31.
- “Chora Prints 2008: Nuevos Posters Politicos de TJ a LA” Oct. 15-Nov. 4.
Collaboration between The Studio for Social Sculpture, Self-Help Graphics and
La Casa del Tunel. Two-dozen artists are producing prints about key North
American political issues during the run-up to the U.S. presidential election.
- “Day of the Dead” blessing of land – Nov. 1
- A film program about sustainability – Nov. 29
- Cross Border Poetry Jam in Tijuana and San Diego – Dec. 14
- “La Gran Linea” exhibition curated by Michael Dear – Jan. 15-April 30