A space to celebrate the diverse cultural activities and contributions of Chicago [email protected], inspiring dialogue and positive change

Cultura in Pilsen is a space that highlights the culture of the community, fosters creative experimentation and sharing of knowledge, explores the intersections of art with activism, and develops collaborations. As a volunteer-run nonprofit organization co-managed by a small collective of womxn, Cultura in Pilsen brings art exhibitions, concerts, readings, performances, forums, workshops, courses and more to the heart of Pilsen.

As the [email protected] cultural scene in Chicago continues to grow and change, Cultura in Pilsen is uniquely equipped to be at its forefront with independent programming and collaborations, as well as the activities of its two parent organizations and organizations-in-residence. Together, our work celebrates and supports the neighborhood’s rich and continuing legacy of art and activism by [email protected] people, providing space for dialogue, creativity, activism, and fostering of inter-community connections.

Our Story

In 1994, a local group focused on amplifying the cultural activities of marginalized [email protected] and immigrants called Calles y Sueños began operating out of a space on 19th and Carpenter.  This space holds an important place in the history of La Dieciocho-Pilsen, as a gathering place and cultural center that hosted art events and performances, including by the famous all-Latino hardcore punk band Los Crudos.

In 2013, contratiempo and Gozamos moved in with Calles y Sueños, so that all three organizations could share a space and costs, boost their activities and bring even more vitality to bilingual [email protected] cultural activities of the neighborhood and city, continuing the rich and fierce cultural history of 18th Street.

A year later, Gozamos and contratiempo officially came together to form Cultura in Pilsen and began managing the space under this name, though all of these organizations in our history still exist independently, as well.

In 2016, Cultura in Pilsen was priced out of the space that Calles y Sueños held for over two decades. Shortly after leaving that space, Cultura in Pilsen began a residency at La Catrina Cafe, another importal cultural landmark and gathering space for the community. Thanks to the generous owners of that cafe and the consistent hard work of its management group and the community, Cultura in Pilsen continues its work from that space today, but has also held events in other venues in the neighborhood and city.

Read more about our organizations and management team