HUMBOLDT PARK — Plans for a large-scale addition to Humboldt Park’s Paseo Boricua will be unveiled Monday, Feb. 23, according to an announcement from Ald. Roberto Maldonado (35th) and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.
The public unveiling will take place at the site of the new Paseo Boricua Arts Building, 2701 W. Division St., at 10:30 a.m., and is expected to draw more than 100 supporters, including Maldonado and Puerto Rican Cultural Center executive director Jose Lopez.
The new arts center will house a multi-media theater, a 3,000 square foot gallery, a residency program, a piano lounge, apartment units and retail spaces, according to Maldonado’s office — each "dedicated to preserving cultural identity and expanding the Paseo Boricua Cultural and Commercial corridor on Division Street, the heart of the Puerto Rican community."
The project will transform seven buildings on the 2700 Block of West Division Street, including the site of the former Ashland Sausage Company, into a cultural center “with a holistic focus on providing live/work space and promoting the talents of local artists in various media.”
The building will offer 15 "live/work residences" for artists and their families; a 99 seat multi-media theater with film, theatre, and concert performances; and a nearly 3,000 square foot art gallery with a retail component allowing resident and local artists to sell their artwork, according to the announcement. A piano lounge showcasing wines from Latin America and spirits from the Caribbean is slated to become an anchor for nightlife on the Paseo Boricua corridor at the new center.
The center will be established with assistance from the Division Street Business Development Association and over twenty local artists, who have prepared business plans that will help them to maintain sustainable artist spaces and become future tenants of the building, according to Maldonado's office.
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