Casa Cultura Opened The Doors To Latino Creativity in New Jersey – Here’s How

Isaac Vallenilla
 | March 27, 2023

Credit: Nuestro Stories

In case you didn’t know, according to the 2022 census, Trenton, New Jersey is a city where 36.7 percent of its population is Latino, 49.1 percent is Black, and 30.5 percent is white.  So, it is not surprising that a Latino movement to promote culture and the arts was born in this special place.

In 2015, Galería Casa Cultura (House of Culture) opened in the quaint Broad Street establishment. It was founded by Samuel Kanig, Josué Lora, Dave Palacios, and Peter Rodriguez. The artists and activists sought to promote, preserve and develop Latino cultural arts. They also focused on empowering Latino artists to continue to develop their self-expression and create art that spoke to the pursuit of social justice.

Soon after its opening, Tamara Torres, an artist whose passion for art went hand in hand with Casa Cultura’s mission, joined the cause. Casa Cultura quickly became a place where Latinos could go to have their voices amplified. 

The first and only Latino gallery –  located on the second floor of 222 South Broad Street – has dedicated itself to exhibiting painting and photography in two small rooms. There is a video and music and a recording booth and an engineering room in the back of the space as well.

Its location in Trenton helped not only because it is a city with a strong Latino population, but also because it is home to incredible musicians who don’t have or didn’t have the chance to showcase their talent. Casa Cultura became a safe haven for all who were craving art and expression.

Read more: Selena Quintanilla’s Portrait by Niege Borges Is a Unique Tribute to the Queen of Tejano

Things You Should Know Before Visiting Casa Cultura:

  •  Samuel Kanig became president of the city’s Puerto Rican Civic Association, and in 2018 he became the first resident member of The College of New Jersey, where he currently serves as community engagement coordinator.
  • In case you are visiting Trenton, you can stop by and enjoy “Sabor Latino“, a restaurant where you can eat delicious Mexican and Dominican food.
  • In 2017, a painting of the Puerto Rican flag, made by and for the community, was attacked and a swastika was painted in its place.

Address: 222 S Broad St, Trenton

Experience it here.

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