After more than a year of renovation, remodeling, and overall reconceptualizing, the beloved Centro Cultural Recoleta will reopen its doors this Thursday, January 10th with a massive bash that includes (takes deep, deep breath): performances by Juan Ingaramo and DJ Villa Diamante, rap competitions, break dance classes, beatbox displays, a fanzine and comics fair, queer karaoke, poetry lectures by women, Improcrash theatre, and the launching of a visual arts exhibition that includes Doma collective, Grupo Bondi, Elliot Tupac, Pum Pum, Pica Pau and Séverine Hubard (phew).
Located in the heart of Recoleta, at Junin 1930, the cultural center underwent an impressive overhaul that cost an estimated AR $114 million. The work was centered primarily on several of the exhibition rooms, as well as an array of previously closed spaces that will now be available for workshops and other activities, complete with air conditioning and WiFi (#blessed).
But the truth is that the remodeling affected every space in El Recoleta (as the cool kids call it). That includes the four internal patios (which now have designer furniture, murals, and an assortment of culinary options) and even its traditional dark pink facade, which has now been replaced by a colorful mural dedicated to love and diversity, created by Argentine artist Yaia.
Focus on the #Teens
Besides the massive structural changes that el Recoleta has gone through during the last year, one of its biggest transformations might just have to do with a shift in its target audience. Whereas the institution has always been at the forefront of exhibiting emerging artists and experimentation, never have teenagers been such a part of the programming and the decision making process of the cultural center as they will be from now on. The most clear example of this can be found in Comité 13/17, a committee comprising ten teenagers between 13 and 17 years old that was chosen by open entry and which convenes every other Sunday to propose ideas and programming suggestions.
Comité 13/17 will also be in charge of the programming for Festival Clave, an annual celebration that involves expressions more in tune with the younger generations such as cosplay, k-pop, gaming, and booktubers, all headlined by teenagers from the same age group. The center also now has several spaces dedicated 100 percent to teenagers including a drawing studio, a study and work area, a chill-out space, and a space called Clave 13/17, where teenagers can play metegol, read, or just take a break.
With all these changes, El Recoleta hopes to achieve a safer and better equipped space for the more than 3,000 creators that headline its programming every year, as well as the 800,00 visitors that are expected, besides upgrading its philosophy to remain at the forefront of the new changes in culture and the people behind them.