Creative Arts Coalition to Transform Urban Space (CACtTUS) is a donation based project space for emerging contemporary artists. Located in the East Village Arts District of Long Beach CA, it was established in January 2017 by Jorge Mujica (MFA 2012 Yale University) and Mayra Serna (MA 2016 Cal State University Long Beach) as a way of elevating the conscience of the community by converting their living space into an incubator for transformative ideas. CACtTUS, a live/work project space is meant to serve as a place for risks to be taken by invited local, national, and international artists to utilize as a platform to express themselves and push the envelope beyond their tabletop, living room, garage, or studio and into Mujica and Sernas living space.
Jorge Mujica’s background as an artist has allowed him to exhibit in various project spaces, commercial galleries and museums throughout the U.S. and he has extended his knowledge of such spaces traveling extensively to visit like minded projects since 2008. He has been curating exhibits in Southern California since 2011 and has expediently elevated his ambition, modeling CACtTUS after the Museum of Modern Art, Project Space 1 (MOMA PS1), a space which has served emerging contemporary artists for 40 years.
Mayra Serna has ten years of experience in organizational leadership, training, curriculum development, advocacy, and organizing with youth and adults. Her experience as a program director for a non-profit community education center in Orange county for over seven years informs her contributions to CACtTUS. Mayra’s aptitude for curriculum development, evaluation of programming, and collaborative support of key stakeholders relationships has facilitated in the formulation of community dialogues and enriched CACtTUS’s arts education programming.
The 240 square feet, which compose the exhibition area at CACtTUS, has been used 9 times this year and will complete 2017 with 14 diverse installations. Our calendar is cemented through July 2018, providing an allowance of time needed to enrich CACtTUS’s infrastructure and complement each projects.
Our programing has matured to include poetry readings with Las Lunas Locas, a writing group for creative women, as well as live stream events via Arttraveler.tv. This winter, we plan on hosting a 3 week Creativity Camp for 10 High School Students. This project will be sponsored by the Arts Council for Long Beach. Currently structured as a partnership, our business model is to pivot as a Non-Profit and to qualify for National Endowment for the Arts grants.