OPEN Center for the Arts


To educate, inspire, and promote different artistic expressions of emerging and aspiring artists as well as bridging established artists to the new generations and the community at large.

The mission of OPEN Center for the Arts is to provide a space where all artists can come together to educate, showcase, refine, and develop their talents as well as support entrepreneurship opportunities in the arts while connecting their growth to the community.

Among the sounds of dishes and drums in the corners of Mexican restaurants, a group of young artists gathered to talk about art and future exhibits. They dreamt about having their own place where art spilled over into the community and where artists could help one another grow. In 2004, Omar Magaña’s building became the backdrop for their movement. Expresiones Artisticas became the epicenter that grew out of those late-night bashes where artists shared hopes and dreams. It was a grassroots art collective where resident artists planned exhibits on the ground floor of 2214 S. Sacramento Ave. In 2008, the dream was put on hold after a fire took down the building. Today, a new group of artists, entrepreneurs, educators and community leaders have gathered to rebuild the dream with a new added component, to include the community at large in the growth.

Hub Staff/Organizers

Gabriella Juarez, Hub Director

OPEN Center for the Arts

J. Omar Magana, Executive Director

Omar is the founder of OPEN Center for the Arts. He is a self-taught sculptor and entrepreneur who currently focuses on interior reclaimed furniture design.

Supporting Organizations


VILLARTE is a collective of individual artists that collaborates with various groups and businesses in Little Village to celebrate local artists.

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YMCA of Metro Chicago

The mission of the YMCA of Metro Chicago is to develop strong children, families and communities across Metropolitan Chicago through academic readiness, character development, violence prevention, fitness and healthy living.

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The Marshall Square Resource Network

The Marshall Square Resource Network (MSRN) represents a broad spectrum of agencies working on the east side of Chicago’s Little Village community, known as Marshall Square.

Bound north-south by 16th and 31st Streets and east-west by Western and Kedzie Avenues, the MSRN meets monthly to build the capacity of member agencies, create integrated solutions and organize for community change.

Through monthly meetings, the MSRN leverages the expertise of both member agencies and guest presenters to understand the intersection of issues in the Marshall Square area, and increase the capacity of agency staff to address those issues.

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Latinos Progresando

Latinos Prograsando’s mission is to deliver high quality information and resources for people to build secure, healthy and productive lives. The organization was built from the ground up, and even after 20 years, their vision continues to be shaped and led by people in our community.

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