By SDCN Editor
San Diego, CA–Monarch School in Barrio Logan is finalizing the festivities of the Monarch Metamorphosis Art Exhibition which signals the grand opening of their long-awaited new center for the arts, The Chrysalis: Monarch School’s Center for the Arts.
The center, just a few blocks from the main campus, is a unique community space and will support Monarch School’s innovative Creative Youth Development (CYD) programs specifically designed for Monarch School students. The exhibition will be open to the public on Wednesday, May 11, and Thursday, May 12, along with a ticketed cocktail reception on Friday, May 13, and will feature works of art from local artists and Monarch students.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Monarch School families and the wider community to the opening of The Chrysalis,” says Afira DeVries, president, and chief executive officer, Monarch School Project. “We are thrilled to offer this special space as part of our Creative Youth Development program to the students we serve to nurture their creative development and empower them to share their lived experiences in new ways.”
Monarch School is a K-12 public community school in San Diego developed specifically to serve youth and their families experiencing homelessness. In addition to education, Monarch School provides wraparound services encompassing emotional, social, and life skills learning for students. It is the only school of its kind in the U.S., providing students with a safe, stable learning environment where they can persevere through the trauma of experiencing homelessness.
Conceptualized during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Chrysalis continues the evolution of Monarch School Project’s arts program, creating a visual and performing arts department that follows a CYD model, a holistic approach to deeply engaging young people through the arts and creativity to promote personal well-being to support students in reaching their full potential.
The 6,000 square feet building features a hand-painted mural by local artist Araceli Carerra on the outside, encouraging a high-spirited and welcoming atmosphere for all.
“The Chrysalis will become a vibrant and versatile space where our K-12 students and families can explore the visual and performing arts in a multiplicity of ways,” says Erika Malone, REAT, who serves as the art department manager, Monarch School Project. “These may include in-school residencies in music, theater, visual art, dance, poetry, and spoken word, and media arts. Potential programs include arts programming for youth ages 0 to 5 and their caregivers, internships and apprenticeships, paid work opportunities, local professional productions, and CYD after-school programs that amplify and elevate the voice and creative vision of our students.”
Additionally, Monarch School Project intends to invite community arts partners and organizations to rent out the space for their own community programming, expanding their network and creating mutually beneficial partnerships that serve the community.
The Center includes a theater with seating for 99, a dance studio, two visual arts spaces for art creation, and gallery space for displaying art. For more information on leasing and rentals, contact KishaLynn Elliott at email@example.com.
The Metamorphosis Art Exhibition is curated with art created by Monarch School students, collaborations between students and local artists, and artworks by San Diego regional artists, all inspired by themes of growth, resilience, and change. Local artists, including Carerra, are leading workshops with the students to create the art that will be on display in May. All art will be available on-site during the cocktail reception and an art auction drawing, which will fund Monarch School’s CYD programs.
Three days of grand opening events at The Chrysalis are planned and will take place at their location at 1805 Main Street in San Diego. These include:
● Flutter Fest Community Event – May 11 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The family-friendly Flutter Fest opening day celebration is free and open to the community. Guests will enjoy Monarch School student performances, art exhibitions, artist presentations, art, and food.
● Metamorphosis Art Exhibition – May 12 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Metamorphosis Art Exhibition will feature works by Monarch School students and community artists. This event is open to the public and admission is free. Visit www.monarchschools.org/metamorphosis.
● Metamorphosis Art Exhibition – Cocktail Reception and Drawing – May 13, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. At the cocktail reception, guests will enjoy fine food and fare provided by local chefs and restaurants, an art exhibition tour, performances by Monarch School students, and an art auction of take-home selections. RSVP is required; tickets are available online.
San Diego regional artists featured in the exhibition and art instructors who taught Monarch student workshops include Araceli Carerra, Eric Carroll, German Corrales, Sarah Cusey, Sheena Rae Dowling, Katie Flores, Leonardo Francisco, Stacie Birky Greene, Michael Hada, Denja Harris, Amanda Rose Kachadoorian, Lauren LeVieux, Davis McCarty, Brooke Olivares, Ginger Louise Placek, Lulu Yueming Qu, Cherry Sweig, Swish Projects, Tom Baldauf, and Collete L. Tamayo.
Additionally, Monarch School will recognize several key supporters during the reception. The following individuals will be honored as inaugural Monarch Legacy Award Honorees: Camille and David Boatright; Rochelle Bold; Kathy and Kevin MacDonald; Jim McMillan; Scott McPherson; Mark Steele; and Sheila Weinstock, Molly’s Angels. Kathleen Carré of UBS will be recognized as Monarch Volunteer of the Year.