I'm Loaya Quesada
Operations & Finance | Content Specialist
Hato Rey, 2015
The goal of Almacén 63 is to create more opportunities for cultural exchange between artists and the community.
It was established as a multidisciplinary arts venue that provides a class, rehearsal and performance space to the community.
During the first 2 years of operation of Almacén 63, we managed to create alliances with local community leaders, schools and other public programs to promote art as an alternative for promoting physical and mental health.
From warehouse to creative space.
The facility used to be a warehouse located in an underserved community in San Juan, and was aimed at reviving interest in culture through the arts for a local population. As part of the project, the space was converted into a rehearsal studio for dance and theater, with the addition of a sound recording studio.
A Space to Explore and Converse
During 1960's and 1970's, Hato Rey was home to off-stream venues that featured local artists of that time. While growing as the financial district of the island, Hato Rey lost most of these spaces, leaving local artists without rehearsal spaces.
Forty years later, Almacén 63 opened a door for conversation, creating a space where emerging artists could explore, create and present their work, while also giving the community recreational choices at a low or no cost.
A variety of classes were offered on a weekly basis. This allowed artists to connect with the community. At times the space was transformed to an open stage to showcase students and artists.
Two of the major productions of Almacén 63 include La Leche, a multidisciplinary arts showcase with a diversity of local artists from different fields, and Danzando Tonight, a monthly livestream talk show where we featured local dance artists from Puerto Rico.
Growing With Our Community
When it was established in October 2015, the business community surrounding the studio was mostly abandoned.
Within the first 8 months of establishment, 3 new businesses opened on the same street. Other pre-existing businesses remodeled their facades and engaged with our calendar in order to sponsor, support and promote our space among their clients.
By 2017 a coffee shop, a nail salon, a café-restaurant, and a pizza place were opened and operated by people from the community who saw the opportunity to make Hato Rey flourish again.