Casita Maria


create * achieve * explore

Community Sing with Lila Downs!

Lila Downs, a Oaxaca, Mexican-born, Minnesota-raised singer, draws from a range of pan-Hispanic experiences and has a style that ranges from reggae to country to folk to rock and “weaves rancheras, cumbias, boleros, and other Mexican and Latin styles.” She has recorded with such greats as Mercedes Sosa and her stunning voice has been compared to Edith Piaf.

Reserve your free tickets for Lila Downs at – or – call 718.589.2230


Filed under: Community Sing, music

What a night!

What a night! Once I had a flower in my hair, I smoothed the tablecloth down, opened crackers and poured drinks for arriving guests.

Last night’s reception was well attended.  Guests from Pen American Center and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers were among the many that were in attendance. Tim Rollins, artist, activist and teacher, could also be seen around the gallery. Dennesa Usher, a talented and dedicated young woman from the Bronx Council on the Arts came as well. She was absolutely instrumental in hanging in the show – even coming to Casita on Saturday to finish hanging the show! Steve Cagan recognized this devotion and sparked a round of applause for her.

One man came up to me and asked if the artist came. I told him that the artist was in fact here. But where? I scanned the room, darting through the circles and rows of swooning guests and found the artist with his camera swung across his chest.  I turned back to the inquiring guest and said “yes, he’s the man with the camera.” Laughing, he replied, “of course.”

Steve Cagan took a few minutes to talk about his work. For many of the photographs, he traveled by canoe for two days. Nancy Barry, a Casita Trustee, asked the artist many questions (which he was more than happy to answer!) Although we said that the reception was from 7-9PM, many came early and stayed late!

The show is up till March 30th. If you’re like my father – who sometimes prefers more intimate gallery visits – come see the show now! We are open Monday-Friday, 9:00am – 6:30pm.

Please contact Lyla Rose, our Visual, Literary and Performing Arts Manager, if you are interested in a private appointment.



P.S: Stay posted for photographs from last night!

Filed under: art gallery

Steve Cagan: March 8th-30th

Filed under: Uncategorized

In only a few hours…

Steve Cagan’s photography exhibit is now hanging on the walls of Casita’s gallery. For a month, I’ve watched as the gallery changed color, subjects and themes: from newly painted walls to a new exhibit. Our last exhibit displayed colorful student artwork. Now, the gallery offers Steve Cagan a new home.

This morning, Sarah Calderon (our Executive Director) and Lyla Rose (our Literary, Visual and Performing Arts Manager) brought fresh flowers, fruit, cheese and wine for tonight’s artist reception. I’ve spent the afternoon answering questions about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and resisting opening the many cheese platters stored in our fridge (would anyone really notice?)

An hour before the reception, the sun will set (at 5:58 tonight!) and we will turn on the gallery lights.

Will you be joining us?

Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education

928 Simpson Street

Bronx, NY 10459

Artist’s Reception: Thursday, March 11th, 7-9 PM

Take the 2 or 5 train to Simpson Street
Walk South on Simpson and cross 163rd St.


Take the 6 train to Hunts Point
Walk Weston 163rd and turn left on Simpson Street.



Filed under: art gallery, opening

Smile! Casita’s Camera Roll

We Are

Jacqueline Weld Drake

Chairman Emeritus
Norrisa O’Keeffe

Vice Chairman
Benigno Rodriguez-Cubeñas

Mario Buccellati, II

John E. Avery

Nancy Barry
John L. Bernbach
Martha Bograd
Elizabeth A. Caldas
Ambassador Paul L. Cejas
Gaetana Enders
Miguel A. Fuentes, Jr.
Alan G. Levin
Alberto Mariaca
Alberto Mejia
Liliana Melo de Sada
Violy McCausland Seve
Joseph Unanué, Sr.
Saundra Whitney
Michael L. Ziegler, Esq.

Chairman’s Council
Daniel Brodsky
Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Anne Eisenhower Flöttl
Wolfgang K. Flöttl
Sergio Millerman
Frank T. Modica
Lewis S. Ranieri
Pilar Crespi Robert

Executive Director
Sarah Calderon