Homeless youth Foster youth
The Chrysalis center has opened in Barrio Logan to benefit arts education for Monarch School students. Photo credit: MonarchSchools.org

The Chrysalis: Monarch School’s Center for the Arts opened this week in Barrio Logan to serve both the school and as a community space.

This center, on Main Street near the main campus on Newton Avenue, will support Creative Youth Development programs designed for Monarch School students. It includes a theater with seating for 99, a dance studio, two visual arts spaces and gallery space for exhibits.

The school’s arts program seeks to engage young people’s creativity to promote their personal well-being and help them to reach their full potential.

The new 6,000 square-foot building features a mural by local artist Araceli Carerra. In addition, the Metamorphosis Art Exhibition, with works created by Monarch students, will be featured as part of the opening.

Local artists, including Carerra, led workshops with the students to create the art on display.

One of the installations, “La Tierra Mia: A Chicano Park Story,” with historical photographs of Chicano Park’s murals, pays homage to the community’s activism and the artwork that has drawn admirers from around the world.

The Monarch School intends to invite arts partners and organizations to rent the space for their own community performances and meetings.

The school has served San Diego County for 30 years, beginning as a one-room education center in 1987 and evolving into a K-12 school offering a comprehensive program designed to educate youth experiencing homelessness. 

Monarch is a public-private partnership between the county Office of Education and the nonprofit Monarch School Project.