BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Carlotta K. Patrina Cultural Center in Brownsville is a hub for the performing arts. However, the building owners say it is in need of critical repairs and is asking the community for help.
Known as the ‘Cross’ building, the 115-year-old building was first owned by John Cross in the early 1900s before becoming the home of Carlotta K. Patrina.
“One of the first things that she did was activate this space as a cultural center,” said Hilda Ledezma, founder of the Revival of Cultural Arts (ROCA).
The cultural center was given to ROCA in 2010 with the intention of giving the community a place to learn and practice creative art.
“This is where it all started at Carlotta K. Patrina Cultural Center,” said Terry Villarreal, a member of the Dance Acting Music Art Society (DAMAS), “This is our home, this is our casita.”
Villarreal said she and her daughter learned Folklorico dancing through the cultural center and now work to make sure the building is maintained.
DAMAS said they put on events every month to raise money and resources for the center.
“Every month we do a different activity, like selling plates, so just like we help the community we ask them to help us maintain the building,” said Elizabeth Garcia, a member of DAMAS.
Some of the repairs needed include the roof, air conditioning, and others.
“As you can see we really need paint and a lot of other things,” said DAMAS member Sandra Salazar.
Aspiring artists like Jesus Urbina said the cultural center has supported him in his singing career.
“It’s a way to express myself a way for creativity—to expand our mind,” said Urbina.
DAMAS and ROCA said they want to keep the mission alive for present and future generations in the community.
“We really want this place to be for the community and the only way it can keep on going is because of the community,” said Ledezma.
The Carlotta K. Patrina Cultural Center is looking for sponsors for their Dia De Los Muertos celebration this October.
To help financially visit ROCA.