Photo by William Guerrero

When I think of a dynamic duo, I think of the founders of Pilsen Arts and Community House (PACH). They are a team who work for the greater goal of their community. Teresa Magaña is a poet, art curator, and visual artist who focuses on line work representing femme bodies and the Chicana experience. Pablo Ramirez is a poet and artist who uplifts hip-hop culture and the artistic history of Pilsen. 

Teresa and Pablo founded their art gallery, Pilsen Outpost, in 2015, and have since grown the gallery into PACH, a non-profit organization that creates accessible events for the community and highlights work of local and international BIPOC artists. 

I remember meeting Teresa years ago when I visited the Pilsen Outpost gallery, which was originally located on 21st Street and Damen Avenue. The gallery stood because of Sam Kirk’s colorful mural of Frida Kahlo I lived down the block and didn’t have wi-fi at the time. Teresa was open to me stopping by to use the internet when I needed to. 

This was just one of the many invitations she has made over the years to community members like me. Teresa mentioned that she had recently left the corporate world to focus on her true passion: art. She hoped to one day have a non-profit that would focus on making art accessible to the Pilsen and surrounding communities.

Fast-forward to this summer and PACH hosted an exhibit titled <i>A Tribe Called Chicago</i>, showcasing visual artists from the city on Chicago-themed pieces. “A Tribe Called Chicago” is the perfect way to describe how PACH invites artists to form a tribe that works together in the name of art. 

Screen printer Carlos Barbenera and art educator Adriana Peña support the PACH team by providing workshops in the space of their respective art forms. PACH not only showcases existing artists but holds workshops to expand community skills.  

Hecho En:, a community market, also brought together vendors from around the city for a weekend outdoor market. PACH was able to close down 18th St. from Ashland Avenue to Paulina Avenue to showcase ceramics, clothing, jewelry, photography, and visual art, and healing vendors. Families, friends, and individuals strolled through the market to show support for local artists. 

Though primarily an arts space, PACH also uplifts the community by supporting fundraisers. This fall, they will be co-hosting a community mural walk for Pilsen Food Pantry, as well as curating the mural to expand La Malinche Coffee’s goal of creating their own community space. PACH also rents out the gallery when community organizations need a location for fundraisers to be held. 

Whether it’s to sign up for a creative workshop, attend a gallery opening, or if you’re just in the neighborhood and would like to purchase some local art, Teresa, Pablo, and the PACH team will help you feel like a part of the community. Take a step inside and see what connections you make.

Pilsen Arts and Community House, 1637 W. 18th St. (312) 468-9046. Follow PACH @pilsenartscommunityhouse

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you Cristina Puccio for your article on Pilsen Arts and Community House (PACH). You captured well the spirit of Pablo’s and Teresa’s commitment and vision of making the arts accessible to all. They are not alone – as you mention they are surrounded by talented artists like Carlos Barberena, Adriana Pena, Laura Gomez and many more. Once again thank you and South Side Weekly.

  2. Thank you Cristina Puccio for your article on Pilsen Arts and Community House (PACH). You capture the spirit of Teresa and Pablo’s commitment and vision of making the arts an important part in our communities.

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