The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community

The National Museum of Mexican Art presents a new exhibition inspired by the novel The House on Mango Street by the accomplished Mexican-American author Sandra Cisneros. The contemporary works of art on display are based on some of the central topics brought to light in this consciousness-raising novel.

Scroll down for a Schedule of Activities incuding Musical Vignettes Inspired by the House on Mango Street with Reginald Robinson and Sandra Cisneros, Opening Night with Sandra Cisneros, guided tours, and book club at the Rudy Lozano Public Library. 

Narrated in a series of vignettes, the book tells the story of a young girl growing up in a Latino neighborhood of Chicago. The House on Mango Street, published in 1984, continues to resonate with readers from all walks of life and is read in classrooms everywhere – from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country. The exhibition, like the novel, highlights many of the issues facing adolescents growing up in urban areas. The visual artists in the exhibition explore experiences prevalent in working class neighborhoods across the U.S. The intended result is for individuals from diverse neighborhoods, cities, ethnic backgrounds and walks of life to identify commonalities in their coming of age experiences. The works of art feature some of the major themes of the book, including hope, personal dreams, hardship, disillusionment, family, community, home, identity, relationships, independence, coming of age, and storytelling. The NMMA is honored to have the participation of such a notable presence as Sandra Cisneros in this exhibition. 

The artists in the exhibition include Pilar Acevedo (Il), Natalia Anciso (CA), Tomie Arai (NY), Carmen Argote (CA), Wilfrido Ávila García (Mexico), April Banks (CA), Andy Benavides (TX), Carlos Betancourt (P.R.), Michael Bise (TX), JooYoung Choi (TX), Henry Cisneros (Chicago), Hugo Crosthwaite (Mexico), Christa Donner (Chicago), John Dyer (TX), José Esquivel (TX), Lauren Feece, (Chicago), Carlee Fernández (CA), Krista Franklin (Chicago), Alex Galindo (Chicago), Esperanza Gama (Chicago), Scherezade García-V (NY), Rigoberto A. González (TX), Susan Guevara (NM), Nicolas Herrera (NM), Ian Kuali`i (NJ), Carmen Lomas Garza (CA), Annie López (AZ), Rafael López (CA), Miguel Luciano (NY), Juan Carlos Macías (Guadalajara/Chicago), César A. Martínez (TX), Cecil McDonald (Chicago), Karen Miranda-Rivedeneira (NY) , Franco Modini-Ruiz (TX), Andrew J. Ortiz (TX) , Rudy Ortiz (TX), Jessica Pizana Roberts (NM), Alfred J. Quiroz (AZ), Marcos Raya (Chicago) , Al Rendon (TX), Deborah Roberts (CA), Ángel Rodríguez-Díaz (TX) , Favianna Rodríguez (CA), Alejandro Romero (Chicago), Jessica Sabogal (CA), Shizu Saldamando (CA), Jeffrey D. Scott (GA), Ana Serrano (CA), Chris Silva (Chicago), Diana Solís (Chicago), Patssi Valdez (CA), Vincent Valdez (TX),, Xavier Viramontes (CA) , Amanda Williams (Chicago), Terry Ybáñez (TX) and Erin Yoshi (CA)

Exhibition curated by Cesáreo Moreno



Additional: City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Chicago Park District, Illinois Arts Council, a state Agency



Mango Street Suite: Exclusive Exhibition Preview and Performance

Thursday, April 16, 6pm

The Museum is honored to present a special evening with Sandra Cisneros and Reginald Robinson, two outstanding artists. Join us for an exclusive performance of Reginald Robinson’s original musical compositions together with Sandra Cisneros reading the selections from The House on Mango Street that inspired them. A preview of The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community will begin at 6pm, and a book signing at 8pm will follow the Musical Vignette performance. Dinner will be provided and availability is limited. 

Cost: $50 per person; proceeds will benefit the National Museum of Mexican Art. This event is now sold out and regististration is no longer available. 

Sandra Cisneros has written several award-winning books and is the founder of two organizations that serve writers: the Macondo Foundation and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation. She was awarded the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and the Texas Medal of the Arts. With more than six million copies sold and translated into many languages, her novel The House on Mango Street has become a true coming-of-age classic.

Reginald Robinson was awarded the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship for his musical innovations in ragtime music. He has also received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Illinois Arts Council to compose an original suite in collaboration with Muntu Dance Theatre. He performs with his jazz band The 5th Element, and has performed as a soloist internationally and as a guest artist with the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and the Chicago Sinfonietta.

Opening Reception

Please join the National Museum of Mexican Art and Author Sandra Cisneros for the opening reception of the new exhibition, The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community. Sandra Cisneros will be present this evening and will sign books for guests. 

This public reception will take place on Friday, April 17th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and is free of charge.  Your RSVP is not required, but it will help us to prepare for your visit. RSVP here.

Guided group and educational tours are available for The House on Mango Street: Artists Interpret Community or Nuestras Historias: Stories of Mexican Identity from the Permanent Collection. $70 suggested donation.

For more information or reservations, please call 312.738.1503, ext. 3842.

Free Saturday Public Tours in English 12pm / Visitas Guiadas en español los sábados 1pm. Gratis

Apr.25, May.23, Jun.20, Jul.25, & Aug.22

School Group Workshop

This program is designed to enhance the museum experience for school groups and includes a docent led tour of selected artwork, followed by a hands-on art activity with a Museum educator. Fees vary per activity.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am or 12pm. All Ages maximum of 30 participants. For more information or reservations, please call 312.738.1503, ext. 3842.

Family Sunday: My Family, My Neighborhood

Families will work together to create a work of art that celebrates family traditions.

Sunday April 26, 12pm – 1:30pm. $5 suggested donation/person

For more information or reservations, please call 312.433.3908

Saturday Children’s Art Classes: My Neighborhood and Me

Students will explore mixed media to create artwork based on everyday life in their neighborhoods.

Saturdays May 2 - 23, 10am – 12pm. 7-12 year olds. $75/child

For more information or reservations, please call 312.433.3908

Teacher Open House: Educator's Evening

Join us for this special educator's evening to view The House on Mango Street: Artist Interpret Community; enjoy light refreshments, and learn about all our educational programs and resources. A guided tour of the exhibition and a related art activity are included. Wednesday, May 13, 4pm – 6pm. $5 suggested donation

For more information or reservations, please call 312.433.3943

Family Sunday: Home Sweet Home

Families will recreate their favorite family memory in a diorama. Sunday May 17, 12pm – 1:30pm. $5 suggested donation/person

For more information or reservations, please call 312.433.3908

Pre-School Family Workshop

Bring your toddler to an age-appropriate learning environment in the gallery and art studio. Participate together in a gallery visit, then design and create a superhero with your child! Friday, June 5, 12pm – 1:30pm. 3-5 years old. $20/family (maximum 4 per family). For more information or reservations, please call 312.433.3943

Art Friday: Papel Picado

Enjoy light refreshment throughout the evening as you explore your creativity and enrich your cultural awareness. Learn about the intricate cut-out flags that adorn Mexican festivals, by creating cutout imagery. The featured artist is Eric García. June 5, 6pm – 8:30pm. Adults 21 & over. $40/person. Space is Limited. All materials included.

For more information or reservations, please call 312.433.3918

The House on Mango Street Book Club

In partnership with the Rudy Lozano Branch of the Chicago Public Library, we will host a book club at the library followed by a guided tour and discussion of the exhibition.

The English book club will take place on June 13, 1pm. FREE. For more information, call 312.746.4329.

Círculo de lectores del libro La Casa en Mango Street

En sociedad con la Biblioteca Rudy Lozano del Chicago Public Library, el NMMA será el anfitrión del círculo de lectores del libro La Casa en Mango Street seguido por una visita guiada y discusión de la exhibición en el museo.

En español: julio 11 Gratis. Para mas información llame al 312.746.4329

A Community Fiesta!

Join us for a special viewing of the exhibition accompanied by art, music, and hands-on activities. July 25, 12pm – 3pm. FREE

For more information, please call 312.738.1503 ext. 3842

Summer Art Classes: Draw, Paint & Play  

Monday through Friday students will develop their fine motor skills by completing different fun art activities. Twice a week, storytelling and music class will be incorporated. July 27 – August 7, 10am – 12pm. 4-6 years old. $75/child

For more information or reservations, please call 312.433.3908

Image Credits:

Alejandro Romero (b.1948), The House on Mango Street (1st ed. cover illustration), 1983, watercolor and ink, 19"x26" Courtesy of Sandra Cisneros

Jeffrey D. Scott, Netzahuatl Poetry Festival at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum, 1991 gelatin silver print

Xavier Viramontes, I remember Mama, 2004, etching, Courtesy of the artist

JooYoung Choi (b. 1982), Sacrifice of Putt-Putt, 2014, paper, ink and canvas, Courtesy of the artist

Alan Goldfarb, Sandra Cisneros, 2013

Friday, April 17, 2015 to Sunday, August 23, 2015