By Mimi Pollack
The founder of the World Beat Center in Balboa Park is now embarking on a new venture. In collaboration with other local and international artists, they have opened an art and cultural center, Casa del Tunel, right across the border in Tijuana. Like the World Beat Center, Casa del Tunel will be a place where people of many different cultures can come together to teach, perform, and present traditional forms of art to the world. There will be exhibits and art, dance, and music classes. It will be a binational and multinational collaboration. Enrique Chiu, a well-known local artist, is the art director and Wilner Metelus, a Haitian from Mexico City, will collaborate with them.
Casa del Tunel is also a place for Makeda to engage in her philanthropic side as she envisions it as a place to help support the Haitian and African refugees who have been arriving in Tijuana. She hopes to provide jobs, guidance, and promote their art.