CASA 0101's mission is provide inspiring theater performances, art exhibits and educational programs – to Boyle Heights, thereby nurturing the future storytellers of Los Angeles who will someday transform the world.
Writer Josefina Lopez founded Casa 0101 in 2000 as a way to give back to her community. Born in Mexico but raised in Boyle Heights, Josefina lamented the scant opportunities to participate or even witness the arts when she was young. At 17 she wrote her first play, Simply Maria, about the conflicting values of being Mexican-American. Her next play, Real Women Have Curves, dealt with her experience working in a sewing factory and the camaraderie five women built while working there, despite making dresses they could not afford to purchase. These plays spoke to a new generation, first generation Latinos with their messages of self-determination despite the societal barriers of two cultures.
Today, sixteen years later Casa 0101 has grown tremendously from its former storefront bridal shop. Casa 0101 now runs two venues, including a state of the art 99 seat theater, complete with an art gallery and a classroom. Casa 0101 continues to offer plays, classes and art exhibits that now reach beyond community of Boyle Heights, into many sectors of greater Los Angeles. Casa 0101 produces eight theatrical productions each year. Many are world premieres of works created in its writing class, but Casa 0101 also presents established works to introduce its audiences to important authors. Casa 0101 also offers year-round classes for youth and adults. Classes include acting, singing, dancing, digital filmmaking, puppetry and playwriting. The classes reach 500 students a year and are free to youth and low cost for adults. Casa 0101 also presents a variety of other events, such as art exhibits, poetry slams, small film festivals and more.