Mexico City is home to a rich appreciation for music and the arts. In the Santa María la Ribera neighborhood, this vitality for the arts is celebrated outside in public spaces, like the weekly gatherings of dance and music in the park pathways. Music is a method to bring people together and to form connections. The Caja de Música celebrates this love of music while supporting its growth through a neighborhood commons.
Sited at the corner of Naranjo and Manuel Carpio, the Caja de Música is a musical commons that both expands and embeds a culture of music within the neighborhood. This commons represents a more open and informal music program than other nearby institutional organizations, such as the Sistema Nacional del Fomento Musical. Instead, the Caja de Música commons community members through the playing and listening of music, transfer of knowledge, and the preservation of Mexico’s musical heritage. It crosses generations and skill levels, allowing the love of music to bring a wider range of people together in an informal setting.
Beyond its central location, the Caja de Música consists of a network of rehearsal spaces, further embedding the practice and appreciation of music within the fabric of the neighborhood. Spatially supported by local community organizations and residents, the Caja de Música forms a musical network throughout the neighborhood, celebrating the culture of music within the community. The heart of the project is an open-air musical park supported by an instrument borrowing program, music library, and additional programming. This central park allows musicians to perform for locals, fostering an appreciation for music while connecting people within the neighborhood.
The Caja de Música is more than an open-air park; it is rather a symbolic outpost of a larger system that is ingrained in the fabric of the neighborhood. This system relies on a social and spatial relationship with the community, giving the commons its foundation as a neighborhood wide program. Bleeding into spaces across Santa María la Ribera while also forming social bonds between residents, the Caja de Música commons reflects the vitality and energy of the neighborhood through a shared appreciation for music.