Centro Cultural Universitario

Av. Insurgentes Sur 3000, C.U., 04510 Ciudad de México, CDMX

Mexico City’s largest university, the UNAM (“National Autonomous University of Mexico”), has a whole complex of buildings dedicated to promoting culture in the city and educating its students in the fine arts. Each building has been designed and constructed to host a specific art: music, theater, dance, and cinema; and the outdoor premises are accordingly decorated with an artistic theme. The Sculptural Space (“Espacio Escultórico”) is located next to the National Library and was proposed in 1977 by Mexican sculptor Federico Silva as an interdisciplinary work of art that would provide an impulse to the art of sculpting in Mexico. The original idea was to blend art with ecology, and seven students were chosen to come up with a sculpture of their own design. The main theme was to reproduce the cosmic image held by the pre-Hispanic world.

Sala Nezahualcoyotl, at the heart of the complex, houses the UNAM Philarmonic Orchestra and is one of the most renowned concert halls in Latin America. The interior of the hall is built with the finest types of wood for a pristine quality of sound. The Orchestra presents around 70 concerts per year and tickets can be found on their website. The Centro Cultural Universitario’s main venue for theatre is the Teatro Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, which has a capacity for 430 spectators and is built as a professional theatre; there’s also even a venue dedicated to the theatre more experimental in nature, and that is the Sala Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (Sor Juana was a Mexican poet from the 1600s), it has a smaller capacity of 250 spectators and is shaped like a vertical prism, with the ability to have its interior layout reconfigured in different ways for plays that are more experimental.

Cinephiles should really try to make an excursion to this southern part of the city (the CCU is serviced by the “Centro Cultural Universitario” Metrobus Línea 1 station) and enjoy a movie at either Cine José Revueltas or Cine Julio Bracho, two movie theatres dedicated to exhibiting art films as well as quality popular films. Their selection is eclectic. The theatres are equipped with Dolby Atmos technology, for the ultimate moviegoing experience, plus tickets cost $40 pesos only.

One of the best museums in the whole city is located in CCU as well, it’s the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) and is dedicated, in its entire concept from design to collections, to exhibiting contemporary art. It mainly houses UNAM’s contemporary art collection, which consists of works of art from national and international artists from 1952 onwards. Tickets are also priced at $40 pesos.

The CCU continues to promote the fine arts not only within its student community but also in general society and to foreign visitors as well. It’s easy to get there and maybe enjoyed as part of a day trip that also includes the rest of the UNAM campus.


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