Youtube La ONG

La ONG, the Organization Nelson Garrido, named after the famous Venezuelan photographer Nelson Garrido, is a cultural center located in Caracas and operating on the local contemporary art scene since 2002.

Starting as a photography school in its early stage, more and more disciplines were added over the years until becoming a multidisciplinary space that gathers students, artists, curators, and many other agents of the Venezuelan cultural field.

With three exhibition rooms, a theatre, a dance stage, various photography laboratories, and lithography workshops, and a specialized library dedicated to contemporary photography, La ONG is the meeting point for the Venezuelan art scene, but also for the numerous people that don’t fit in the current situation of the country. 

« It evolved into a space for all the people who are on the periphery in some way, and this includes from anarchist newspapers’ organizations to organizations for the rights of LGBTQ movements, indigenous movements, anarchists as well as writers, filmmakers, directors of theater… » indicates Gala Garrido, director of La ONG.

As the difficulties started to arise in Venezuela, a lot of cultural agents had to flee or find another way of subsistence, and the scene grew smaller every year. To ward off the lack of new creation and continue to have connexions with the exterior world, La ONG started to welcome international artists, organizing itself as a residency program. 

« We have always received many artists from abroad, {…}, but for like a few years now, one of the ways in which we saw that we could help the space because it is getting more and more difficult, was opening this residence called Residencia Carmencita, which is this house that we already opened so that people can apply, show us their portfolio and if we see that they have a bit of the line of work that interests us, {…} they come here, » explains Gala Garrido.

Artists can apply for a one-month residency, during which they’ll receive accommodation, free use of the numerous spaces and workshops, and monitoring of their projects. Artists do not have an obligation of a final result but are asked to engage with the ONG’s community, either by giving some workshops, lectures, exhibitions, or organizing any events that would revitalize the cultural scene of Caracas. 

« It seems important for us to bring these people from outside who oxygenate the movement a little, and exchange ideas within the cultural sphere in the country. We are a little drowned, well, not just a little… So, it is always refreshing to bring a new look, a new experience, and generate dialogue, which is the most interesting thing, » confides Gala Garrido.

The residency program has of course facilities in receiving photographers but is also open to writers, performers, visual artists, audiovisual artists, curators, and investigators. The residency aims to create a dialogue and a reflection that will enrich both the resident and the local community. 

« We are open to all proposals and, I know that right now it is scary, everything you are hearing in the news, but here there are several artists doing very interesting things and coming to dialogue with them always opens the mind in a very beautiful and special way, » indicates Gala Garrido, director of the ONG.

Foundation year



Nelson Garrido
Gala Garrido




Caracas, Venezuela


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