Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts makes the arts accessible as an essential element to the community's development and well-being.

Our History

The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) was established in 1977 by artists and community activists with a shared vision to promote, preserve and develop the Latino cultural arts that reflect the living tradition and experiences of the Chicano, Central and South American, and Caribbean people.

The MCCLA opened its doors to the public in 1977 along with the names of the founding fathers and mothers of MCCLA. Originally the building was inadequate to serve as a center but thanks to the small staff and to the dedicated group of volunteers who spend laborious hours have now attained international recognition by winning two world graphic arts biennials: Germany and Cuba and developing an art space, Galeria, Museo. Most of these improvements were completed by the first year. Due to a lack of Funding MCCLA had minimal structural since 1977 a renovation master plan has been thought and discussed since the mid-1980s. Despite the lack of funds the quality of the program that MCCLA offers continues to demonstrate a high level of professionalism.

MCCLA’S main objectives to present the best representative sample of contemporary and ancient artistic traditions of Latin America and to develop in the community a high degree of sensitivity and understanding of Latin American culture. To this end, throughout its 38- year history the MCCLA has sponsored a series of local, national, and international activities and programs that helped establish it as the largest Latino cultural center in the continental United States. Many of the original projects and programs have been replicated in other parts of the United States.

The history of MCCLA is directly linked to a concept that embodies the pre-Cortezan belief that culture is not something that is static but rather is linked to an ever –changing future that is reflected by contemporary actions and activities. This has been the path that MCCLA has followed for the last 25 years.

The History of the MCCLA by Juan Pablo Gutierrez, with archival research and technical assistance from Luis Alberto De La Garza.

"The Founders" 25th Anniversary Video

Photo of the MCCLA Building in 2017

MCCLA Building 2017

MCCLA Building 2014-2016

MCCLA Building 2014-2016

MCCLA 1977 - Theater and Gallery

MCCLA 1977 - Theater and Gallery

Before MCCLA - Shafs Furniture Store 1976

Before MCCLA - Shafs Furniture Store 1976

Our Founders

Diana Diaz-Vargas
Carmen Olivares
Mauricio Santos
Francisco Tovar
Alejandro Murguia
Carlos Cordova
Carlos Gallardo
Mario Gallardo
Alfonso Maciel
Oscar Maciel
Enrique Fernandez
Magaly Fernandez
Roberto Vargas
Gilberto Osorio
Nery Ordonez
Mara Rosales
Cecilia Martinez-Guidos

Funders and Sponsors

The Zellerbach Foundation
San Francisco Arts Commission
The California Traditional Folk Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Humanities
and other private and individual contributors.

Early Friends

Kathy Apodaca
Carlos Loarca
Rebecca Mauleon
Nina Serrano
Felix Khury
Elias Katz
Rene Castro
John Santos
Dolores Terrazas
Concha Saucedo
Copyright © 2018 Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts, All Rights Reserved.